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  1. Challenge V: Princes of Garvey - Results! It is the end of an era – one which began with the discovery of a few islands and rapidly transformed many of the old regimes into colonizing powers. It has seen the birth of new rivalries and the rekindling of old, and the world of the Brick Seas has forever been changed… As the waves of the new seas grow more contested every day, the smaller nations look on greedily to get a piece of the pie. The valiant (or belligerent) Duke of Prio - depending on who you ask - has become a figurehead for a new movement, a movement of resistance. Now the King of Garvey, Leopaldis IV has begun to stir the pot. He has entered into the Mardier Civil War by declaring a state of war, snatching Mardierian ships, and signing a treaty with Eslandola against that unruly power. Openly taking the side of the Duke of Prio and Eslandola in that conflict, he has now begun to strike at Mardier’s settlements in the Far Islands. A declaration of war from the Mardierians was quick to follow. With Carno between the two nations on the mainland, however, this war, for the most part, will be fought in the far of Prio Seas. There is an old adage in Garvey, “He who rules the waves for his king, the same shall be made prince of the people” - and now the word has come to the far islands that Leopaldis will grant a new Prince title to the person, of whatever nation, who brings him the greatest victories in the Far Seas. Eslandola, too, has declared that it will grant special trading benefits to whoever will own its fight against Mardier, and a particular bonus to the one privateer who surpasses all the rest. But the Mardierians will not be deterred. King Alphonse XIII has finally taken the throne, and has the villainous rebels (more politely known as the “United Provinces’ forces”) on the run. It looks like without further intervention from the other countries, the Mardier Civil War may come to a quick close with Mardier on top. After that, only Terraversa lies between the King and absolute rule. Alphonse has declared that any privateer who defeats a Garvey or Eslandolan force in battle shall be given special trading rights with Mardier, and the greatest privateer of all at the end of the war will be named ambassador to his or her faction with special privileges. (Mardierian High Command - MOCed by our very own, illustrious, Bregir) (Prizes for Overall Individual Winners: Anyone who enters at least once for Eslandola and Garvey's side will get the prize of a 20% greater gain in the MRCA whenever visiting an ESL port for the next three months after the results of the challenge are posted or a 15% greater gain on any landbased properties placed in either Garvey or Eslandolan settlements built in the same time period (but the bonus would stay in place for those properties for all the foreseeable future), and the one overall winner for this side [determined by their average of entries from all categories] will receive the honorary title of Prince of Garvey, and will get a 40% greater gain when trading in any GAR or ESL ports during the next four months or a 30% bonus on all landbased properties in ESL or GAR settlements built during the same period (again, the bonuses would not go away afterwards - just any new builds would not be eligible for the bonus). Everyone who enters at least once for Mardier, on the other hand, will get a 25% greater gain whenever visiting MAR ports for the next three months after the results for the challenge are published or a 20% greater gain on any landbased properties placed in Mardierian settlements which are built in the same time period (but the bonus would likewise stay in place after that), and the overall winner for this side will receive the honorary title of Mardierian Ambassador, and a 50% trading bonus in MAR ports for four months/MRCAs or a 40% bonus on all landbased properties MAR settlements built during the same period (same bonus provisions as before). But we digress...) But what is at stake for the nations, you ask? The future of Mardier, Garvey, and Eslandola all hang in the balance! Will Mardier crush its opponents and regain its old position as the greatest empire of the world, or will Eslandola and Garvey be dictating its terms? Find out and tell us! (OOC: Another digression, I'm afraid! Overall Faction Winners: MAR, if the winning side, would win: The war... Isla de Many Names, an extra settlement on said island a royal fort license to be placed in any of its territories a monthly stipend of 300DBs to be paid by Eslandola as rent for the land on which Fuerte Unido is situated (the settlement, however, would continue to belong to ESL) ESL, if the winning side, would win: The war... Isla de Many Names, microbuild licenses (5 small, 3 medium, 2 large - free choice of category) to be placed in an extra settlement (if possible use one of the existing MAR locations) on the island, a royal fort license (to be placed anywhere on the island, three microbuilds required, showing different parts of the fort, or one large microbuild, license doesn't count against the fort limit of the corresponding settlement) In the case of no decisive win, one way or the other, the island would be peacefully (well, not really... but the war would be ended) split in half between MAR and ESL. first ranking faction among COR/OL/SR: microbuild licenses (5 small, 3 medium, 2 large - free choice of category) to be placed anywhere, which are the results of the efforts of those trying to escape the Mardierian war to settle in other nations' territory, a royal fort license (to be placed anywhere, three microbuilds required, showing different parts of the fort, or one large microbuild, license doesn't count against the fort limit of the corresponding settlement), 3000 FIPs second place: microbuild licenses (3 small, 2 medium, 1 large - free choice of category) to be placed anywhere, with the same reasoning as above, two large fort licenses (not upgradable, to be placed anywhere, one microbuild required per license, license don't count against the fort limit of the corresponding settlements), 2000 FIPs third place: microbuild licenses (2 small, 1 medium - free choice of category) to be placed anywhere, one large fort license (not upgradable, to be placed anywhere, microbuild required, license doesn't count against the fort limit of the corresponding settlement) 1000 FIPs End of prize info). This is the last challenge in Era I, The Discovery, and any member may build for either side – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the side you think is best or right! There is not even any need to build for the same side in each category, and each member may build a maximum of one entry per side for each category – that is, you can have a total of 10 entries, max. Besides the usual category winners (one from each side [MAR or ESL + GAR], best build on the winning side being the winner and the best on the other the runner up of the category), there will be one overall winner for each team (the number of categories entered coming into play here), who will win the top individual prizes mentioned above. As per the usual, other factions will still compete against one another for the faction prizes as well (whichever side you build for, it will still help your own faction here - and note that, as there is already very much at stake for ESL, they won't be contending for this particular prize, see the faction prize info above), and the overall winning side (ESL and GAR or MAR and its allies) will end up being the winning side of the war. [Credit to the GoH leaders for many of the ideas above!] Category A: The Assassin's Creep Setting: The streets of Kings Port. Love and death are in the air. Panic has come over the island due to rumors that Alphonse has silenced the opposition back on the mainland. With their own leader in pseudo-rebellion, the Terraversans worry that Alphonse’s Death Guard will make their way to the island to reclaim it once and for all. Now is the time to make alliances and break previous partnerships. The best way to form an alliance is through marriage; the best way to break one is through bloodshed. Depict a romantic outing or a tragic end of life scene (or maybe both?) which affects the relationship between Terraversa and Mardier or some other nation. The MOC may be no larger than 16 x 16, and minifigure posing will be taken into account when judging. Due Date: February 28th, anywhere in the world Category Prize – 1st place - A battalion of Terraversan mercenaries, free of charge and upkeep - and 41149 Moana's Island Adventure Runner-up - A company of Terraversan troops, free of charge and upkeep - Results - Category B: ‘Till my dying breath… Setting: Skaford Heights. Mardier’s secret colony has been discovered by Eslandolan forces, and now there is a plan for a joint all-out assault! Builders need to pick a side and depict the Garvey and Eslandolan assault on the island. Your character does not have to be physically involved in the attack, but your sig fig has funded this expedition to defend or attack Skaford Heights (your sig-fig does not necessarily have to be involved with or funding the same side as the one you are building for). The MOC must depict a beach landing, a defense mounted by the Mardierians, and the death of a hero, and may be up to 48x48 studs. At least one picture must be a close up of the Hero’s death scene (artistic license for posing allowed, of course – see Death of General Wolfe for an example of artistic license.) Due Date: March 31st, anywhere in the world Category Prize – 1st place - 500 PIPs and a free medium fort (activated by a micro-build) to be placed anywhere - and 31063 Beachside Vacation Runner-up - 300 PIPs and a free small fortress (activated, likewise, by a micro-build) - Results - Category C: On Stranger Tentacles Setting: The Sea of Prio. Did you hear that Garvey has harnessed the power of the Kracken? Or perhaps you have heard about how King Alphonse rides on a giant Narwhal, destroying ships at his leisure? Terrible things lay in the depths of the Far Seas, and you will be depicting one of them. There are no size limits, but there must be a terrible sea creature, and it must be destroying a vessel or terrorizing a camp on shore from the side you are not supporting in the war. The monster must be natively aquatic (no jungle beasts, please). Due Date: March 31st, anywhere in the world Category Prize – 1st place - Cooperate with with the gamemasters in moving the Kraken in the upcoming quest! - and 70623 Destiny's Shadow Runner-up - Learn ahead of time the location of the Kraken (either to chase it or to run away!) for the first two MRCAs - Results - Category D: Yum Yum, Bumbel Tuna Setting: The far seas. The Mardierian fleet in the far seas has made their latest fortune in the fishing industry. Tuna has become the latest craze among the elite of the mainland. Mardier’s sailors have developed trade secrets and hidden away the best fishing spots to create a near monopoly on this most sought after fish, as the Eastern Bumbel Tuna Trading Company reaps massive profits! The Garvian privateers seek to hit Mardier where it hurts, their wallet. Builders depict either Garvian privateers intercepting a Mardier fishing vessel or show Mardier troops outwitting the Garvian privateers. This MOC may be up to 48x48 studs. The MOC must include TWO vessels, fish (brick built are fine!), and waves. Due Date: April 15th, anywhere in the world Category Prize – 1st place - A life-time supply of Bumbel Tuna!!! Reap a 300% profit next time you go on a Bounty Run (you'll have to let the automaters know after the KPA is published to triple the amount, or make sure they have already done so) - and 41150 Moana's Ocean Voyage Runner-up - Reap a 200% profit on your next bounty run - Results - Category E: The Treasure Trove Setting: The New World It is said that Mardier has been building up a massive fleet and army, which have been amassing at their ports to crush the rebels and Eslandola once and for all. There is only one wee little problem – Mardier is, essentially, broke. But rumor has it that somewhere in the newly discovered islands there is a fabled kingdom of gold, where the natives of the place have far more of the shiny metal than they know what to do with – and rumor has it, too, that the East Bumbel Tuna Company has found a map leading to this kingdom, and that they mean to use all means, fair and foul, to get this gold to support the Mardierian war endeavor and finish off the rebels once and for all! Such a sum of money could be the making or breaking of the struggling empire, but the news seems to have escaped and it is more than only the Mardierian who search for that lost treasure now! Show either one of your characters hearing about, discovering and/or carrying off this treasure, and dealing with the natives (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for Eslandola! – as long as Mardier doesn’t get it, that is good enough for them!), or tell us how Mardier and the East Bumbel Tuna Company managed to thwart the treasure hunters and securely carry off this store of doubloons! But it is said that Mardier is not a nation with a track record of getting along very well with the native peoples… This is a story category, and you are allowed a maximum of three builds to portray this, the sizes being no greater than one 16x16, one 32x32, and one unlimited build respectively. There are no restrictions as to how you find the treasure or where this kingdom is located except that it is on one of the newly discovered islands of the Prio seas or the new Haven Seas region. Are the natives there friendly, or are they fiercely protective of their gold? Do pirates make off with the doubloons, do they fall into the hands of the rebels or Eslandolans, or is Mardier able to carry out their villainous masterplan? You decide! Due Date: May 15th, anywhere in the world Category Prize – 1st place - A new island (of the Prio seas, though your build could be in the new Haven seas) of your choice for your faction and 600 DBs - and 31065 Park Street Townhouse Runner-up - 500 DBs - Results - And now get to building those MOCs! The fate of the Brick Seas rests in your hands!
  2. 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.
  3. Category E results: Winning Side: 1st Place: Mardier (Score: 20,38) 2nd Place: Eslandola (Score: 20,11) Faction Winners: 1st Place: Oleon (Score: 17,70) 2nd Place: Corrington (Score: 17,05) 3rd Place: Sea Rats (Score: 14,85) Individual Winners: 1st Place: Ayrlego (MAR) (again!! ) - Prize, A new island (of the Prio seas) of your choice for your faction and 600 DBs - and 31065 Park Street Townhouse Runner-up: Faladrin & Captain Braunsfeld (ESL) - Prize, 500 DBs (/2 = 250DBs each) And lastly, the Cat. E write-up No write-up needed! The Overall results will be published very shortly, so stay tuned! (Well, maybe tomorrow morning - don't stay up all night in suspense, please! ) Once again, a very impressive showing, guys, thanks to you all, and congrats to the winners!
  4. [CH V Cat E] Easy Come, Easy Go

    [to be read aloud and rapidly - like a sports commentator] And here we are again for tonights final round of GoT - that famous "Game of Treasure", our treasure hunt. Well, and there they go on the left, the brave islanders, digging for the treasure, handing over the gold bars... They are working away quickly - but wait, what is that? A Marderian soldier is stealing the gold! They are forcing the natives to work for them! My goodness, there is no end to Marderian evilness. Passing the ingot to the next Marderian player, moving midfield. Steady. And the gold is gone! This came quite unexpectedly for Mardier - pirate Henry was taking a shot here. Excellent move for the pirates. The pirates now in the lead! But no - Mardier is back and more evil than ever. The pirates have lost the gold and it all goes to Mardier again. We all know the Marderian motto: "No need to be nice on the way up 'cos we're not going down" This is exciting, it is the second half in this final game and Mardier has got the gold. Which means Mardier is not broke and will continue in the GoT league in the upcoming season. Well they will surely give Eslandola, Oleon and Corrington a hard time... But again "no" - Mardier is hit from behind by another pirate. And Mardier is going down after a wonderful "thud". I heard a whisper "for Brickwall" - I suspect this guy is one of Brickwall Jones' nephews. And here we are - the pirates are back in the game. Excellent thudding there from Captain Redbeard. The higher they come, the hardier they fall in Mardier. What is this? There must be some disagreement within the pirate team? One of them is pretty tied up at the moment. Has he been double crossed by one of his red-bearded mates? No, Eslandola is back and they are striking with a vengeance! They are sweeping the ground from pirates and they have taken the gold! The Eslandolean flag is waving all over the place. And the crowd is cheering! What a great match, tonight. Certainly no disappointment for the international spectators. And on the right I can see Colonel Brickinson. Brickinson is leading his team to victory. Nobody expected the Eslandolean army. They have been using their chief weapon: surprise. Surprise and cleverness. And I wonder where they got the information that brought them here to this secret place just in time for the final moments of the game. The ingots are piling up for Eslandola. So the score is Mardier: 0, Eslandola: 542! Aaaaaaaaand the game is over! A big win for Brickinson's team tonight - and they are celebrating! The champagne is flowing as the gold is being shipped to Pontelli. What a night for Eslandola. That is it for Mardier. They are broke and won't be able to afford the license for the next season. I can see the debt collectors gathering at the side of the field and the first vultures have started to circle in ...
  5. Breaking News - Mardier's Bumbel Tuna Fleet is No More!!! ...May 617, Eslandola... The newest developments of the war, as told by the daily Pontelli newspaper: News has been slow in coming in from the Tuna Straits... and just this morning we have discovered why! - Mardier's whole famous (or infamous???) Bumbel Tuna fleet has been smashed by the Garvian fleet, and now rests snugly, no doubt, upon the bottom of the sea! Not only was Captain Rijsk's large fleet of disguised warships fishing smacks well-nigh obliterated (and what wasn't sunk was sailed away with), but the rest of the company's fleet was pummeled as well, only a few especially cunning fishermen and a few rowboats escaping a similar fate! Garvey has pulled off a feat only rivaled in recent times by the Sea Rats' last expedition, and the allies look expectantly forward to Mardier's final defeat! It's pockets are certainly hurting - that's for sure - and the only thing which might save them now would be that city of gold, rumours of which have been wafted around more and more... Is Mardier ready to give in? Can it recover from this tremendous blow? Is the lost city of Gold merely a myth, or are the Mardierian's about to strike the leprechaun's fabled pot? ... Category D results: Winning Side: 1st Place: Eslandola (Score: 20,00) 2nd Place: Mardier (Score: 17,75) Faction Winners: 1st Place: Oleon (Score: 16,79) 2nd Place: Sea Rats (Score: 16,08) 3rd Place: Corrington (Score: 0) Individual Winners: 1st Place: Garmadon (ESL) - Prize, 41150 Moana's Ocean Voyage Highest scoring non-leadership member (ESL) - Legostone - Prize, A life-time supply of Bumbel Tuna!!! Reap a 300% profit next time you go on a Bounty Run (you'll have to let the automaters know after the KPA is published to triple the amount, or make sure they have already done so)! Runner-up: KolonialBeamter (MAR) - Prize, Reap a 200% profit on your next bounty run! Highest scoring non-leadership member (MAR) - Bodi - Prize, Reap a 200% profit on your next bounty run (same as Runner-up) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Once again, congrats to the winners (including myself, weeeee! ), and thanks to all those entrants who are still holding on in there for the whole of this huge challenge! Looking forward to hopefully putting together the final results soon!
  6. [OL - CH5D] Fish from Above

    Hi there, fellow BoBS'ers, I'd like to present my Challenge V - Category D entry: Fish from Above In their efforts to weaken the Eastern Bumbel Tuna Trading Company, the Garvian High Command had declared the waters around the Isla de Medio hunting grounds for their privateer fleet. As a result, especially the Tuna Strait quickly turned into a more and more dangerous place for the Marderian fishermen to go about their business. Fortunately for them though, the waters of the Tuna Strait were not only filled with fish, but also covered in thick layers of fog most of the time, thus still presenting a tempting area of operation for fishermen who were courageous enough to set sail. As it so happens, the crew of the Tuna Spirit was made up of especially brave men, and the thought of staying ashore in fear of Garvian privateers wouldn't cross their minds. And even when they became aware of an enemy raider closing in on their position, they didn't think of running away. Instead, they used their fishing gear, ropes, nets, and painted sail cloth to disguise their tiny boat as a menacing ship of the line. Sure, it wasn't a perfect disguise, but in the spirit of the best defense being a good offense they decided to engage. And so one of the most... unusual... naval engagements of the entire war took place. Unaware of any large ships in the era, the crew of the Garvian raider was caught by a complete shock when the fog revealed a mighty two-decker ship of the line right before their eyes. In utter fear they tried to break off and get away, but it was too late as the large predator was obviously in firing range. And then, it rained down fish on the already terrorized Garvians... shortly after, the privateers had all jumped ship, and thus this day the Tuna Spirit hauled in their greatest catch ever. About: Well, this was a lot of fun to build, although I had to do the final details using a laptop Anyway, as usual all can be build... the vessels are based on cb4's full hull technique, and a special thanks to all who gave me some WIP input Thanks for watching, C&C welcome! Vive le Roi!
  7. The Kraaken spotted again!!! King's Port Advertiser, Special Add-on New Terra’s most reliable source for news, shipping and otherwise. May 617. VOL 2, Special Add-on What is this we hear? As we, the staff of the renowned KPA, settled into our new office on the Isla de la Many Names, we could faintly perceive in the distance the Eslandolans' puny settlement. Of course, that was hardly of interest, but what was greatly so were the highly wonderful screams and yells of terror emanating from it, and the figures in green as they fled, waving their limbs about in utter confusion! The sea itself has turned on the invader, and its monsters seem somewhat partial to the color green! Despite the recent loss in some battles against these pesky neighbors of ours, the Mardierians are beginning to pluck up courage on the island, and all may come out well even yet! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rumor has it, however, that the Eslandolans are not to be cowed even by such evident signs of their upcoming defeat. And, unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that the ancient kraaken is not exactly the best at detecting different colors, and a few Mardierian ships have gone missing without the slightest warning... Nevertheless, here at the KPA we are certain that this is a clear omen against all those who dare pit themselves against the might of Mardier! Category C results: Winning Side: 1st Place: Mardier 2nd Place: Eslandola Faction Winners: 1st Place: Oleon 2nd Place: Sea Rats 3rd Place: Corrington Individual Winners: 1st Place: Tie Kolonialbeamter & MKJoshA (MAR) - Prize (Learn ahead of time the location of the Kraken (either to chase it or to run away!) for the first two MRCAs, and possibly cooperate somewhat with the gamemasters as well) Highest scoring non-leadership member (MAR) - Franco Clarke - Prize, Cooperate with with the gamemasters in moving the Kraken in the upcoming quest! Runner-up: Kai NRG (ESL) - Prize, Learn ahead of time the location of the Kraken (either to chase it or to run away!) for the first two MRCAs - and, as highest scoring build in the category, 70623 Destiny's Shadow --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks once again to all of you who entered, and congrats to the winners! Anyone else looking forward to a kraaken quest?? ...I thought not... RUN AWAY!!!!! Another great showing, folks! Looking forward to being able to publish the last two category results and final scores!
  8. Hi there, fellow fortune seekers and adventurers, this is my entry for Challenge V - Category E. The Conquest of Paradise The Marquis de la Roya is an able man. Considered reckless by his foes and peers alike, he sees himself as a loyal servant to the new Marderian King Alphonse XIII. And as a loyal servant, he knew it was up to all Marderians to support the empire's war efforts against the invading Eslandian forces as best they could. But the Marquis is not only skilled in the arts of battlefield warfare - his true qualities lie in gathering and evaluating information. Cause that's what wars are won with primarily. And recently, he came across a very interesting bit of information. What only very few people in the Brick Seas know is that the mysterious voyages of the Oleander priest Father Tholeau lasted much longer than official records claim. And during these voyages to the far end of the world, Tholeau didn't only find the Fountain of Youth. In fact, he had also found something else in the vast jungles of the New Terra - something so important and potentially dangerous that it could shake the political status quo of all the known world like a furious earthquake. He had found the legendary city of Legorado - a city constructed of pure gold, constituting such astonishing wealth that whatever power managed to claim it would be considered rich beyond the wildest dream ever dreamed up by anybody. Terrorized by the implications of this very thought, Tholeau tried to kept his findings a secret. But the map he drew to find his way back home somehow winded up in an Oleander monastery where they were almost forgotten. And it was this bit of information that reached the Marquis de la Roya's ear... Part I - Atrocities The Marquis and his henchman - who only went by the name of el Zamuro - didn't loose any time. In total secrecy and given order by King Alphonse XIII himself to 'do whatever is necessary', they took command of a company of the King's Palace Guard, and boarded a ship - direction East. Their first destination was the Oleander monastery rumored to hold the secret map. When they arrived, the head priest requested to know what this unexpected visit was all about. This was his last request on this earth - 'whatever is necessary' in Marderian is best translated with 'shot first - don't even bother asking questions later!' The map was found shortly after in the catacombs underneath the chapel. The path was set. Part II - Pathfinding After an uneventful journey to the far side of New Terra, the Marquis and his company set up camp at the beaches of this yet unsettled island which revealed itself in front of their eyes. After a night's rest and some planning and scouting, the expedition party moved out and made their way through the jungle. The green hell was merciless - humidity and heat took their toll, as well as all sorts of venomous crawling things - man after man collapsed in these harsh conditions under the weight of their heavy equipment. After marching for several days without finding anything, concerns were spreading - some in the King's Guard whispered the Marquis would be their downfall. But luckily enough for de la Roya, soon after the expedition came across a promising beacon - an altar in the middle of the jungle. And the best thing was that gold seemed to be abundant! Part III - The Great Golden Pyramid of Legorado Incited by their discovery of the gold filled altar, de la Roya and his men picked up the pace and marched on. Driven by an insatiable thirst for the shiny metal they hasted through the jungle - nothing could stand in their way. All the long journey's destitution was forgotten, suffering became meaningless, and especially de la Roya's eyes were filled with an almost inhuman desire. And then they saw it. A bright reflection of pure golden sunlight in the middle of a vast clearing. Like bugs they were drawn towards it, still incapable of believing their eyes in the face of such radiating beauty. As the expedition closed in on the bright light, a priest flanked by two warriors approached them, seemingly friendly and curious as to the origin of the strange looking men. But instead of trying to enter into a conversation and trying to explore an obviously fascinating culture, de la Roya and his company only had eyes for the gold... 'Whatever is necessary' - the Marderian way... After the heinous murder of the sun priest and his warriors, de la Roya and his men climbed the pyramid. When they reached the top they first were shocked that the temple didn't contain any treasure. But when el Zamuro smashed his sword into the walls of the temple out of pure frustration, he realized... the entire temple structure was constructed of massive gold! What happened next is better not described - it sure was a great day for de la Roya and Mardier, but a horrible day for mankind as a whole. 'Whatever is necessary' About: Well, where to start... the jungle build was pretty straight forward, nothing really special about it. The chapel was a bit more tricky, the rug took some time to get right, but the hardest thing here was to stack the two coins on the small altar - something that 'in the brick' would take no time at all Now, the pyramid, yes in theory it could be built, but I sure don't know if the required bricks exist in such numbers - on Bricklink certainly not. Among other parts the pyramid consists of: 9792 chrome gold 1x2 tiles, 8675 pearl gold 1x1 plates, 718 pearl gold 1x2 jumper plates, 557 pearl gold 1x2 tiles, 658 pearl gold 2x2 tiles, 955 pearl gold 2x2 jumper plates, 5495 pearl gold 1x4 tiles, 2125 pearl gold 2x2x2 slopes What about suggesting this as a Lego Ideas set? Thanks for watching, C&C welcome! Vive le Roi!
  9. An Excerpt from Recorin Orbi | Volume 467 | Cometi Cycle 7634 | Oredurin (World Chronicler) Arcturin I "The tunnel was long. Longer than the funeral and mourning period of a Wredurin put together of darkness. This is to be expected of a disused exit from our ancient city, but having left our would for the upper in prior events via other routes, I did not expect this way to extend as it did. A band of 9 left the city, comprised of the Oredurin, the Ferdurin, an assistant Durin, and 6 soldiers who were willing to adventure. The cycle of 7634 draws to a close as we seek the Resistance of Nocturnus, to chronicle them and aid in what ways we can against Raavage, a monster of unknown origin. I'm sure if the body is intact, the Aerdurin will expect me to bring it back. The place we emerged was one of little activity, with nary a creature in sight. The march began immediately, and for the first 4 days, we saw no one, except for a large insect and a rider, high in the sky. (For more on this insect, please consult Recorin Flori V. 1698) An Excerpt from Recorin Flori | Volume 1698 | Cometi Cycle 7634 | Ferdurin (Flora+Fauna Chronicler) Casoreon III "This volume is dedicated to the observation of all available info regarding the as of yet unnamed, but ride-able large, quadwinged insect seen shortly after the exit from the tunnels on the way to the Resistance of the Upper's Nocturnus. This insect can apparently support a rider and a decent amount of baggage, as evidenced by the apparent cargo of the specimen observed in flight. More data when sighted again." An excerpt from Recorin Orbi | Volume 468 | Cometi Cycle 7634 | Oredurin Arcturin I "The road to the resistance camp, deep in the southern swamps, is a long one, but the journey was uneventful for the purposes of this recorin. The innumerable creatures, sentient and not, are being recorded by Casoreon and the assistant Durin as fast as they can, while retaining our standard. They have even the help of one of the soldiers, who has taken an interest in the various trees of the upper." "After several weeks we arrived at our destination and made ourselves known to the leaders of the resistance. The one called The Lord of Dragons seemed very intrigued by the methods and details of the recorins made so far, and desired copies of any to be had upon certain dragon species. After a waiting period of several days in which the leaders debated this new race, unbeknownst for so long, our band of Inani was assigned to a raid upon an outpost of the Spire, Raavage's forces, named for the obsidian spike which holds Nocturnus, and all of the Upper if he achieves victory, in an iron grip. The raid was carried out swiftly, with cries of "For Nocturnus! THE RESISTANCE!" And "For Historica!" Ringing through the halls as the soldiers from every guild destroyed every spire adherent found within. I remained in the distance, with the other commanders of different forces. The raid was led by a captain of Shadowmere, but, for the first time in thousands of Cycles, an Inani fought in the upper." "This series of events repeated itself as the Armies of free Historica marched towards the spire. The outposts grew to large castles, containing hundreds of spire soldiers, and more spire troops met us in the open field. After our second assault, the Inani were formally accepted into the ranks of the Free Peoples of Nocturnus." "After weeks of constant fighting, only the Spire itself remained. Today the entire army was called into one assembly, and as heralds spread throughout the crowd they prepared to read from a scroll written by the leaders of free Nocturnus. Suddenly, Lord Vladvius of Shadowmere himself, a warrior and leader like no other, appeared on a raised platform, a hollow cone before him amplified his voice, as he spoke these words, which are recorded unaltered, 'Nocturnians! Avalonians! Mitgardians! Kaliphinites! We are all historicans! And today we will march against the last unholy peak of Raavage, The Spire itself! We face death and destruction today, but we do this to secure the future of Historica! FOR THE NEWFOUND KING!' At that he stepped away from the cone and an Orc let out a guttural war cry which will live in the minds of all present forever. The cry was echoed by the whole army, as it surged towards the Spire." An Excerpt from Recorin Flori | Volume 1955 | Cometi Cycle 7634 | Ferdurin Casoreon III "Raavage is a creature like no other. He wears heavy armor and a helm which threatens all of the Upper, yet under that helm he somehow has room for 6 horns, which must be flexible in order to avoid breaking. It is also possible that they break off and regenerate. His features are wolv-ish, but he lacks claw of any significance. Swords (2) seem to be his weapon for this battle, as he mows down many ranks, then vanishes to some high tower, according to an eagle. (See Recorin Flori V. 1820)" An Excerpt from Recorin Orbi | Volume 468 | Cometi Cycle 7634 | Oredurin Arcturin I "On the peak of the tower, known as Raavage's crown, the Lord of the Spire and his loyal adherent Lord Osiris Vorn, faced down some of the greatest warriors Historica has ever seen. Vladvius of Shadowmere, Anfauglir a defector of the spire, Finn a great axe-warrior of Mitgardia, Henjin of House Quilones, an Avalonian lord, Aymeri one of Kaliphin's High-lords, and one Oredurin who's battle skills were unproven. They faced off, neither side making the first move, until Raavage lept into the air..." C&C welcome, and I hope everyone who appeared in the story liked their representation. Some decorations are missing from the warriors in the stand off due to the time involved in making new decorations for the Mecabricks library (I added the Lord Vlad ones specifically for this), but I hope to eventually make it so everyone who builds digitally has easy access to a figure of all the main characters in Historica. 3D Viewers: Emergence Outpost Raid Raavage's Crown
  10. The professionals of Corrington's armed forces are closely watching the first old world conflict to be fought in the new world. On Celestia, newly appointed Governor, Major Dirk Allcock, is prepared to do his part to ensure Corrington benefits from the lessons learned by both sides in the conflict. While other Corlander officers will be tasked with gathering the Eslandolan point of view, Dirk is uniquely placed to gain lessons from Mardier. He has recently learned of the arrival in theatre of Mardierian officer with whom he studied with at the University of Bellson, one Captain Giovanni Lorenzini. Lorenzini, on completion of his studies in Corrington returned to Mardier, where he joined the Royalist Forces in the civil war. Now he has arrived on the Isle de Medio to reinforce the garrison against the Eslandolan and Garvian invaders. Wasting no time, Dirk has immediately written to his old friend, asking that he may send a man to observe the conflict from the Mardierian side. The observer he has chosen to send is a former Royal Army officer, Captain Adam Todd. Captain Todd resigned his commission to pursue a trading career in Arlinsport, but so far has not been lucky. Dirk has offered him a generous commission to go to the Isle de Medio with gifts for Captain Lorenzini, and a letter requesting observer status. Captain Todd, although not military anymore, is under strict orders to observe only, and not interfere. Major Allcock has also made very clear he is not being sent in any official capacity, rather he is being dispatched on a private expedition. On arriving, Captain Todd discovers that Captain Lorenzini has been dispatched to one of the Royal Fortresses on the Island that has come under siege by the combined Eslandolan and Garvian forces. A dedicated man, he has managed to smuggle himself inside the fortress, where he is given a warm welcome by Lorenzini, who happy allows him to attach to his company of infantry. After a few days inside the fort, the besiegers start bombarding the fort with mortars. These artillery pieces are able to lob rounds over the walls deep inside the fortress. Using incendiary and explosive shot, they are a present a nuisance to Mardierian high command, who are unable to target them with counter-battery fire due to the clever positioning of the battery behind sand dunes on a spit of land in the nearby bay. Captain Lorenzini shares his knowledge of the battery with Captain Todd. The Mardierians believe the mortar fire is unusually accurate due to the fact it is operated by a Garvian contingent. Most of the besieging army is made up of Eslandolan mercenaries, whose quality and professionalism is mixed, but generally quite poor. The Garvians, on the other hand, are professional artillerymen from the regular army. To take advantage of the terrain, the battery itself is quite exposed, and relies on a half regiment of Eslandolan mercenaries for protection. Lorenzini explains however, that Mardierian fisherman have reported that incredibly, the majority of the guard force sails back to the comforts of the main camp every night, leaving only the Garvian artillery men and a small group of Eslandolan regulars. Furthermore, the mercenaries have been observed returning later every day. Captain Todd, finding himself drawn to the Mardierian officer, and even sympathising with their cause, helps plan a daring amphibious raid on the battery, with the goal of spiking the guns to prevent their further use. Mardierian high command will only risk one half company of troops, to be led by Captain Lorenzini. Despite his orders to the contrary, Captain Todd insists on accompanying the raid. The fishermen's information proved correct, in the early dawn, the Mardierians successfully surprise the battery as it begins to prepare for the day’s bombardment. The Eslandolan guard force is reduced to a mere handful of regulars and a single officer. Charging up the beach, the yellow coats achieve complete surprise. The Garvian battery is led by a Major of artillery, Major Jan Nieuwenaar. A good, well trained officer, it was his plan to position the battery in such a cunning position, and his calculations that allow the the battery to so accurately target the fort. He attempts to rally his men, but is mortally struck very early in the battle by a musket ball to the chest. As he falls, he is caught in the arms of his sergeant. The Mardierians overwhelm the battery. The guns are spiked and the prisoners rounded up into boats and transported back to the fort before the main Eslandolan guard force returns. Although Mardierian command seems confident. Captain Todd is not so sure. Although the quality and morale of the Mardierians seems far better, he is reminded of a quote from the famous scholar of antiquity, Marcus Tullius Bricero, “The sinews of war are infinite money”. The Greenbacks are certainly not short of gold, and seem unusually focused on spending it in this war. The Mardierians, on the other hand, are still in the grips of a civil war, with limited resources to devote to what essentially for them is a side show. He will report as much to Dirk, along with his tactical observations. No need to bother the Major with full details of his participation in the planning and execution of the raid though….. Details Wow, alot of conditions for this one, so let's check them off, This entry is Pro-Mardierian Character funded the assault/defence - Yes! Beaching landing - Yes! (although in reverse) Mardierian defence - Yes! (even though they are conducting the landing, technically they are defending the fort Death of a hero and close up shot - Yep. Eslandolan torsos from @Captain Braunsfeld Enjoy and C&C welcome!
  11. Side: Eslandola Scene: A gnarled tree in the suburbs of Kingsport. Enter Captain Argentum and Lady Cora, daughter of a top Terraversan General. Narrator: Captain Argentum, of anti-Oleon fame, had occasion some time since to stop at the city of Kingsport. Personal affairs - trust me, you don't want to know more than that. While in Terraversa, the Captain chanced to meet Lady Cora. As far as intentions were concerned, he made up his mind right off. But the actual proposal was another matter. Captain Argentum is nothing if not original, and he wracked his brain for weeks before he decided exactly how he would pop that all important question. Captain Argentum: So - I have a question for you, but first I wanted to say really quickly - see, saying yes is so boring. Everyone says the same thing (I mean, unless they say no: but you aren't supposed to say no; I haven't got a plan B). But saying yes is... wait. Let me start again. I'll just say it fast: yes is a boring answer so I'll take silence for consent. Deal? Lady Cora: blankly But... what's the question? Narrator: In a truly impressive feat of swordsmanship, Captain Argentum drew his foil with one hand, threw a ring into the air with the other, and caught the ring on the tip of the foil dexterously. In doing so, however, he passed dangerously near to Lady Cora's nose, causing Lady Cora to promptly faint away. That however - if he had but known it - was the least of bold Captain Argentum's troubles. Because, unfortunately, Mardier isn't interested in an alliance between a Kingsport General and an Eslandian Captain. Fortunately, Eslandola is well aware that Mardier isn't interested in alliances between Kingsport and Nova Terreli. Unfortunately, Mardier knows that Eslandola is well aware that Mardier isn't interested in alliances between Kingsport and Nova Terreli. Fortunately, Eslandola's spies have informed them that Mardier knows that Eslandola is well aware that Mardier isn't interested in alliances between Kingsport and Nova Terreli. Unfortunately, Mardier's top secret agents are really up to things. They know full well that Eslandola's spies have informed them that Mardier knows that Eslandola is well aware that Mardier isn't interested in alliances between Kingsport and Nova Terreli. But fortunately, we're on top. Of course, with so many bullets flying around, there's no saying that our oblivious bride and her overly-innovative groom will make it out alive anyways... but let's hope for the best. The whole build: A few more pictures! This was a pretty fun build, by far the tallest tree of this sort that I've built yet! The lime green was kind of out on a limb but I think it worked fairly well; plays into the lighthearted comic feel I was going for with the story. Fun stuff anyhow!
  12. They say a picture is worth a thousand words... and I hope it is in this case, because I really don't have time for a thousand words... Yet another enthusiastic Captain "Brickwall" has met his demise... It's probably unnecessary to say that this was just a quick build to help the team out... pretty fun anyhow, thanks for looking! Edit: For Eslandola, in case that wasn't obvious...
  13. Greetings, fellow BoBS'ers, I'd like to present my entry for Challenge V - Category B. Keeping the Keep El Peñón is a strategic Marderian stronghold overlooking the Bay of Good Hope. Although not a large fortress, El Peñón is nonetheless a vital part of Mardier's defenses around the town of Terra Fin Tin. Carved deep into the rocky cliffs, El Peñón is virtually impenetrable - a fact that's also known to the Eslandolian High Command - and giving them major headaches. The joint Eslandolian and Garvian assault plan provides for the surprise capture of Terra Fin Tin in order to open up a second front north of the fortress city of La Puebloto. And in order to achieve that, El Peñón had to be sacked quickly before any Marderian reinforcements would render capturing the fort impossible, ultimately putting the whole second front plan in jeopardy should Mardier's forces around Terra Fin Tin be alarmed before the actual assault was to begin. To solve this problem, one of the Eslandian elite units, the Black Bats - a veteran battalion experienced in spearhead missions, and infamous for their recklessness - was tasked with the surprise attack on El Peñón. Initially, the mission progressed as planned - the approach was not spotted by neither Marderian patrol vessels nor lookout posts along the coastline. And another pleasant surprise: when the boats landed, it became clear that the fort was undermanned. Now nothing stood in the way of a quick success. Or at least so it seemed... What they hadn't expected was the courage and relentlessness of the fort's commander. Before the perimeter guard was overrun, coronel Lorenzo Alderete stepped outside the gate in a desperate attempt to buy time, telling his men to barricade the entrance behind him. He then proceeded to furiously charge the attackers. The coronel managed to repel man after man, giving the garrison valuable time to regroup and send for reinforcements. The artillery lookout then spotted the approaching Eslandian fleet and the fort's batteries started engaging - thus completely ruining the attackers' element of surprise. Shortly before coronel Alderete was mortally wounded, he yelled out his final order to the garrison - to drop a load of explosives onto himself and the attackers. El Peñón was not to be captured! For Mardier! Some additional pics: About: Well, this started out with the simple need to come up with something for this category at all... and unfortunately, a massive builder's block. Eventually, the block loosened, and thanks to the support of @Bodi and @Captain Genaro, I even managed to put in some action. What else... well, as usual all parts except the uniforms exist... gravity is 'off'... can't think of anything else now Thanks for watching, C&C welcome! Vive le Roi!
  14. The Armored Bears of Hesperia A Build for Challenge V, Category B, on behalf of the Alliance. In the land of Hesperia, an elven kingdom in the far west of Avalonia, nestled in the depths of the Enchanted Forest, there are many beasts of great size, from giant eagles to mighty dragons. Among the fearsome creatures one might encounter under the shade of the magical trees, typically in the upper regions of the highlands, are enormous brown bears. Fiercely territorial and aggressive when provoked, nevertheless the elves have managed to recruit their aid in times of need to serve as mighty beasts of war. Blacksmiths work long hours to create custom armor to protect the mighty frames of the great bears from enemy projectiles while not seriously impacting the mobility of the noble creatures. Here, at Rogobel's blacksmith shop just outside the walls of Istolia, a major Hesperian settlement, Rogobel and his assistants are working around the clock to turn out armor for the bears. Urgaalikku, a proud Ursine chieftain, is receiving his armor. To keep the bears from leaving as the heavy metal is pounded and riveted around them, the bears are fed a steady supply of fruit and vegetables. "Rogobel!" shouted Haladrian. "We are going to need more fruit here pretty soon! Chief Urgaalikku is hungry today." "You've been working at the forge all day, Rogobel," said Tirian, his lead assistant. "Let me take a turn at the anvil." "Grab your own from the corner, Tirian," grunted Rogobel, "and make yourself useful rather than standing around like a maiden in a daisy field." "Feladrim, I'm glad you are here," said Drogo. "Did you grab the case of rivets from the shelf like I asked? I have to add the next row of plates above this one or Rogobel will be on my case." "Um, no, I grabbed the forward-mounted crossbow, like I thought you asked." ________________________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................................................ Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. This thing was rather difficult to photograph, but I think it turned out alright in the end.
  15. 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.
  16. King's Port Advertiser, Special Edition New Terra’s most reliable source for news, shipping and otherwise. March 617. VOL 2, Special Edition Breaking news! Terraversa officially throws off the Mardierian yoke, and declares total independence! The whole island convulsed with joy! The Viceroy of Terraversa, Oldis Miro, has finally quit his vacillation between the two possible courses before him! The van guard of King Alphonso XIII's Death Guard had landed on the island and begun their deadly work, instilling fear, horror, or anger in the hearts of all true Terraversans. But now the Viceroy and his officers have officially signed a declaration of independence from the King and kingdom of Mardier, and Oldis Miro himself, at the head of the Terraversan troops, is said to have run the Death Guard into the sea! The bells of King's Port ring for joy, and the citizens are in its streets, cheering and applauding as their governor returns from his excursion. Peace has also been signed with the Eslandolan and Garveyan forces, and the Viceroy has promised men to support in the war effort against the common foe. ...But some in Terraversa still shake their heads, predicting a terrible revenge to come from Mardier at the end of the war. Only time will tell! Or, put otherwise, Category A results: Winning Side: 1st Place: Eslandola 2nd Place: Mardier Faction Winners: 1st Place: Corrington 2nd Place: Sea Rats 3rd Place: Oleon Individual Winners: 1st Place: Ayrlego (ESL) - Prize, 1 battalion of Terraversan mercenaries, free of charge and upkeep (may be raised now or at any future period), and 41149 Moana's Island Adventure (to be shipped at the end of the challenge - unless you win another category, of course... - and thanks to Silent Wolf for pointing that out!) Runner-up: Gideon (MAR) - Prize, 1 company of Terraversan troops, free of charge and upkeep, raise-able at any time from right now on. And you can see what every entrant wins in the spoiler below: Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all who entered! Keep up the great entries with Category B and C!
  17. Somewhere in Mitgardia. A noble man and his bodyguard approaching a quarry. The place is filled with the noisees of pickaxes and hammers. As they entered the construction site, the noble man asked the first dwarf, next to a campfire. - Good day master dwarf. I'm Lord Aran Durwell. I'm here, to inspect, the ordered golem, against the Spire. Can I speak with the overseer? The dwarf turned around. Took out his pipe, from his mouth, and greeted the noble man. - Good day Lord Durwell! Of course, let me introduce my humble self: I'am Turfir Dimguard, I'am the overseer here.- the dwarf bowed down. - So.. Can we start, the stroll? http://IMG_8203 by Miklós Neszt, on Flickr The noble man noded. Turfir took a a sip from his pipe, turned around, and started walking around the construction site. - Any question lord Durwell? -asked the dwarf. - I don't know anything. about this profession. I don't really know, what a golem is. What's even the difference between a regular and a siege golem? - The golem is animated matter. Usually something, that can be shaped. It will be awakened by magical words, and it will serve its master. The difference is simple, siege golems are larger, got smaller legs, so it can keep its balance. This golems right arm is a huge mallet. It can be used both smashing buildings, or smashing infantry. - And it's other hand? - Aran pointed to the unfinished side of the golem. - We will shape that arm, to be a hand. So it can hold another weapon, or grab with it. Like boulders to throw it, or soldiers to crush them. - I understand. I see, there are not only dwarf workers here. Can the human workers keep up, with your fellow dwarf workers? -They are a great help for us. They tear down the stone roughly, so the others can shape it to its final form. We get fresh supplies every day, from the nerby town. - And that dwarf over there? -Aran pointed on the ledge, behind the unfinished golem. - What's he doing?, I don't see any pickaxe or hammer in his hands. - Oh, he is Orif Earthcaller. He is preparaing the binding on the Blood of the Mountain. Take a look on that gem! Marvelous, never saw bigger, but this isn't my first golem shaping. If the earthcallers give us, to build a weapon, our cause must be righteous! - I dont want to be paranoid, but if we have a powerful crystal, should we more guards here, to protect it? - Don't worry mylord, Mitgardia sent his best soldiers, to protect the Blood of the Mountain, and us. Besides, we can defend our self too. - And why a golem? I mean, I don't want to disparage your, and your employees work... - Ah.. no problem mylord. You need different siege weapons, for different tasks. Ladders for climbing, catapults, ballistas for throwing. This siege golem is for all tasks. Plus, we heard, that the Spire has giant suporters. - Good to hear it. -Durwells sightet in relief. -And, what can you tell me, when it will be finished? - I think, it will be finished, lesser then a week. - Fabulous! Then i take my leave. Don't want to steal more time from you. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ EDIT: Finally got home early, and had a chance to take pictures from the finished golem. Enjoy:
  18. For Eslandola It was just an average, ordinary day in this little Marderian seaside settlement. The water lapped against the dock, citizens strolled hither and thither, sailors went about their business - which business, evidently, was nothing more than poking their nose into everyone else's business - housewives bustled around importantly, children laughed and ran - in short, the day was perfectly normal and unexciting. And then IT came. It came slowly, sneakily... barely making ripples in the water. It's tentacles slithered up the stone pier so softly no one even knew it was there. Suddenly a dead silence fell over the bustling docks. You could have heard a pin drop as the monster slithered over the mossy stones... still silently... still slowly... but still relentlessly. For a moment, time seemed to stand still. For a moment, no one moved. For a moment, no one could believe that this was more than a hideous dream. The next moment... terror! This town, at least, will not be sending aid to the war effort. Well, this was a bit out of my comfort zone... Not unhappy with the result however. Tried out a new wall technique on that tallest house! And of course the Kraaken was quite a first... but not too bad, all things considered! Thanks for looking!
  19. Ahoy, mateys! Here's my Challenge V - Category C entry. Witness the return of the Colonial MinionsTM *evil laughter in the background* Don't Tread on Meeeee!! After their unsuccessful attack on the Marderian fortress of El Peñón, the remaining Eslandian Black Bats were ordered to refresh and regroup on the Southern shores of the Isla de Medio - away from the awful fighting. Unfortunately, no place is really safe from the mayhem those dreadful Colonial MinionsTM are capable of spreading wherever they happen to show up. And as it so happened, they did. Of all the places in the Brick Seas it had to be here. Exactly now. And the camp the Eslandians had set up was right in their way. Well, actually, more in the pathway their latest pet decided to take... Seemingly a fish in a wet suit. What exactly it is and where they got it from, no-one really knows. One thing is for sure, though - it's ridiculous in every aspect. And yet terrifying enough to turn the feared Eslandian crack troops into a bunch of screaming chickens as they are trying to escape the incomprehensible menace that's coming down on them... About: I absolutely wanted to mobilize the Minions for this category, there was just too much potential here to forgo this opportunity The idea for the 'monster' is based on the Futurama reverse scuba suit - ridiculous enough to be translated into bricks. As usual, all can be built - and maybe I'm going to build this land fish thingy for real... a friend of mine said it'd be a worthy decorative object for her flat... well... I hope you enjoyed this latest chapter in the Menacing Minions Book. C&C welcome! Vive le Roi!
  20. My entry for Category B of Challenge V, as well as a bonus entry to ABS Builder challenge. Credit for the arch design goes to Mark of Falworth. The Katoren siege-workshop is in full swing as they manufacture all types of siege weapons for the war against the Spire. More pictures on Brickbuilt Thanks for looking, C&C welcome
  21. After building Chenonceau, I was in a bit of a micro mood, and thought it would be fun to try my hand at a micro siege workshop. The whole build is only 8×8, and includes four micro siege weapons: one ballista, two catapults, and one siege tower. Dwarves in Mitgardia have long been masters of creating devastating siege weapons. With new demand for armament to battle the Spire, these Dwarven craftsmen have put their forges to work forging powerful ballistas, catapults, and more. Thanks for looking, comments and suggestions always welcome
  22. Kaliphlin is known for its abundance of oil, and in Barqa the alchemists and craftsmen joined forces long ago to make this into the fearsome weapon known as "Barqan Fire". It is most commonly used on board warships, but smaller horse-drawn war machines have also started to be made for use in land combat. Unfortunately they are not very reliable yet and are not without reason feared almost as much among the Kaliphlinites themselves as by their foes. In this siege workshop in Barqa, a completed fire wagon is ready for transport to support the war against the Spire. The soldier doing the final adjustments to the pumping mechanism has however unknowingly built up way too much pressure in the cylinder... Siege workshop in Barqa Accidental release of the Barqan Fire... Accidental release of the Barqan Fire... Closeup of a Barqan Fire Wagon Closeup of the fire pumping mechanisms ready to be mounted on new wagons Siege workshop in Barqa Fire! (Photographed with only the blacklight) It was a challenge to get the lighting good for this build, getting enough blacklight to give a good fluorescent glow but not too much so that the rest of the build turned all blue... Here is the photo setup, where the speedlight was fired at maximum power and mix of light was regulated by how long the exposure time was after the flash. Typically I used 10-30 s.
  23. It was a bright day and the sun was beating down on the streets of Kings Port. Inside the governor's hall the temperature and the mood was much milder. Admiral van Draumen had found the courage to propose to her - Princess Vinapptshitshi of Mardier, King Alphonso's beloved daughter. As he kneeled down before her she gladly answered his beaming smile - and his proposal by a softly whispered "yes". Van Draumen had backed his proposal with a show-off of his riches, but it seemed that the princess cared more for him than for his money. Which was good, as van Draumen did not expect the King to approve of this marriage. Troubled times lay ahead, but this was not the time to worry. This was a day to celebrate C&C Welcome.
  24. The Eagle at the Great Wall of Hesperia A build for the Alliance in Book II, Challenge V, Category A "We have to make all speed, Aeriglaaac, to get this message to King Fingolë the Golden," said Celdrian the Eagle Rider. "The eastern elves were very particular about making haste. The heir to Cedrica returning will be news welcome to his ears, I think, even if the humans of Avalonia and all of Historica are hardly his concern. Lord Ravaage certainly is his concern, though." "EEAAAAAK!" "You're right, Aeriglaaac, as usual. It would be fun to buzz the tower over at the peak of Oronech, wouldn't it? I love keeping those guards on their toes." "EEAAAAAAAAAAAK RAAAAK!" "You see Prince Fingalad at the tower with your eagle eyes? Excellent, a chance to show off our flying skills!" "EAAAK EEEAAAAAAK EEEEEEK!" "Ok, alright, your flying skills, then." "EEAAAAK!" "Let's go!" "What the..." said Prince Fingalad. "Eagle Riders. Cocky bunch. How I despise them, however useful they may be." More pictures: _____________________________________________________________________ .......................................................................................................................................... Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. Hopefully the overhang is not unreasonable. The base of the build is 248 studs, slightly smaller than the 256 of a 16x16 base, though the decorative border adds to that (but doesn't count, thankfully).
  25. Evening Falls Like a Vulture's Wing A build for the Spire in Book II, Challenge V, Category A As the sun set below the horizon, Ellardin the elf messenger slumped back against the rock. His body was afire with pain every time he moved, as the spear points and arrows lodged in him dug a little deeper into his vitals, and it would not be long now. A rustling behind his ear caused him to look up. A black vulture was perched on the rock inches from his face, its eyes looking hungrily from its red bald head. Ellardin looked away and sighed. His bloody fingers clutched the letter to King Fingolë the Golden, knowing that it would never make it to its destination; those drow huntsmen had made sure of that. More vultures circled and landed around Harafel, his horse, as the light dimmed. The sound of beaks tearing at the soft innards caused the elf to shudder, which in turn caused him to cry out softly in pain as the points worked inwards. The evening was falling quickly now, and the vultures were coming in thickly. Darkness had come. More pictures: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .............................................................................................................................. Thanks for looking, and C&C welcome. Gideon's vulture design was the inspiration for this build, so a big shout out to him for being inspirational.