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  1. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Business Since the death of the last Aarinstahrr, the Black Lodge Trading Company had suffered. We operated out of the wastelands of Varlyrio, and as such needed a firm grip to keep the trade routes open. But even with my return, funds were simply insufficient. When this happens, options start to shrink. I was told that I needed to sell the company. I had no intention of doing so. Instead, I started a protection business. If we could morph the company from a mere shipping enterprise into the true muscle of the region, our power would only grow. And it was this that had me on the one road through the rocky narrows, a pathway through what had become barren country, unfit for travel, or residence. I needed to make clear why protection from the Company was necessary. Three travelers, unwary of a road they should have been wary of, proved an opportune beginning. They looked shocked when my lancers surrounded them. "What is the meaning of this?" The Goblin looked furious. "You carry much, travelers. But you carry it with little protection." The human girl, from Kaliphlin by the look of it, appeared stricken. She looked back at the lone soldier, carrying nothing more than a crossbow. It would do little against the spears and shields of my troops. "Do you have any idea how much I paid to have safe passage through these parts? Any idea, human?" "Your folly. But I'm not here for your money, goblin. My name is Orsen Waythe, and I take it you intend to see your goods to a city. I need you to carry a message with them. You see deep into the trees?" "I see bodies, strung up like cattle." "Marauders. They've ruled the wastelands for as long as I can remember. And I want you to tell everyone you meet that I and my men killed them, and are willing to offer safe passage to anyone and anything through these lands....for much less than the marauders demand. For far too long, the Marauders have been a thorn in the side of the Black Lodge Trading Company and the good citizens of Varlyrio. No longer." "That's it?" The goblin looked shocked. "Tell them you just butchered the biggest bullies in the business?" "Oh, it's my business now, Goblin. Make sure they know the mark of the Dragon means death to any Marauder who interferes with my shipping routes again. And let the people know they need not fear these masked terrorists any longer." "So be it, Orsen Waythe. I will take your message."
  2. SwissBrick

    Serious Play - What's this

    Dear Fellow AFOLs, did you hear about this before? Serious Play... OK but expensive... Serious play by SwissBrick, on Flickr Any thoughts?
  3. During the move we've had a lot of opportunity to move things around, think about additions to the city, and of course update older buildings. Years ago we asked the great folks over at Brick City Depot to put together a strip mall for our layout. Originally located opposite our row of modulars the strip mall has floated around the layout a few different times. Most recently we broke it up a bit and the five original buildings (and one new one soon to be posted) are now flanking the soon to be built Main Street Plaza Hotel. The flagship store of the mall used to be a clothing store. Having several others in the city we decided to rebrand and repurpose the store into a photo studio and SAS Photo Studios was born. Below are a few photos of the build - hope you enjoy. As usual, you can see more here and here.
  4. This MOC is built for a building contest of Hong Kong. Every minifig is scared of being glued. They need to escape from the attack of Kragle! Help!!! How come you are so calm, Lucy? Unikitty is also under attack! Thanks for watching this!
  5. I wonder if Lego fans have noticed that Lego seems to have changed its business model/strategy? After watching the major retailers in US were asked to sell "hard to find" sets at high prices as the official price for a few months (no discount policy:, I haven't been able to get some large sets like 10240 star wars x-wings at a discounted price as how I used to buy 10188 death star and 10221 super star destroyer at 20% off from Amazon. And Thanksgiving 2013, Lego (US) offered 3x VIP points to only VIP members, and it was only ONE DAY! On the contrary, last year 2012, everyone got almost a week to shop at the store or online at 10% off prices of everything. To me, as a fan, I just feel like Lego is now focusing more on making money rather than "fan-friendly" business model (maybe they were never "fan-friendly" but I felt like that). I don't know if they just want to squeeze fans like me to get more profits or just want to suppress the second market (I don't even know if it makes sense). Or may I was just too spoiled by Lego before...???!!!??? Now, I start seeing the majoy retailers like Target, Walmart promote the large sets with bundle of gift cards e.g. 10188 death star + $50 target gift card. This perhaps is the first move of retailers to react to Lego's no discount policy, the next step I guess is either to keep offering gift card bundle, or just simply to stop selling the large sets. I just want to open the discussion and see how other fans feel about this and perhaps shed some light on how/when Lego fans should buy our toys!!! Merry Christmas! llenroccc