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  1. Historica United A story illustrated by builds, for Category C of Challenge V of Book II. Like most of the Category C entries, this is a picture- and story-heavy post, so it may take some time to get through. I hope it will be worth your while. Part I: In the Halls of Hesperia The story of the beginning of the end has been told elsewhere, in the tales of the build-bards of old, of intrigue, murder, magical items, quests, and alliances. Thus this is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the end of the end, if you follow. And the beginning of the end of the end begins in one of the furthest corners of Historica, in the far west of Avalonia, in one of the last remaining pockets of High Elves in the known world, the Kingdom of Hesperia. High Elves seldom get involved with the affairs of men, yet in times of the greatest peril they will venture forth with their glittering array of armor and gilded weapons. This is one of those times, with the threat of Raavage and his magically-unleashed threats of doom for all the living, and yet it is not so simple for the King of Hesperia, Fingolë the Golden. In his halls in his summer palace, at Istolia, he met with his trusted advisers, his two eldest children, Falaria and Fingalad. Suddenly, ignoring his guards, his youngest daughter, Galaria, and several others burst in. "Father," cried Galaria. "You must listen to me!" "And why should he listen to a child as rude as you?" retorted Falaria, speaking in place of her father, who sat on the throne glowering at his impetuous, almost wood-elf daughter. "Surely you have heard the message that Celdrian has brought?" said Galaria, gesturing to the blue-clad Eagle-Rider beside her. "Of course I have," spoke the king. "But neither he nor you were invited to this meeting, were you? And is that a human in my presence?" "Yes, Father, it is. This is Henjin Quilones, a knight of the Druidi Order, whom I found while on patrol in the forest. You also saw the fireball flying through the sky, did you not? That was his arrival, and the sign that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. The true king of all Historica returns!" "Bah!" exclaimed the king. "A druid he may be, or perhaps not. I have no use for humans, nor dwarves, nor even lowly wood-elves. Begone from my presence! And think well before coming before me again uninvited, Galaria, my daughter." "May we have permission to search the library of the palace here, Father?" Galaria asked before leaving. "Search all you want, just do not disturb my councils again!" shouted Fingolë. __________________ "A charming fellow, your father," said Henjin when they were safely in the library. "Indeed," agreed Galaria. "I would like to say that he takes some getting used to, but even after four hundred years I am still not used to his arrogance and pride. He is obsessed with the proper place of the High Elves, and as the years go by he thinks less and less about what is good and true and beautiful in the universe, still less about the fate of Historica." "Are you sure this is the proper section of the library, Galaria?" asked Henjin. "These stacks are palatial; I have never seen such books and scrolls in my life." "Well, whatever else can be said of my father, he takes it very seriously to have a record of every book, parchment, decree, spell, recipe, or anything else ever written in the four lands, and beyond, in his libraries. There are plenty of maps here, but which is the correct one?" "We need something referring to a helm, the Necromancer's Helm," chimed in Celdrian, the messenger, who had joined them in their search. "I thought there was just a battle over helms a few years back," said Yavenna, Galaria's most-trusted elf-scout. "That was the Elemental Helm, this is the Necromancer's Helm," corrected Galaria. "Very different, though both helms." A shout came from the balcony level and the others saw Henjin waving a tattered scrap of parchment over the railing. "I have found it! This scrap tells of the location of the Necromancer's Helm!" "Quickly, then, let us compare it to the maps and mark the place where the Helm may be found," said Galaria. "Then what?" asked Yavenna. "What do we do when we know where the Helm is?" The group fell silent. They had not thought that far ahead. Henjin joined them below and they stood around the table in the library, pondering. "We need some way of neutralizing the magic of the Helm, I think; something to control the arcane flows that radiate out from a magical artefact like that." Celdrian looked up at the druid in surprise. "Did you say 'arcane flows'?" This time it was Henjin's turn to look surprised. "Yes, I did. Why?" Celdrian smiled. "I know just the people who specialize in the regulation of arcane matters, on a very practical and technical level. Make a copy of the map and everything we know about the Helm, and I will bring it to Zotharith and Onicimus; they will know what to do." "We also need to have the armies of the various guilds ready to fight, in a unified front against our different, and yet united, enemies," said Galaria. "I will bring letters to leading men in the guilds, telling them where to bring their troops and when, while I am on my way to deliver the map to Zotharith," said Celdrian. "Aeriglaaac flies faster than the wind, so we can have it done in no time." "When you are done, return here and collect us," added Galaria. "We still need to make sure the True King can retake his throne." Part II: Heroes Assemble And so Celdrian mounted on Aeriglaaac the Great Eagle and visited the four guilds, bringing messages to leaders far and wide. As he flew eastward over the forests and plains of Avalonia, he stopped in Eolas first, to deliver the message to the Maestro: Soon he met deGothia in the halls of Sionnach: Then he flew north across the mountains of Mitgardia and visited Fin of Terydian on the edges of the tundra: Sir Glorfindel was next, near the gates of Nordheim: Then the mighty eagle flew on the back of the North Wind, faster than the currents of aether, and was soon in the lands of the south, in the Guild of Kaliphlin, where he stopped in Barqa to meet the half-elf Lord Gideon: Katoren was next, with the Lord Aymeri greeting him by the gate: Finally he flew further east to Nocturnus, and visited Lord Vladivus at Shadowmere: A stop in the lowlands near the Reach allowed him to visit Gal-Turok, Leader of the Goblin Clans: After many miles, though only a few hours aloft, Celdrian and Aeriglaaac circled down over Zotharith. Part III: Zotharith Council Meeting In Zotharith, a council meeting was underway, with Exetrius standing in for his father, Onicimus, who was busy tinkering with his gadgets far beneath the city. That such an inexperienced and low-ranking member of the Order should be leading a meeting rankled some in attendance, but all held their tongues out of respect for their leader's wishes. Exetrius called them to order. "If we could find the Helm, my father thinks that we have both the manpower and the technical knowledge to disable the Helm and its magics," the white-haired mage said. "But what of Raavage?" said one of the others in attendance, General Zeruko Urima. "My armies are well-trained and well-equipped, but I am not sure they are ready to face the dreadful power that is Lord Raavage." "Even Raavage cannot defeat an entire army of warrior-mages, General," replied Exetrius. "We will bring a combination of your warriors and some of our best mages, so that we shall not fail. We will also be provided with several of the arcane-regulation devices that link up to the core that my father has been building, which should, if the calculations are correct, neutralize the artefact entirely. If only we knew where it was!" At that moment, Celdrian knocked at the door and entered. "I think I can help you there, young Exetrius," said the elf-messenger. "My friends have pored over the extensive libraries of Hesperia and discovered the location of the Helm you seek. They have included instructions in that letter, and marked the place here on the map in red." "Thank you, Celdrian, and may the wind be ever under Aeriglaaac's wings." "May your mana never run short," said the elf as he bowed out. "We start tonight!" cried Exetrius after the elf had left. "We cannot afford to waste even one day in this quest, since Raavage has already had several days' head start. Let us go!" Part IV: The Great Battle of Historica While the Zotharians were travelling to the location deep beneath the Rakath Mountains that held the Necromancer's Helm, the armies of Historica were on the march, too. From every guild, from every race and people, the armies came forth. The enemies of the guilds also marched forth, drawn by the reports of spies that the guilds were gathering. And so the battles were fought between the armies of the four guilds and their deepest enemies, enemies united behind the banner of the Black Spire. The Battle of the Moruth Highlands In Nocturnus, Gal-Turok led his goblin armies in the charge in the Battle of the Moruth Highlands, joined by the armies of Anfauglir, Lord Vladivus, Anzar the Dragon Master, and Lord Jorrith, among others. The press of black horses against the charging Uruks of the Hand of Corruption carried the day, despite the chanting of witches giving the Uruks strength. The charge was glorious and valiant, and the army of the Resistance won the battle, scattering the remaining Uruks in every direction, to be picked off one by one. The Battle of the Shifting Oasis In Kaliphlin, it was the Barqan fire that won the day, burning through the armor and flesh of the High Council troops who had joined with the Spire. Not all had, and many within Kaliphlin chose not to fight at all, as the scars of the civil war were still too fresh; but those patriots who desired peace and the return of the True King to Cedrica bared their blades and fought with those who wished for dissension. In the shifting sand dunes outside of the famed Shifting Oasis, the two armies met, and the High Council soldiers, and the occasional orc, were routed. Led by soldiers of the Desert King, Barqa, Katoren, and Khadira, the armies loyal to the cause of the True King rode off victorious. The Battle of Crystal Tarn In Mitgardia, the Algus were stopped once and for all at the Battle of Crystal Tarn, when the Mitgardian men, led by Sir Glorfindel, Lord Fin, Sir Gunman, and Davok Shieldbasher, among other great northern heroes, and an army of dwarves met the onrush of the mysterious ice-people. Despite the blasts of cold and ice launched by the sorceresses of the Algus, the Mitgardians stood strong with their dragon-forged steel and destroyed their enemies. The Battle of Green Leaf Pass In Avalonia, the Drow armies were annihilated at the Battle of Green Leaf Pass, with not a twisted dark elf left alive. The Flight of Dragons, led by Lords de Gothia and Alric Drondil, together with the Maestro and Brandon Stark, some elves, forest men, and one strange half-elf, charged up the pass and broke through the Drow lines, and Laesonar did the rest with a few well-placed leaps and swings of his katanas. The back of the Drow army was broken, and it would be years before they could muster another army and pose a threat to anyone. All of the free peoples of Historica were participants in the Great Battle for Historica, fought on many different fields but all joined together in one spirit. Part V: The Chamber of the Necromancer Meanwhile, beneath the Rakath Mountains, Lord Raavage finally reached the crypt that held the Necromancers helm. The only problem was that instead of one helm, there were eight. "Which one is the Helm I seek?" Raavage muttered. "Which one is it?" He reached out to first one, then another. Each felt distinctly magical, but he could not tell which was which. Behind him he heard a noise, which caused him to turn around to see who had made it past his guards. It was those infernal Zotharians, the mages who refused to join him despite his many threats. No matter. They would be dealt with once he had the Helm. "Raavage!" the white-haired one in the front shouted at him across the chamber. "Step away from the Helms and we will not hurt you." "Ha!" snorted Raavage. "Hurt me? You? A half-grown, 39th-ranked mage? Did Zotharith have no one better to send? Did Daddy not want to come himself, so he sends his little runt in his place?" "I am not alone, Raavage, as you can see. I have behind me some much more powerful mages than I, and what is more, I have the knowledge of which Helm you seek, which, from the looks of it, you lack." Raavage growled. "How can you be so sure, Little Mage? Did Daddy tell you?" "No, an Avalonian druid and elf princess did, after studying the lore available in their library. It is really quite amazing what you can learn if you read, I hear. Not that you would ever bother with such mundane matters yourself, I am sure, being a big, tough beast like you are." "Grr! Which helm is it, Zotharian?" "The helm you seek will call out to you, if you listen. But be warned, Raavage, the lore says that if you choose the wrong Helm, it will destroy you utterly." "Are all of these fake, then?" growled Raavage. "Except the one real one?" "No, they are Helms of different powers, but they are not powers for the likes of you and me to tamper with." Raavage turned his back on Exetrius and felt along the alcoves with his magical intuition, seeking the call that the Zotharian had said he would feel. He was not sure why he felt that the mage was trustworthy, at least in this matter, since he seldom trusted anyone for anything, but he did. At last, feeling over the second-to-last helm, he felt a small tug. Nothing much, nothing he would have noticed if he were not on high alert, but it was there. He lifted down the helm and began to laugh. "The power is mine! After I don the Helm, I shall slay all of you and raise you back up, and you shall be my undead slaves!" He put on the helm, still laughing. But his laughter soon turned to a scream, as the powers of the helm he had donned began to age him and rip apart the fiber of his being. His fur turned grey, and then white, and then all his flesh wasted away until he had nothing but a skeleton remaining. The body of Lord Raavage fell to the ground, lifeless, his soul sucked from him by the Helm he had chosen. Even the bones vanished, leaving nothing but the Helm and the armor of the once-mighty lord. Exetrius and two of his companions came forward, carrying arcane devices. "It worked, just like you said it would," one said. "All we had to do was use the device you are holding to alter the flow from that helm just enough to make him choose it," Exetrius said. "It was rather simple after all." "What does the other device do?" said the other. "That will close up this cavern and lock it into another dimension, inaccessible to Historicans again. Let's get out of here and activate the device. Raavage is defeated." Part VI: The Throneroom of Cedrica "Are you sure the King is in here?" asked Henjin as they stood outside the door. It had been recently repaired, it seemed, and the mortar was barely set around the new hinges. There had been no king in these halls for years, and some work had been necessary to get things back in order. "Yes," said Celdrian. "The King is in here, as everyone has told us." "Very well, let us enter." To Henjin's surprise, however, it was not a King who sat upon the golden throne, but a Queen. A young, very beautiful queen. "Welcome, my friends," the Queen said in a gentle, mellifluous voice. She stood up and came forward to greet them, and they bowed before her. Henjin proffered his sword to her, and she accepted it kindly. "Your sword, Knight Henjin Quilones, of the Druidi Order, I accept and return to you. Bear it well, for me, Ylspeth, your queen, and may you always fight for the cause of truth, justice, and right." "I shall, my queen, Your Highness." "You have done me great favor by bearing tidings to my people, allowing our armies to overcome on the field of battle, and our mages to overcome in the realm of the arcane," continued the Queen. "I shall bestow upon you whatsoever you wish to show my gratitude." "I wish nothing, my Liege, save to be counted among those loyal to you," said Henjin. "That, and I would like to know how you came to be on the throne, alive, when all the rest of your family is dead." Queen Ylspeth laughed, and it sounded like clear water flowing over rocks, like the the honeyed song of birds. "I shall tell you, then, Druid Henjin, but not here. I am parched, and the wine here has been awful without the proper government in place. Do you know the Grand Griffon Tavern? The proprietor, Master Gabbold, is an old friend of mine, and he keeps all the best in his cellars. Let us go thither and talk over some drinks." "Do you mind if I bring a few friends?" asked Henjin. "Not at all! The more the merrier!" Part VII: At the Grand Griffon Tavern "When Henjin said a few friends, I assumed he meant a few friends," said Queen Ylspeth to Princess Galaria as they were pressed by the bodies of many sweaty warriors fresh from battle. "Well, he has made connection with many folk from the different parts of the kingdom, so getting to know them all will be helpful for you," said Galaria. "In fact, Your Highness, in this room are many of the most important figures in your kingdom, all eager to hear your tale." A voice somewhere in the room shouted, "Three cheers for Queen Ylspeth!" A loud cheer erupted from many voices. Then the room grew silent. "Thank you all for joining us here. Master Gabbold will be happy to serve you whatever beverage you like, and the tab is on me, so do not stint yourself. Aymeri, I see you drinking tea, you can get something stronger if you like. Lord Vlad, O-positive? Good. Many of you are wondering just how I came to be here. My father, the late king, was killed by Raavage soon after Revolword was deposed; the rescue party came too late. I, either by good fortune or bad, was away from Cedrica at the time; indeed, I was away from Historica at the time. I was aboard one of my father's ships, sailing from distant land to distant land, exploring the different islands, meeting new peoples. I hope that all of you have a chance to do so someday, as the world is so much larger than you think. It was my father who sent me, perhaps realizing the danger the kingdom was about to face, on my sixteenth birthday off to sea. One day, on an island far, far from here, away off west, I came across news of my father's murder. I wondered about the fate of my brother, fearing the worst, and the worst was confirmed at another stop. My mother, too, was cruelly butchered at the hands of Raavage. Knowing that I was not prepared to rule, and that to come back then would be suicide, I stayed at a western island, training with an order of warrior monks. They taught me their wisdom, gave me access to their library, and trained me in their manner of combat. When I was judged to be proficient, nay, a master of both wisdom and war, I came back. It seems I was just in time to inspire the last forces of good to make a stand, and to do so with success. My eternal thanks to you, my brave warriors, for all you have done. I am forever in your debt." When the queen had finished, those in attendance gave another loud cheer and called for another round. Lord Gideon, who had arrived late after grooming his horse, got his drink. And as the talk went on, Laesonar, who had never moved far from the queen, finally managed to strike up a conversation with her. "So, Queen Ylspeth, are you seeing anyone?" "Not currently, no," she replied. "But surely you will need heirs to the throne, right?" the half-elf persisted, putting out the vibe. "I suppose so, yes, but I have not yet met the right man." "You have met me, now," he said with a cheeky grin and a wink. "I am sure I shall have hordes of suitors lining up. Perhaps I shall hold a joust of some kind, or a contest, to winnow down the candidates?" The end. ________________________________ ................................................................ Wow, so if you read the whole thing, good for you, and thank you! I hope you appreciated it and enjoyed it. More pictures can be found on my Flickr page, especially of the battles. C&C is of course welcome. I tried my best, with the parts I had, to make as many sigfigs as I could, but I know that I missed many, many figs of some really excellent builders. Please take no offense at any omissions, as I assure you that no one was left out on purpose. I for one am glad this contest is over now, and I can go back to regular, leisurely building. And spending time with my family! If this wins, by the way, Queen Ylspeth can be made easily with either Rey's face (from Star Wars: TFA, for fleshies) or Wyldstyle's face (from The LEGO Movie, for yellows) with Barbara Gordon's hair from The LEGO Batman Movie. I tried to pick elements that are currently available from relatively cheap sets (the hair is found in a CMF, for example,and Rey's speeder was only $20US) that will continue to be available (with more SW and another TLM in the works) for a while, while still being distinctive.
  2. Ok, so here is my challenge entry: "Let me pass, let me pass, I have an important letter for Uridius Dratiphe!" Looking up from his work, Uridius saw a middle aged messenger, apparently from Valholl, detained by a few of his retainers. "Let him come," he said. "Sir," said the messenger, "I have this letter from Elon Chorian. He ordered me to deliver it with all speed." Uridius eyed him questioningly. Having cut open the seal, he read: Elon Chorian, to Uridius Dratiphe, Royal Architect and soldier of Mitgardia, April 5th Today I have received news of the taking of Cedrica by Victor. The time has come. We must act quickly to prevent his marching on Valholl. Bring any number of soldiers you can and meet me at Cedrica's lake on the Adeler River. We must take on Victor in his den. Sincerely yours, Elon Chorian Scribbling a short reply, Uridius quickly finished his work. Only a few days later, his entire contingent, swelled by his brother and his retainers as well, marched to the banks of the Adeler, eager to assist in recapturing Cedrica and dethroning Victor. The fate of Historica was in the balance. The night was pitch dark as the army encamped in front of Cedrica, whose impregnable towers stared down at them mockingly. With it's gigantic walls, under which flowed the waters of the Adeler, it seemed as though the city could hold out for years. As the morning dawned, other Mitgardian armies came into view, among which Steen Larsson's and Glorfindel's stood out conspicuously. That evening, the army commanders joined to decide what the next step should be. Uridius' brother, although usually pessimistic, was a cunning planner, and suggested a strategy that might work. And so for days the army labored, always in the strictest secrecy, digging a vast trench, designed to change the river's course and, if all went well, enter into Cedrica under the very noses of the guards! Finally the time came. The night was moonless, the army stood ready as the last barrier was cut, and the river, long pent up in its course into Cedrica began to empty as it flowed into the lake the army had dug. Under cover of darkness they marched quietly under the walls, taking the hand by surprise, as they flowed into Cedrica. Quickly taking a portion of the men, Uridius Dratiphe and his brother marched in silence to Victor's banquet hall, where he was known to be holding a feast with his most trusted commanders. Crash! Crash! And yet again, Crash! The sound of breaking glass filled the room as Victor and his accomplices sprang up in alarm. Through the windows and doors Uridius' soldiers came pouring in, quickly overwhelming Victor's few guards. Kaïn, who had been present at the banquet, engaged Uridius by throwing all kinds of food at him, but the Mitgardians did not slow down! Victor, seeing that the day was against him, raised his staff to call more troops, or perhaps an elemental - no one really knows, because before he could do more, a dark cloaked figure slid up, plunging a dagger into his back. Whether the assassin was one of Victor's guests or not has not been discovered, however, availing himself of the momentary confusion, Kaïn slipped out, and escaped the city. Nonetheless, Cedrica has been taken, and the threat of the hand of corruption was gone! Historica was free! If possible (could ZC or someone help me on this point) I would like to edit this topic tommorrow to add more pics and possibly change the story a little bit. However, if it is not possible,it does not matter to much. Anyways, I loved building for this challenge! More pics at my photostream: http://www.flickr.co...tos/robert4168/ C&C are welcome as always.
  3. Official Entry (OOC) (Story) Most important characters in this entry: Chapter I - The Fellowship of more than one thing Part 1 - Blades vs. Helmets Mpya Stedor Gatehouse Conference Room Note: this is situated before Lord Max Samu left in response to the call of MacLean LDM: It's been long enough since Revolword terrorises Historica. Our resources are getting empty. We need to get rid of him so our tradecaravans can safely arrive at the other mayor cities! Lord Max Samu, it's up to you to discuss with your men the plan! LMS: Thanks Dama, to the Black Ninja's and Ninja Assassins, as long as you are in this room, you are allowed to speak to the people inside this room. From the moment you walk outside the doors, the only people you speak to are me or your team mates! The ninja's: yes mylord!! LMS: Ok, the Black Ninja's are Team Helmet, the Ninja Assassins are Team Blade. You will do what you are trained for. To check if you understood this, Team Blade goes outside till I say you may re-enter! Team Blade: Yes Mylord! (they leave) LMS: Team Helmet, your task is to obtain that bloody helmet that can control the elementals. Your task is to bring it to Everlast, where it will be safe against other wannabe badboys. You are with 4 because you will have to work together in order to get in and to obtain it. Is there a question about that? Mr. Withaar: May we kill Victor if we have the chance? LMS: Nope, you may kill everyone on your way to the Helmet, but by killing Victor, you will draw to much attention. Without Helmet, Victor is as much valuable as a dead rat. Mr. Oranje: What about the tons of guards protecting the Helmet? LMS: That's my problem, not yours. Anymore questions? Team Helmet: No Mylord! LMS: Then leave and remember, the only ones you talk to are your partners! Team Helmet: Yes Mylord! Hail Mighty Kaliphlin! Hail Glorious Mpya Stedor! We Die for the I.A.M.S.! Well, the part of Team Blade is almost completely the same, so I won't do it too. Their task is simply to kill Victor Revolword. After the I.A.M.S.-members left, only LDM and LSM are in the room, their bodyguards outside. LDM: Why 4 in Team Blade? LMS: Because at least 2 of them will die. I don't trust one of our newest members, so I hope to get rid of him without having provoking trouble in the I.A.M.S. . If I am wrong, nobody will ever know. LDM: I see. Now it is up to us to do the most fun part. I am glad I finally can fight a good old fashioned battle again LMS: How many soldiers will you lead? LDM: 75 mounted knights, 70 dismounted Alleenridders, and then around 200 other soldiers. The 3 years of Winter started in Atlarka, so King Donkon will arrive in a few days with 30 norsemen to help us. The other 200 soldiers will stay in Mpya Stedor to defend this city and our neighbours. Sir Tomvaximus will takeover control again Probably some other Lords and sirs will join our army on our way to Cedrica LMS: You will do well my friend! I hope our paths cross eachother again very soon! Good luck Dama! LDM: me too, good luck Max! Part 2 : Embrace yourself: Winter is coming by boat! A few days later, almost hundred proud Atlarkian Warships and Tradegalleys set anchor in the Ghuba-ya Biashara. 2 of them sailed towards the Bay of Great Mpya Stedor. Once arrivde there, small rowboats left them, heading toward the inner city of the glorious city. At the same time a group of small Mpya Stedori Tradevessels headed to the Atlarkian fleet, full of provision, weapons, slaves, ... to sell to them. Once some of the small rowboats passed the 2 colossal Harbor Towers, a lot of citizens started cheering and yelling "Atlarka!". Not only because some of them have Atlarkian blood in them, but mostly because in these unsave times, every group of soldiers are welcome. And King Donkon II, he arrived with 30 brave berserkers. And their families as well. The reason? The next years will be Winter again in Atlarka. And winters, they are really cold there. Whole cities are covered in snow. So the only option is that what they already do for centuries: raiding. Only the youngsters between 16 and 25 stay in Atlarka. Once they made it through the Winter, they can call theirselves real men and from that moment on, they are allowed to participate in the raids. So a few weeks ago, hundreds of ships left the Guild of Atlarka, heading to every corner in the world. Plundering, raiding, raising, ... every small town or big city on their trip. But as King Donkon II is a close friend of Lord Damaximus, he offered his aid to Historica. Not only those berserkers, but also the promise to not raid any village in Historica (except maybe some of the isles in the west of Avalonia ) Together with his help, Lord Damaximus is hopefully one step closer to get rid of that idiot wizzard. Part 3 : A march in April Now that King Donkon II has arrived and the preparations were made, it was finally time to march to Cedrica. The sun was good for the troops (not too hot) and the wind pushed them forwards. A lot of colourfull flags accompanied them, making it a joyfull sight. It would be a matter of weeks before they will reach Cedrica! (the 45 mounted Alleenridders - note, right after this painting, Lord Max Samu disappeared to anwser the call of MacLean) Every now and then, they passed a small village or some workers rebuilding something that was once a house before the elementals destroyed it. Lord Damaximus stopped everytime to talk with the people living at those place to give them hope about the future Chapter II : The one and only tower Note: the painter went gambling in Lost Vega, so no pictures from now on off at this moment Prologue: No Queens Crossing Queenscross It was the 16th hour of the day when Lord Damaximus and his cavalry army arrived at Queenscross. On their way, they heard terrible stories about the situation so that's why he decided to lead his mounted knights to the battlefield. 60 colourfull Alleenridders and 32 heavy armored swordsmen and lancers. But against all odds, they saw only bad guys trying to save their life by fleeing. Well they stayed alive, but they were easily hunted down and taken prisoner. One of them was even one of their most feared generals, General Pastroo!! The chasing lasted until the rest of the army arrived at the ruined city. The campment doctors started running around, helping as much wounded soldiers as possible. In the meantime, Lord Damaximus went to the Forum where all the other leaders, generals and heroes where to congratulate them and to start chatting about the future actions. A few days later, they continued their trip to Cedrica. A lot of soldiers from Queenscross joined the army of Lord Damaximus. He also heard from his I.A.M.S.-spies that he would not be the only one marching to Cedrica. Part 1: Knock Knock - Who is there? - Justin - Justin Who? - Justin Army Really early in the morning, a red sun peeping far away at the horizon, the soldiers finally saw the big tower of Cedrica rising up. But once they came closer and closer, they noticed the once so beautifull blue-grey stones were now as dark as the night that was just gone. Smoke came out of thousands of spots, but too big to be normal. The whole city was burning and demolished. The closer they came, the clearer it became that they didn't just burned down random houses, but they really made it impossible to reach the central tower. Clearing the paths will last days and Lord Damaximus and his army would have absolutely no defence against the elementals who were patrolling around. Lord Damaximus cursed. He had to find a way to distract the army of Revolword very quickly. Luckily some messengers arrived, reporting that the other armies will start besieging the city in a few hours, when the sun was at his highest point. Lord Damaximus ordered to make the catapults and ballistas ready. He gave King Dragonius XXV of Drakrydar some orders so they could kill enemies with their dragons. Part one of the masterplan was almost finished! Part 2: Ninja's Don't Need No Knock Knock's Dark as the shadows, 4 Black Ninja's were silently hopping from dark spot to dark spot. One of them carrying a small sack. Only Mr. Oranje already visited the Tower of Cedrica, so thanks to his hints and to some plans, the other 3 found easily their way in the building without being caught yet. The higher they came the smaller the group as some were left behind to make sure the escape-plan would work. Mr. Oranje and Mr. Wit almost arrived at the place where Revolword was and the Elemental Helmet with him. Part 3: Licence to Sneak Dolas & Ohnsel, the 2 Ninja Assassins, looked at each other and nodded. Silently they left the colonne of marching Soldiers of the Hand and sneaked into another group. They had been doing this already since they killed 2 scouts and took their clothes outside the city this morning. With the disguise on, they could walk anywhere in the Tower of Cedrica without getting suspicious. But by group hopping, it was easier and more fun to reach the highest levels of the Tower. Only a few more to go before they would arrive at the place where Revolword was overviewing the ruined city of Cedrica. Chapter III: The Return Of The Multiple Kings Part 1: A Dance Of Blades Dolas & Ohnsel were guarding a really useless door, but nobody really noticed it. From where they were standing, they could easily see the door leading to the room where Revolword was. They only needed a victim now... Minutes went by... Only a few minutes left till the big show would start... And like he was sent out by the Gods, one of Revolwords captains just turned around the corner, completely alone. Dolas & Ohnsel silently walked to him and took him prison while putting a poisoned sword in his hands. With the necessary feeling for drama, they accused the poor captain for wanting to assassinate Revolword and dragged him accross the hallway to the guards guarding the door leading to Revolword. Getting inside his room never was so easily as the two doorguards wanted to see how Victor would kill this "traitor". While everyones attention was drawn to the captain, Dolas quickly looked around and saw a quick shadow moving. The next thing happened in a few seconds during timeframe: Dolas pushed the captain and Ohnsel came forward to act like he would give the poisoned sword to Revolword. The moment Revolword came too close, his head (with according white beard) was flying in the air. Meanwhile Dolas disarmed and killed the 2 doorguards before they even could say "huh?". The captain was to affraid to say something so before he even realised he had to warn the others, Dolas & Ohnsel disappeared. The only thing the captain saw while realising what happened, was a black shadow moving quickly before it disappeared as well through the balcony. Part 2: A Feast For Crows "What the Nocturnus happened????? How the Nocturnus could they possibly find us??? Nobody knew about our route!" Mr. Withaar was furious. They lost Mr. Paars on their way to the hide-out and some unknown archers hit Mr. Oranje. Mr. Wit: "I don't know, but we have to stay calm and wait until Sir Fre Poah comes! And more important, we have to stay low because they are in the neighbourhood." Mr. Withaar: "Someone of us informed our enemies! And where the Nocturnus is Mr. Paars or Sir Fre Poah!" Mr. Wit: "Please calm down, let's occupy ourselves with Mr. Oranje, he is bleeding like an Avalonian..." Mr. Oranje: "I am fine, I think. Where are you guys from?" Mr. Wit: "Amenor" Mr. Withaar: "Shut up Mr. Wit, we are not supposed to tell our secrets, even not against eachother!" Mr. Wit: "Oh come on, he is almost dying!" Mr. Oranje: "I've never been there. I am from Cedrica, that's why I am part of this group I think. How is Amenor?" Mr. Wit (smiles): "Like Kaliphlin, but richer, stronger and even more beautifull. There is no Guild or land that can match Amenor. But the cities are only controlled by the noble families. Most other residents are slaves until they reached the age of 45. Then they are a free man. At that age, he is already father of at least 15 kids, but none of them he will ever see. Only the kids he makes after his freedom will be his own kids and those will be born as free man as well. It maybe sounds cruel, but that's how we are raised. In 5 years, I will be a free man as well" (smiles again) "I tell you this because I assume you are not a slave like the rest of us?" Mr. Oranje: "No indeed. Our names, are they Amenori as well?" Mr. Wit (laughs really hard): "In Amenor we speak a lot of languages, but not Amenori! Our names are colours in the old language of Eilandica. 'Oranje' means 'Orange', 'Paars means Purple', 'Withaar' means 'Blonde', 'Wit' means 'White', 'Blauw' means 'Blue' and so on... Mr. Oranje: "So my name is Mr. Orange then?" Mr. Wit: "yeah. But I gonna look for a small creek to find water for you. Gonna be right back" ... Suddenly an enemy scout enters. Mr. Withaar quickly disarmed him and imprisoned him. Mr. Withaar : "Who are you?" Enemy : "..." Mr. Withaar : "Ok, I am not in the mood for this. It looks you can't listen, so you don't need this" (cuts off the ear of the enemy and is heading for the other ear) Enemy : (screams and shouts): "Aaaaah stop!! (cries) I am Avalonian, an A.A.G.!" Mr. Withaar : "aha, so you can hear what I say! How many of you guys are there and how the Nocturnus did you guys found us?" Enemy : "We're with 10. We have a rat among you guys" Mr. Withaar : "who?" (takes his knife) Mr. Paars comes in: "Daaaamn, that was one scary moment!" Mr. Withaar : "Glad you are alive! What happened?" Mr. Paars : "After I lost you guys, I tried to find another way to here, it's full of A.A.G.'s! Where is the Helmet?" Mr. Withaa r: "Here it is, we better bury it somewhere..." Mr. Paars: "I'll take care of that. Who the Nocturnus is that guy?" Mr. Withaar: "An A.A.G. scout, I'll take care of that" Mr. Paars leaves. Mr. Withaar: "So you were about to tell us who the rat was???" Out of nowhere, Mr. Oranje throws a knife, right into the heart of the A.A.G.-member. Mr. Withaar immediately realises that Mr. Oranje is the rat and draws his katana to slice the throat over of the rat. Mr. Wit comes in: "Stop it Mr. Withaar!" But Mr. Withaar didn't listened and came closer to Mr. Oranje. Mr. Wit, who really trusted Mr. Oranje saw no other way then throwing a knife in the back of Mr. Withaar, killing him. Mr. Oranje: "Thanks for helping me! But I am affraid you killed one of the good guys" After saying this, he took a small dagger and stabbed Mr. Wit. Without anyone noticing, Mr. Paars entered the room, watching the drama scene going on. Mr. Wit: "Nooooo! Why?" Mr. Oranje: "With this Helmet, the A.A.G. can take over every Guild in Historica! We can kill every single Nocturnian, burn every Mitgardian and enslave every Kaliphlinite! Avalonia will finally rule allover Historica again! My task was to infiltrate and let you guys do the work!" Mr. Wit fainted. Mr. Paars clapped in his hands, went to Mr. Oranje and whispered in his ears Mr. Paars "you Avalonian fool, you really thought we were only with 4 in here?" The last thing Mr. Oranje saw before he died were 10 Ninja Assassins, 9 of them holding a head in their hands. Sir Freh Poa: "Congratz Mr. Paars, you did your job! We get rid of a rat, a ninja who lost his mind and one who wasn't focused anymore. Time to burn this hide-out down..." Mr. Paars: 'What will happen to the Helmet?" Sir Freh Poa: "If the right person uses it, it can help restoring the villages and cities we like to be restored" Mr. Paars: "And it will make our foes think twice" Part 3 : A Game Of Thrones Lord Damaximus looks around him. Cedrica is no more. The only buildings that were left before the siege were now nothing more than a few bricks on a pile. They found the previous king dead in the cellars. But his son was alive. Long live the King of the ruins! Long live the King without home! Long live the Poor King! (sarcasm) Some Lords are loudly announcing that they will not accept the new King. Lord Damaximus neither. Historica is more divided than ever. War is almost a certitude. It is finally the chance for those puny hippies from the West to take up arms. Nobody can stop them as there is no powerfull ruler. Nocturnians can easily raid the Mitgardian cities as they won't get in trouble for doing that. Lord Damaximus looks to King Dragonius of Drakrydar XXV and King Donkon II of Atlarka. If it is true what they say, Sultan Steh of Amenor and King Mattiximus of Ximus are also sailing to Mpya Stedor. So finally the time has come to unite those 4 Guilds into one powerfull militaristic Empire. The Empire of the 4 Free Guilds as the only power they give to the Emperor is the command over their troops. And that emperor will be Emperor Damaximus of the Imperial Capital of Mpya Stedor. And maybe, Kaliphlin and Nocturnus will join very soon. And if everything went as planned, the future Emperor Damaximus will have a small thing to convince Avalonia and Mitgardia to do the same... ------------------------------------------------- The End of the first Chapter of GoH ---- & The Beginning of Chapter II of GoH --------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for reading everything and commenting! I really wished I had more time for some extra builds, but real life decided to keep me busy. scored builds will be: First build: Mpya Stedor Conference Room Second build: Winter Is Coming By Boat 4th build: Viktor's Room You want more pictures? Check it out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76053512@N04/sets/72157633250620943/