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The following events take place at Shadowmere's north gate: DSC00395 by J H, on Flickr The summer months have made the swamp surrounding Shadowmere florish. Lots of plantlife, and other life that eats alive things... The road to shadowmere's north gate has been a safe route for years, and many travelers and the local populace make use of it. DSC00398 by J H, on Flickr The guard troll is standing outside the gate, watching over the people that come and go... Some lumberjacks are going out to cut some firewood in the swamp, while hunters return... DSC00402 by J H, on Flickr And other hunters hunt for the local fauna in the city's moat... DSC00406 by J H, on Flickr A tradesman is bringing in a supply of fine wine and ales from Avalonia... DSC00403 by J H, on Flickr While one of his customers allready has been hitting the bottle quite hard this morning... DSC00407 by J H, on Flickr The streets are busy and lively, though some travelers are a bit startled by the local quisine... Or is it because of the large teeth of the kazzar walking in front of him? DSC00408 by J H, on Flickr The kids in the street are playing knights, with sticks as swords.... DSC00412 by J H, on Flickr When they become older, they might buy a real sword from the local arms dealer... DSC00422 by J H, on Flickr Suddenly, a person is entering shadowmere in quite a haste... The guard troll does not like, but before he can say anything, the figure has past the gate. It is a messenger, with a letter.. Shortly there after, in the living quarters of shadowmere's main castle.... DSC00424 by J H, on Flickr While his stay at shadowmere is pleasant, Lord Mortis likes to relax in his quarters, reading alot of old lore and maps from the shadowmere library. His study of an old map is suddenly interupted by a knock on the door. Lord Mortis: "Enter" DSC00427 by J H, on Flickr The guard in the hallway enters the room.. Guard: M'lord, there is a messenger here to see you. Lord Mortis: Very well, send him in, will you? Guard: Yes M'lord! DSC00430 by J H, on Flickr The messenger enters the room.. Messenger: Lord Mortis, i bring word from Lady Sonja. She sent me in advance to inform you that she and the army will arrive in shadowmere within two days. Also she has given me this letter to give to you. Lord Mortis: Excellent, i was expecting the army to arrive sooner, but Sonja will probably have a good reason for that. DSC00433 by J H, on Flickr The messenger hands over the letter to Lord Mortis... Lord Mortis: Good man, you must be tired from bringing this message in such a hastely matter... Please ask the guard outside for the shadowmere quartermaster. Tell him you are one of my servants and that you require some quarters to rest. Messenger: Thank you M'lord! DSC00434 by J H, on Flickr While reading Sonja's letter, the look on Lord Mortis his face is turning from grim to even more grim... Encountered Raavage's forces? Been skirmishing? Local populace is forced into service by Raavage's troops? Minimal losses? I must inform Vladivus! Lord Mortis: Guard! Please summon Lord Vladivus! I have some important matters to discuss with him! DSC00436 by J H, on Flickr After a while, Vladivus enters the room. Lord mortis is standing on the balcony watching over shadowmere, pondering about the contents of the letter Sonja has sent him.... DSC00437 by J H, on Flickr Lord Vladivus: Mortis, you have word from lady Sonja? Lord Mortis passes the letter from Sonja to Lord Vladivus... Lord Mortis: Yes, and the reason why her arrival was late, is very dire. She has been fighting her way to shadowmere. Raavage's troops are everywhere rounding up entire villages! The men are given a choice, join his army, or be killed, have their village burned and their women and children enslaved. From what Sonja is reporting, alot of villages have been hit along the route she took to shadowmere, imagine if this is happening all across of nocturnus, then Raavage must be assembeling a huge army! Lord Vladivus: If what she has written in that letter is correct, we might be facing a army the world has never seen... This sure is a problem... Lord Mortis: I agree, and for me the time to just sit idle has past. Maybe rash on my part, but i cannot stand sitting here doing nothing else but reading, though i must say you do have a exquisite library here in shadowmere.. But my army will arrive within two days, and it's time to shed some blood! Please understand my lust for action, i fear if we do not act against these recruitment methods of the enemy, we might be severely outnumbered. Lord Vladivus: Well friend, if you must ride to battle, then so be it. I'll summon the royal blacksmith to take your measurements... If you are going to battle, you will need a suit of armor! Lord Mortis: Why thank you, my dearest Vladivus! DSC00444 by J H, on Flickr After two days, a large mass of men is approaching the north gate. Clad in black and red, just like the shadowmere troops.. Only these troops carry the symbol of the bat... DSC00446 by J H, on Flickr The army was expecting some relief from fighting, only to hear at their arrival that they will be leaving Shadowmere shortly for another campain against the spire... And then, there's the moment to say goodbye... DSC00451 by J H, on Flickr DSC00452 by J H, on Flickr Lord Mortis: Lord Anfauglir, it has been a pleasure meeting you and a pleasure being in your company! I sure do hope we will meet again! Lord Anfauglir: Lord Mortis, i have seen many a vampire, but very few were as pleasant company like yourself. We will meet again, i'm sure of it! DSC00453 by J H, on Flickr Lord Vladivus: The blacksmith has outdone itsself! I might have him ask to make me a suit of armor like that one too! Lord Mortis: Hahaha! And risk that i will lead your troops? Lord Vladivus, thank you so much for everything, i am endepted to you for quite some time! Lord Vladivus: Nothing of that! If you feel that you are endebted to me, than make up for it killing Raavage's troops! Lord Mortis: Lust for blood is what vampire's are good at! DSC00454 by J H, on Flickr Lord Mortis: Would'nt you agree Lady Sithanna? Lady Sithanna: I am so sad to not join you... I know the fire that drives you all to well! But my place is next to Vladivus. Maybe we will meet at the battlefield, and fight alongside eachother. Lord Mortis: And i will be waiting for that day, to have such beauty fighting alongside in battle.... DSC00456 by J H, on Flickr Lord Vladivus: It seems Mortis can be quite the charmer it seems... But before you go, i have one final parting gift. Even though we are always short on mounts, i cannot let you leave on those few tired mounts your army came with. I have ordered the stablemaster to ready our fittest mounts for you, and have them armored with what we can spare. Lady Sonja, it has come to my understanding that you love to ride a white warg... Well it just so happens we had one in the stables, and its yours now. Lady Sonja: ... My lord... That's a kingly gift! Lord Vladivus: Well if you say so.... Sorry Lord Mortis, you get the black steed with gold armor, haha! Lord Mortis: A fine beast too, maybe she wants to trade her warg for this magnifiscent steed after a while! Lord Vladivus: Well, whatever you do, be safe and i hope we will meet again soon. The party says goodbye and the vampire army marches... DSC00457 by J H, on Flickr On top of the tower... DSC00459 by J H, on Flickr OOC: Hey there! I hope you have enjoyed this story and i must appoligise for being out of GoH for a short bit! I've missed out on the kaliphlin civil war totally! But i'm back and i finally opened up a flickr account! (some more pics there too!) I will be building more for the pride of Nocturnus! C&C Welcomed!
Disclaimer: The following installment is very picture intensive. ME suggested i'd resize and link the bigger pictures, but it's over 40 pics, and well... I don't feel like it after a long workday, probably going to mess up... Other parts of our collab: On the Road to Shadowmere By MassEditor Old Friends By Lord Vladivus The Resistance Forms By MassEditor After reading The Resistance forms, i think The Awakening - Part 1 fits better after The resistance forms, even though it has been posted earlier. The following is part 2 of the awakening. Enjoy! Prologue After lord Mortis rudely entered Sonja's dream and warned her about the coming storm, sonja interupted her slumber that lasted multiple centuries. The next part of this story takes place in: In the cemetery of harbringer's haven stands the dark statue of Danag. He was the first vampire in nocturnus to realise that with building enough blood fountains, the need to drink from the living would become obsolete. Vampires and non-vampire beings could live together, benefitting from eachother instead of hunting and hating eachother. Danag gained quite a fortune in his long lasting life, mostly from building blood fountains in all of nocturnus and was always eager to share his wealth with the less fortunate. His offspring still help the needy as a tradition, and therefore danag's statue is somewhat used as a shrine honoring his, and his family's munificence. But danag also had a darker side... The scythe the statue bears was danag's tool to uphold justice.. Besides wise, generous and social, danag was also known and feared for his cruelty towards criminals. Children are still told the stories of Danag the reaper, coming at the houses of little kids that are up to no good in the middle of the night... When danag died, his remaining kin ordered the construction of a crypt befitting his achievements in his undead life. The crypt was expanded several times, untill it almost became a necropolis underground. It was also the wish of Danag to offer shelter to those who became weary of living a life eternal. Up top we find a vampyr guard securing the entrance... Suddenly the guard hears something... Very faint, but he notices it is originating from the vents underneath the statue... Guard Owen: Sounds like knocking... And it looks to me like the sound is coming from downstairs... I'd better check it out. Downstairs we find another guard, more or less off duty and enjoying the mead that the locals place at the shrine of danag... Guard Owen: Soran, i am hearing sounds coming from downstairs.. We'd better check it out. Guard Soran: *Hick!* Not my problem, you're the one on duty aand it's probably just somebody having a nightmare. *Hick!* Guard Owen: You know, you would do wise to cut down on your drinking... Guard Soran: Pff, i don't drink on duty and what i do in my free time is none of your buisness! *Hick!* Guard Owen realises he's not going to get any help from his fellow guard, so he ventures inside the crypt alone. Guard Owen: That good for nothing deat beat.... Guard Soran: I've heard that! Guard Owen: All quiet here... Must be one of the vampires deeper inside the crypt... As soon as Owen walks around the corner, he sees the lid of one of the coffins laying next to it. While opening the gate, Sonja pops up from her coffin, still in a very foul mood... (the reason why can be found in the previous part of this story) Sonja: You bloody *******! What in nocturnus name took you so long?! Guard Owen: Mi... Milady.. I was guarding outside.. I could only hear you very faint.. Before the guard can explain more, he is rudely cut off by Sonja.. Sonja: Then where is the other guard?! No matter, wake up the crypt! Light the torches! Start the fountain and make sure the vampyr guard is sent to the armory first, then everybody else! And while you're at it, get us some drinks from the fountain! Guard Owen: Yes Milady! Right away Milady! Owen rushes towards his colleage to tell him the news and thinking about the deep trouble they will be both in if sonja discovers that both guards have relaxed their working hours... They were both supposed to guard full time.. Sonja reaches for the pillow in her coffin, and finds the ring that Lord Mortis promised her would be there... Sonja: Well, well, well.. Looks like the old man was right! Time to wake up Darius and Quintella.. Meanwhile, guard Owen neared the guard room, and calls out to Soran. Guard Owen: Soran! Come here! Guard Soran: What is it now? Did you get scared by a little spider? Guard Owen: Put a sock in it, i've just got the order to awake the crypt and mobilise everybody, including you. The grin on Soran's face quickly faded, just as the tone of his skin. The cup he held was still half full, but he quickly threw it inside the lava pool underneath, causing a short puff of steam. Guard Soran: Oh no! I've been drinking... If they find out about our deal we are both toast! Guard Owen: Be cool, get rid of those cups and bottles, tidy up the place quick and light the torches. Just pray the oil and smoke will hide the smell on your breath a bit. I'll go and start the fountain, and get the remaining vampyr guard awake and geared up. In the meanwhile, make yourself rare. Owen runs back into the crypt to start up the fountain.. After pulling a lever, blood is starting to flow from the cup that the fountain's figure is holding.. After a while, there's a thump... and another.. Large stone covers are dropping out of the walls, and vampires emerge... Lured by the smell of fresh blood, more and more vampires are rising from their resting places... And feasting on this endless supply of blood, their first drink in centuries.. After the vampires had a drink, the vampyr guard is directing everybody to the armory to suit up.. It does not take long for the main hall in the crypt is starting to fill with armed vampires, not knowing why they are mobilised, rumors start to hum among the men.. Finally, Sonja appears on the balcony dressed in her battle armor... Sonja: Men, ladies.. You are probably wondering why your slumber has been disturbed and why you are now in battle dress... A storm is coming, and the time to just sit idle has passed! Lord Mortis came to me in my dreams, warning us of the danger that is called the black spire. He is now in shadowmere, forging an alliance with other forces and requested me to bring our covenant to that city. The men grow silent for a moment, then the rumoring starts again between the men.. why fight? we were sleeping peacefully... no need to go to war... Sonja: Men, i understand your feelings and i for one would have preferred we just rest forever more. But we as a group of vampires are posing a threat to the black spire, just because of our numbers and will either be taken out, or subjected. We have a choice now to be defiant, or to be slaves... What say you? Suddenly, a death knight approaches the balcony... His face shows age, and alot of battle scars.. He carries a large sword, weighed down with a gold bar.. Death Knight: We will definatly not be slaves, but if this is so important then why is Mortis not here himself to tell us this? Why should i take the story of a turned vampire girl for truth? If i recall correctly, you have no authority to lead these men, nor the authority to give orders either. If lord Mortis is not around here to lead us, someone second in command should be chosen. Sonja, still in a foul mood, is enraged by the words of this death knight... Sonja: You insolent swine! I should have you killed on the spot where you stand right now! Look at this ring, and look well before you say anything else! This is the ring of Danag, and it was granted to me by lord Mortis! That makes me second in command! Now bow, or prepare to die! Necromancer Quintella: Oh please stop this! There's no need for bloodshed among our own, if we are divided now, all is lost allready. Sonja speaks the truth, lord Mortis has also spoken to me in my dreams on this matter and she is now second in command. The decision was allready made before we went to rest in this crypt! Darius: Please listen to Quintella, she is wise and allknowing. Whatever lord Mortis had decided in the past, we should stick with it and be united as one! Sonja has moved down from the balcony, and gently moves Darius to the side.. Sonja: Well here it is, death knight... Either accept my leadership, or be cast out. Death Knight: Milady, i am loyal to the vampire covenant, lord Mortis and the bearer of Danag's ring. My undead life is yours to command. Death to the black spire! The death knight kneels before Sonja... Sonja: Rise, death knight! Your pride and defiance is admirable. I am honored to have you among the troops. Fight well, and i'll see to it your exploits will be rewarded. Guard! Send out a few men to the local village, and find some mounts to buy. Three minimum, but more would be best. Also buy some food, some of us might be hungry for more than just blood. And so, when the last light of the day fades, a small group of able men is running to the village of Harbringer's haven to aquire some mounts. Later that night, the necromancer is walking trough the cemetery... Quintella: Thank you for escorting this old lady, but there's really no need. The dead can't do much to me, but i can do alot to them.. The spell i'm about to perform is dangerous to the living, so you two better stand back a bit. Don't be afraid of what comes out of the ground, they are mine to control... The two guards stand down, and watch the necromancer walking further into the cemetery, the red gem on her staff is turning green with an ominous glow... Chanting incantations better not heard by the living, Quintella raises her staff, and taps it on the ground firmly. A loud thump is heard, not able to produce with a staff that size, and a green light is waving outwards on the ground... As the necromancer is walking away, a light rumble can be heard... Hands are starting to emerge out of the graves... Lured by the spell, the formerly dead start to walk towards the crypt... The following morning, we find Sonja at the shrine of Danag paying her respects and praying... Sonja: Danag, my lord.. Please keep us safe in the times that come. I have little to offer but my life, i would gladly give in return so that the others are safe. Please be with us. As Sonja is praying, the group that left last evening returns... Sonja: Ah, excellent! You found a warg! It's a shame it's not a white one, but it will do for now. Only three mounts? Swordsman: We are so terribly sorry milady! We have asked around all of harbringer's haven all evening and the early morning for mounts, but the people did not have many. These were the only ones we could find, and as soon as they saw the axeman's shield they would not take money for them either! They said we were children of Danag, and gave us their mounts. Sonja: They gave you these mounts? Danag be praised! Once we find other mounts to buy, see to it that these mounts are returned to their rightfull owners. It is the right thing to do. Order the men to assemble up top, we are leaving within the hour! Swordsman: Yes milady! And so, the vampire covenant starts to march towards Shadowmere... Darius: What a magnificent sight! Quintella: Indeed, but also saddening. Some of these fine men will not return. I hope the zombie troops will take the worst casualties, but the future is still unclear. Sonja: Let's hope we'll do good. For now, the path goes to shadowmere and not war... Yet. Additional pics: Troops 01 Troops 02 Troops 03 Front view Side view Left Side view Right Hi there! I'm terribly sorry for the vast amount of pictures, but it is quite a large build with quite a story, so i had to use more pictures than i would have liked. This is my biggest build to date, and took me about two months, multiple PAB and bricklink orders to complete. The top level is removable in 3 sections for ease of photography inside the crypt, and maybe some have noticed the improved photography.. (a.k.a. new digital camera) There were so many other pictures i would have liked to post, but including the linked pics, its 46 pictures allready! I also wanted to put an ending incorporating punishment for the two guards in here, but that would have taken another two or three pictures, and with the massive amount of pictures, i think it would be better to leave the guards fate to the readers inmagination. I hope you enjoyed the build and story, C&C welcomed, and also take the time to visit LV's and ME's builds!