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  1. The Hand of Corruption Catapult Wheel A build for the Spire in Book II, Challenge V, Category B At a Hand of Corruption camp near the edge of the Moruth Swamplands, where the Spire forces were congregating for an attack on the Resistance capital of Abyssian, work was underway on a new type of siege weapon, a multiple-shot catapult wheel, capable of firing six shots per minute with an experienced crew manning her. The uruks of the Hand were just now putting the finishing touches on the masterpiece of destructive engineering. The blacksmiths get no rest, beating out nails and pieces of the frame with skillful blows of their hammers. Guards keep anyone unwanted away. The machine itself: ________________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................................ Wow, barely got this together... of course I did not start until after supper on the 19th, though my main focus was on my Alliance build. C&C welcome. I did not realize until editing that a pile of wheels had fallen into the swamp, but oh well. The Spire needed some love.
  2. Rays from the first morning light were just appearing over the peaks of the Rakarth Mountains when the party neared the encampment. Its wooden towers and gate could be seen from a great distance, guarding the entrance to a valley known as the Panjshir. It had been a grueling night’s march though the rough terrain, with Raavage's minions never far off. Now, with safety in sight, the group could have its first rest since escaping Lagash Ur. There was no need for Anfauglir to announce their arrival; his men had shadowed the group for several hours and ordered the gate open when Anfauglir and the others approached. Inside the camp, a diverse group of troops comprised of many Nocturnian races are forming up for the morning drill. A groupd of knights riding black steeds thunders to the main gate where the party waits. The lead rider dismounts and approaches Anfauglir. Anfauglir: This is Sakarmand, my lieutenant and certainly a sight for sore eyes. Senurhem and Raavage found our trail sooner than I had hoped, and we have been pursued since Lagash Ur. Sakarmand: Indeed m'lord, our men ambushed a company of Hand soldiers earlier this morning. We are preparing for another patrol to hunt down any others in the area. By the number of troops our scouts have reported leaving Lagash Ur, it appears Senurhem has not taken kindly to our betrayal. Anfauglir: He is not our only concern now. Raavage had planned to kill these men last night and will seek to destroy us for our part in their escape. We should prepare for an attack but first, I know my guests are in need of rest and something to eat. Korrak, Rokkar and Anzar are led to a makeshift kitchen and provided a Spartan meal of dried fruit and stale hardtack. Anfauglir appears after a short time and joins them in the meal. Anfauglir: I know this isn't quite the feast prepared for you at Lagash Ur but Sakarmand informs me our supply situation is weak. In any case, I have ordered my men to set up cots for you to use in the officers' quarters. You are welcome to rest here or you may leave when you wish. Anzar looked up from his food and glared at Senurhem. Such hospitality was not common in the Darklands. What was Anfauglirs aim? Anzar: While I am in debt to you, I am still curious as to why you helped us. You are now a fugitive of your own people, what would you expect from us in return? Anfauglir: I simply wanted the three of you to live to report Raavage's treachery to your own people. Anfauglir stares hard at Korrak. He sees the revelations washing over the raven, but continues to speak. Anfauglir: The Black Spire has long clouded the foresight of the Zugal, but now perhaps they will see the error of that alliance. Anfauglir turns his attention to Anzar. The Dragon Master diverts his eyes. Anfauglir: You, Dragon Master, you must return to your people before Raavage sees them destroyed. You must find Handrid. Anzar perks up. He is taken aback by the comment; only his most trusted advisors knew of the missing dragon. Anzar: How did you learn of Handrid's escape? Anfauglir: We maintain contact with Shadowmere intelligence operatives. They received word of dragon sightings shortly after the fall of Dragon Keep. So far, this information has not reached Senurhem or Raavage, otherwise they would have handed you over to the Zugal as a trophy the moment you entered Lagash Ur. Raavage intended to use you to get to Handrid, nothing more. He knows the dragon would be a powerful addition to his army. You cannot let him succeed. Rokkar mutters something but Korrak is the first to speak up. Korrak: Anfauglir, you cannot expect us to watch idly as this Dragon Master - our enemy- recollects his strength. He would certainly set the dragon loose upon us in retaliation for the loss of Dragon Keep. The beast should be found and destroyed! Korrak's comments enrage Anzar, who begins to hurl his own accusations at the Zugal brothers. It looks as if swords will be drawn before Anfauglir breaks them apart. Anfauglir: Enough! Save some fight for the Black Spire! If Raavage succeeds there will be no Dragon Keep, no Eyrie, just darkness and death. If we survive, you can continue this quarrel then, but for now just consider what I say. Raavage will not stop until all are slaves under his rule. Korrak: Aye, Raavage has a powerful army under his command but he cannot hope to subdue the Rebellion and the other Guilds. Even isolated Abyssian continues to stand against Raavage's best efforts. After last night's events, he can count the Zugal too among his growing list of enemies. Anfauglir: I'm afraid the entire might of Historica could not stop Raavage unless we fight now. He wants Abyssian because he knows it contains a dark power, the power to raise an army of the dead. That is why he called you to Lagash Ur, to recruit your help in breaching Abyssian's walls. Anzar: This is indeed troubling news, but Abyssian has so far proved impenetrable. How could he possibly succeed, with his allies so few? Anfauglir: The situation has evolved. Raavage no longer needs Abyssian to raise his army: he has Senurhem. My former lord has long bolstered his ranks by raising warriors who fell on the battlefield. You witnessed these soldiers yourself at Lagash Ur. But now he pledges his loyalty to Raavage. Korrak: Ha! A few extra skeletons will hardly stop the Zugal! Anfauglir cut him off. Anfauglir: Unfortunately there is more to this tale, Korrak. Senurhem draws his necromancy from an ancient source long kept secret from even his inner circle. But now Raavage knows, and the Hand Lord claims he can amplify this evil power. Imagine battling armies of undead who fall only to rise again. If such a thing could be done, it would surely spell the doom of Nocturnus and all of Historica. Anzar: What ancient source do you speak of? Few knew these lands better than my father, and he never spoke of such evil power. Anfauglir: This is all I can tell you. Such things Senurhem has never explained to me or anyone else - except Raavage. But we are not in complete darkness just yet. My scouts inform me that Raavage's men are searching for an artifact, an object Raavage needs to magnify this power. I do not know what they seek, but we must find it before Raavage. Korrak: If true, your words are cause for grave concern. For our rescue the Zugal are in your debt, Anfauglir, and as long as one of us draws breath Raavage will not succeed. Anfauglir: Good, these words bring me hope. I'm afraid we will need every fighting man and woman by our side before this is over. Anzar: And you, Anfauglir, what will you do? Anfauglir: My men and I will stay here and try to tie down Senurhem's forces. We cannot allow his armies to be released against the other factions of Nocturnus. My scouts will also continue our search for the artifact. Anzar: Noble, I admit, but I see no more than a few dozen men under your command, maybe a hundred at most. Senurhem and Raavage will crush you if you stay here. Anfauglir: Young Dragon Master, I see you are not familiar with the Panjshir. In this natural fortress ten men can hold off against ten thousand! In any case, there is no time to second guess ourselves now. I know we are all in need of rest. Feel free to stay here as long as you like. When you are ready to leave I will provide men to escort you to your borders. Anfauglir looks at the three leaders before him and knows that hope is against them all. The Zugal and Dragon Masters are warring, the Rebellion is splintered and weak, and Anfauglir knows he hosts little more than a token force. Their only chance rests on preventing Raavage from securing the artifact. Anfauglir: Before you leave I must say one thing. I cannot ask you to end your conflict, the wounds of which are still unhealed. I can only hope that you will put aside your feud in fear of a greater enemy. Raavage had hoped to secure you both as allies, but now he wishes for you to tear each other apart. By doing so, you will only ensure our defeat. Anfauglir hears the gate open and the sound of horses entering the camp. Samarkand has returned and Anfauglir hopes he has news to share. Anfauglir: I am needed elsewhere now and must bid you safe journeys. I will pray for your people and hope the darkness does not reach them. I know we will meet again, if not in this world than in the next! Several soldiers arrive to take Rokkar, Korrak and Anzar to beds in the officers' quarters. After resting for several hours Rokkar and Korrak begin the long march home. Anzar leaves not long after with several of Anfauglir's men as escorts. The separate groups set out under clear skies with hopes for a safe trip home. Although they cannot see it, many miles away at Lagash Ur a storm is brewing. Dark clouds are forming, and the sound of war began rolling through the valleys as if thunder... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A pic of the gate MOC (without the additional mountainside I built for the story photos): About this MOC: Hello again! Here is the fourth part in the ongoing Hand of Corruption story for Book II in Nocturnus! Before I say any more let me issue a round of apologies to you guys for the longer-than-expected delay in this installment, and another round to my co-conspirators in this ongoing collaborative project, ZCerberus and Torgar, for having their characters locked up in this story for so long. I thank them for their patience and all their help during the way! Ok, so this was my first attempt at a micro build. I admit the background could use a little work but I hope the effect comes across! One thing I wanted folks to note in this story line is the disparate conditions facing Anfauglir compared to Senurhem. While Senurhem enjoys safety in his large fortress, with strong forces to protect him and lavish feasts to feed him, Anfauglir and his men must stage their resistance from a beat-up wooden camp stuffed into the mountains, with only a handful of soldiers and few supplies. I thought these differences would help highlight the uphill battle the resistance has ahead of itself, and add to the tension by forcing Anfauglir to fight a shadowy, guerilla-type campaign against Raavage and Senurhem. In any case, thanks for taking a peek and, as always, any feedback is welcome! Other installments of this story: The Hand Book II: Summit at Lagash Ur The Hand Book II: Summit at Lagash Ur Part II The Hand Book II: Escape from Lagash Ur The Hand Book II: Anfauglir's Camp The Hand Book II: A Gathering Storm For a refresher on the events leading up to these series of builds, please start here!
  3. Duke Blastus

    Pinned Topic Proposal

    Just a thought, a pinned topic for Hand of Corruption MOCs would be a sweet idea. It'd be a great place to expand on the lore of the Hand and to catalogue their forces. Anyone else behind this idea?
  4. Here's a free build for Avalonia. This is the first time I built with fleshies, so let me know how I did. I was surprised at how neat the figs looked with fleshies. I also would like to claim the Lord High Executioner title with this. The Officer interrogates a prisoner. The guard watches in case the prisoner gets any ideas. The Executioner is ready to chop! C&C are always welcomed!
  5. The peaceful town of Groenby in southern Avalonia has been invaded by the Hand of Corruption, and even Victor Revolword himself is there to perform some dark rituals with his acolytes, involving the sacrifice of innocent villagers. The sturdy pallisade was no match for a well-aimed fireball from Victor. This is the town ruled by Sir Derrik of Groenby, who himself managed to survive the destruction with some of his men and join forces with his old friend Sir Gideon to continue the fight against Revolword. Right now they are going towards Queenscross, hoping to aid in the coming battle there. A peaceful town, but something is definitely wrong... A sinister gathering in front of a burnt-out house Victor is leading some kind of ritual, his staff glowing golden Meanwhile, Hand of Corruption forces are seeking out survivors I adapted this MOC a bit to fit in the GoH world, and since it is showing what has happened to the home of one of my side characters I am posting it as a Kaliphlin freebuild, even though the setting is in Avalonia.
  6. After returning to the Citadel of the Moon with the body of Aran-Salath, Kha and Saladus have nothing left. Saladus dons the Black and becomes "The Black Wind", and tradition of the Aridesti Elves when a loved one meets a foul end. His sole purpose now is to find vengeance for his lost wife. After finding the hideout of The Hand at the Kaliphlin/Nocturnus border, Kha tries to keep up with Saladus as he sweeps over the river to find his sweet vengeance. "The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. "-V Now, on to find Victor.... Obviously, this was heavily inspired by DC's Twilight of the Gods. Hopefully, it has enough of its own to stand out in its own right.