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The Undoing of Shriza the Spider Legends tell of many monsters in the depths of the Wither Woods and it is unwise to stray off the path. But when such horrors grow bold enough, or desperate enough, to leave their shadows and venture among civilized dwellings they may not be ignored. Such events led Aarash and the Batuhanian Guard deep into the forest to kill the terror which had plagued the farmsteads to the north. It was only a matter of time when it wouldn’t be a goat or calf that was taken, but a child. Rumors described an eight-legged menace, a shadow that hunted silently in the dark hours of the night. Aarash clung to those rumors as he traversed the ever-darkening woods. Soon webs, the size of a man, could be seen amongst the trees. Torn and ragged they looked, but menacing. As the ground declined beneath their steps the forest became quiet. Only feet treading through the undergrowth made any sound. That is when snap was heard; not of twig, but of a branch up ahead. Shriza Approaches “Shriza, the Spider!” one soldier cried, pointing directly ahead. They had found themselves at the end a slight ravine, with a monster of a spider ahead. “Hold!” Aarash cried out as Shriza approached, and then “Attack!". Attack! Archers Thankfully, Aarash’s archers were flanking on the right and they had many spears at their disposal. But it would not be enough. Her hide was tough and she was nimble. Our blows were either deflected or missed entirely. Just when the situation was looking grim, A group of centaurs rode in from the west. Centaurs Their arrows shot true and pierced the vulnerable parts of the spider menace. Once on the ground, the stabbing spears finished the job. Aarash turned to thank the centaurs, but they had already fled back into the forest. Despite the darkness of the forest, the return journey was merry knowing their people could sleep soundly tonight. My entry into the Medieval Monster Menace category of the 2020 Colossal Castle Contest (CCC XVIII).
A Lumbering Process Loggers, Sawmiller and Shieldsmiths In this MOC, a trio of scenes showcases the process of transforming trees into shields in medieval times. These workers are from the town of Batuhan, in northern Kaliphlin. Loggers The first vignette shows loggers at work. Two are using their axes to chop down a linden tree. Linden wood (or basswood) is light and easy to work with making it a great for shieldsmithing. A third man guides a horse pull along a felled tree. Sawmiller Logged trees make their way to the sawmill shown in the second scene. The water wheel powers the saw blades reducing the amount of manual effort needed to create lumber from logs. A sawmiller pushed the tree through the machine. At the other end, lumber falls into a cart (not shown) to be taken to the lumberyard or carpenters. Shieldsmiths Shieldsmiths take the linden lumber planks and cut them to the right shape and then plane them. The carpenter (center) uses a cabinet scraper to further smooth the wood surface. The blacksmith (right) hammers out an iron band to reinforce the shield. A painter (left) applies heraldry to a fully constructed shield.
As I marched north of Qarkyr, Rhalyf wrote after the ordeal was over, the wind obstructed my path. The beginnings of a sand storm hit with no warning. Before I could find shelter, the road was obstructed from me. Within a matter of minutes, I was off my path and into the Parched Lands, Rhalyf continued. Just as unexpectedly as it started, the storm subsided, leaving me bewildered but well. I made my way north, intending on finding the road without delay, but the hills and the sand guided me ever so westward. I was obliged to this direction. I soon saw I was not ambling aimlessly, but rather a stone dais lay before me. I knew avoiding this henge in the desert would be in vain, so I approached it, prepared as one can, for what might be. “Lay down your staff!” a voice said from the stone platform as I ascended. I sized up the sorcerer I saw before me. So, this was the reason for my divergent course. I kept quiet, waiting my time. “I will not ask again, Rhalyf,” the wizard said. Still, I watched. Unconcerned he knew me, though I not him. Without additional warning, he cast a binding spell. I met the spell and withstood it, but still he persisted. “Cease your assault!” I commanded. My words went unheeded. As I gathered my strength to throw off this spell, the very stone beneath us tremored and glowed, the same evil as this sorcerer’s spell. “Enough!” I cried as I pressed back. I heard a crack and saw the dark figure fall. At the same time, the sand storm returned enveloping the stone henge, soon blocking everything from sight. When the storm subsided again, I was alone in the desert again. No trace of the stone platform or the sorcerer. This is my “Wizards Duel” entry into the Colossal Castle Contest 2020 (CCC XVIII) as well as LOLUG’s December competition. The challenge prompt did not provide a setting, leaving it wide open. The first concrete idea I had was a magical henge. Lighting seemed like the best way to convey a sense of magic to the environment and I went with trans-neon green. I am happy with the way the pillars came out, but was hoping the lighting in the floor would have been brighter and more uniform. The round edge of the stone platform uses the standard 1x3 brick and 1x1 round brick technique. The center/floor is made up of various slope pieces, tiles and plates, many not connected, but just laying there. For the sand, I borrowed Blake Foster’s technique from his amazing M:Tron Magnet Factory. Comments and criticism welcome. I'm submitting this for Petraea University's General Building (Other Techniques) -> Lighted Builds Website | Flickr | YouTube
Gingerbread Man Once upon a time, a grandmother was baking for Christmas. With the leftover dough, she made the shape of a gingerbread man. She placed chocolate for the eyes and a bit of licorice for the mustache. She placed the gingerbread man into the oven and went about her work. When she returned to the oven, she opened the door and to her surprise, the gingerbread man leapt off the pan and ran to the door shouting, “Run, Run! As fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!" Gingerbread Man This MOC is my entry into the Fairy Tale Category of the 2020 Colossal Castle Contest (CCC XVIII). The gingerbread man is at the normal minifigure scale, while the grandmother and oven are at miniland scale. I used a red light brick for the glow of the fire in the oven. Website | Flickr | YouTube