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Found 22 results

  1. socalbricks

    [Freebuild] The Abyss

    Built for Brickscalibur (Labor of Love category) as part of a collab with @Sympatik Brick One beautiful summer morning on the coast, a man named Nemyk (wanting to beat the “morning rush”) went down to his favorite fishing spot. What he found instead was a basking mermaid named Lorena, who wanted to take advantage of the first rays of the sun while out of the sight of “land dwellers”. Both caught off guard, the two engaged in some awkward small talk before parting ways. As fate would have it, the two would encounter each other again the following morning, and the morning after that, and so on. Gradually warming to each other, the two poured out their hearts, and (after a few months) were deeply in love. On the anniversary of their meeting, both decided to surprise each other with a gift. Nemyk sought a rare flower that was only found deep within the inhospitable Rakath mountains, while Lorena sought a crystal in the cold abyss of the ocean. Neither were prepared for the dangers that awaited them… Here's @Sympatik Brick's half of the collab! About the Giant Valyrian Anglerfish: Additional Images: Brickscalibur has just reached its epic conclusion, and it's time for me to start posting my entries. This was my first-ever collaboration, and it was an absolute blast! Best of luck to all of you who submitted entries!
  2. Previously... I am so excited to present this story and LEGO collaboration for Guilds of Historica, and of course, specifically for the glory of Varlyrio . Huge thanks to TalusMoonbreaker, my only collaborator this time, for all the work as we wrote the story together and helped with tips in building and planning all of this! I hope you like it! It certainly gives me a trembling, nervious sensation just reading or writing it! Note that any Italian included is superfluous in terms of the thread of the story. If you don't understand the meaning of the words, don't worry, the sentence should still make sense as the Italian is used mainly just for exclamations! Also, while it would be neat to have read or to go read the previous story linked above, it's not essential to follow the story here below :) . Feel free to get a cup of coffee before sitting down to read the whole thing, or read the story by chapter! The title to each part leads to the individual topic on Eurobricks, and the photo links to flickr so you can see the build better. P.S. And while you're reading, you might want a soundtrack to get your blood stirring... Sarah Schachner did an incredible job on almost all of this exotic AC: Origins soundtrack, so I recommend it to go with the flow of the tale! Hope you enjoy reading, and let me know any thoughts, or questions if someone has some :) ! The Architect's Ascension Part I: Le Gesta Oscure di Ilazio Moccenigo The sun was beginning to set over the capital city of Illaryian. I remembered, my father had died on a similar evening a few weeks ago. Soon, the wrongful death of mio papà would be avenged. I then began to roll up various papers, including legal documents, records, and schematics, and put up the volumes that I had borrowed during my vaste research, for con fortuna, Ristoro would have concluded a deal on the streets below. Before I left, I suddenly heard a rustle. Was I caught? Was all this, weeks upon weeks of tracking, plotting, and investigating, for nought? “Vindur,” I whispered softly. “Sei tu?” “Sì!” hissed an excited voice from behind. I gave a slight smile. The Kolgari informant had once again proven himself. ! The Kolgari informant. “Signore, your theory about the Rego’s relationship to the De Cioto girl is correct. One source cited having seen her, peering over the balcony when sua amante declared the late Staffen Conzaga, his former ally, traitor to Varlyrio.” “What about Ristoro?” I inquired. “Usually you report to him, certo?” “Questo era importante,” the Kolgari replied, smiling from underneath his dark hood. I passed him a substantially hefty bag in return. If this failed, coin would be the least of my troubles. It faintly clinked as it passed between us, then the spy swiftly left like the wind. So, that’s how Signore Conzaga had died. The death of my fellow triumvirate, Prince Råiden the Tiger, was not the first conspiracy that Arama and her Rego had orchestrated… Earlier, Ristoro had informed me that an assassino had been sent after Alesio De Fiori, like Signore Conzaga, a former ally that assisted in the removal of the Amancios but was later betrayed. Additionally, Cadgie, another Fiori, had died around the same time. More treachery. Luca had not gained the throne through popularity, but through betrayal! His own citizens had cast shame upon the House of Cioto too. I checked the area again, making sure that only shadows had perused the otherwise empty floor, then left to discover what Ristoro had caught questa volta. Perhaps instead of wasting his time partying, he should have worked in the trade of dangerous secrets, I mused to myself. The dusk was turning to night, perfetto for maintaining my secrecy. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. I slowly closed the door to the ancient library, the façade dating to an earlier design style, locking it with a key that Ristoro had seen forged by me. His knowledge of the Varlyrian underworld was impressive, again making me wonder at his thus squandered life. Leaning against a large vase, Ristoro held several long, leather tubes in his hands. He was smiling come un demone. “Here are the architectural plans that you fancied, fratello, straight from the vaults of Gli Archivi Reale. Those crafters of sharp steel and famed vintners have served us eagerly and well.” “Molto bene,” I whispered back. “Soon Ristoro, we strike, for everything is in place. Per papà!” The blueprint was complete. This was no longer just about the Rego: there was now more to it, a deeper conspiracy. Ristoro, however, would not be privy to this additional act of my planned vendetta… .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part II: Il Pentimento di un Padre Ristoro did not know where to begin. He had promised himself, and Ilazio, that he would apologize to Aurelia and become a better father. He sighed. It had seemed so easy when he’d fallen in love with Marsilia back in Veniera. Of course, he hadn’t known then that suo amore even had a daughter. As he looked along the canal, the most beautiful in Caglaveri, from his vantage point upon Il Ponte dei Monaci, he sighed. How could he ever make it up to them? His papà, the once renowned Brabantio Moccenigo, architect of Varlyrio, had planted flowering trees along the edge of the stone streets that rose from the calm water. “I know I haven’t been the best padre,” Ristoro began. Aurelia immediately interrupted, replying emotionlessly, “You’ve never been mio padre.” Ristoro scowled involuntarily. “So, you love your bloodthirsty uncle more than me?” “I… I saw you at il Baile di Ziccardi. With her,” she told him quietly. “Oh,” Ristoro said, embarrassed, regretting the enjoyment that he had gotten out of that evening. “And Zio found you drunk.” “Zio Ilazio è un traditore. I know he’s treated you like a true father would, Aurelia, but he’s dangerous. He has already brought molto vergogna upon us. Who knows what schemes that crazed architect will devise next?!” Aurelia just stared at him, emptiness in her eyes. She seemed to do that frequently, Ristoro noted, as if she expected him to understand her senza parole. Marsilia could be persuaded—deep down she still loved him despite his sins—but Aurelia, he did not know if he could ever convince her that he truly wanted to be her papà. Ristoro got onto his knees and grasped Aurelia’s still hands, his head hung in shame. “I understand… I have been a horrific padre, a terrible husband, and… and a wretch. I lost mio papà, I squandered any opportunity to learn from him, for your nonno to be mine father. But, Aurelia, I, in tutta sincerità, hope that that same fate never befalls you!” He looked up, tears streaming from his eyes. “I apologise, mia figlia, Aurelia. I will be, prometto, a better father, a better husband, and a better man.” He stood up, his gaze focused on the sun setting over the beautiful canal. “Even though I believe tuo zio, mio fratello Ilazio to be mad, he helped me realize this truth and for that, I am forever in his gratitude.” At that, Aurelia gave a slight smile. Taking her small hand, Ristoro led his daughter off of the bridge to retire for the night. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Later that night, Ristoro returned to the same bridge. The moonlight shone brightly over the dark, crystaline waters of Il Canale Grande. If he was to reunite his famiglia, Ilazio must not succeed with his dastardly plan concerning the Rego, Luca di Carlo, who was not responsible for the death of their padre. All of Varlyrio, even many of the Kolgari in their subterranean estates, would hunt and destroy them if Ilazio ever obtained his vengeance. By Sana Argenta, the Rego must know before it is too late! L’architetto will strike soon, and strike to kill! .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part III: Il Tradimento di Ristoro “Il mio Rego,” a page called out from the hallway of the beauteous palazzo. “A man by the name of Signore Ristoro Domingo Moccenigo is here to see you, shall I let him in?” Luca di Carli jumped up from his desk piled with boring reports from all over the guild and opened the door slightly. “Certamente!” he replied cheerfully. “Plucky compagni, those Moccenigos. I would be glad if they were miei amici.” But Luca knew that they weren’t, and had no reason to be, his friends, and he had no idea what to expect from this Moccenigo. He reflected with an uneasy feeling in his stomach that, at least, most of his limited reports suggested that this one was less prone to violence and backstabbing than a certain other Moccenigo who he had reason to know. So Luca desperately hoped that this would turn out better than his last encounter with a Moccenigo. Either way, the young Rego suddenly wished that he still was in possession of the Kolgari medallion that had saved him once. In another moment a loud knock sounded in the room, the noise of an impatient hand on the wooden door. Luca di Carli opened the door once more, all the way this time, courteously inviting Ristoro Domingo Moccenigo into his ornately furnished room with a casual sweep of his hand. The young page made a hand signal to the Rego, letting him know that guards would be on hand, before departing, leaving him with the brightly-dressed Moccenigo. Ristoro Moccenigo looked around nervously. The Rego just sat at his desk chair, waiting for the man to speak. Luca twisted his mouth thoughtfully, half amused and half suspicious at the demure behavior of his visitor. “Mio signore,” Moccenigo gulped at last. “My brother intends to kill you.” Luca looked at the fellow peculiarly, trying to keep his simulated gape from turning into a smile. “Davvero?” “He has been planning it over the course of the last month—he wants vengeance, signore… for nostro padre!” “I already know that,” Luca grinned dryly, putting one of his boots up against the wall, “but nevertheless, grazie.” “Prego! You take my warnings for granted, mio Rego?” Ristoro warned, taken partially aback by the Rego’s careless ennui. Luca laughed. “Sempre! Your brother already killed me once, Ristoro!” Luca remarked, smiling keenly and then biting his lip. “Didn’t he tell you? But if you have dates, times, anything that could help me to stay safe from him, I’ll need that.” He looked at Ristoro momentarily with a questioning gaze. “I would be very obliged for anything of that sort.” “I will, prometto, tell you anything I know, or can learn, my Rego, but you must be careful! Ilazio does not share much with me, and every moment I know that your life is in more danger.” Ristoro then bowed, said addio, and then knocked on the door, without taking his gaze off the Rego’s cool face, to be escorted out by the page. Even if Luca di Carlo was as politically treacherous as their informants said, Ristoro was certain that the Rego had not slain his father. That was all a part of his brother’s madness. He stepped out with another bow, and Luca merrily called out an addio to him as he passed out of earshot following quickly after the affable page. Politics in Varlyrio was like playing roulette with daggers, so why disturb the delicate balance of the realm, a realm of knives? There was nothing more that Ristoro could do for the Rego at the moment, or he might get too involved and go down with the suction of someone else’s fall. Ristoro didn’t want that. He had a daughter that he wanted to take care of, and he had learned that it was hard to do so from a dungeon… let alone if he was dead. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. I had dressed in simple garb to blend in with the crowds milling about the streets of Illaryian. Because anyone seeing a hooded figure in broad daylight would assume mischief, I occasionally darted my eyes to make sure no guardie, assassini, or other miscreants snuck up on me as I waited in the doorway of a steel warehouse near the city wall. The door opened and a serving girl dressed in a dirty smock came out. She whispered into my ear, “The lords have read your message. They wish to speak with you.” That was odd—I had specifically stated in my note that I would only speak with them after my plan had succeeded, in case any spie were among them or lest they should seek to betray me. My last vendetta with the De Cioto ragazza had left me cautious of my allies. I was shocked, then, to see a representative of the Conzaga famiglia, recognizable from the crest on his lavish doublet, partly hidden by a simple, brown cloak, in the De Fiori warehouse. “We would be honored if you would join us,” Alesio De Fiori said after taking a sip from a glass filled with a new batch of Conzaga wine, finely aged like the great Fiori himself. “It is so good to meet you at last, your proposition is most intriguing, Signore Ilazio Moccenigo.” “We would be honored if you would join us,” Alesio De Fiori said, after taking a sip of wine. “I am duly sorry about your father, Moccenigo, we all miss him. I too look forward to this alleanza,” Conzaga interjected and raised his glass in respect for my papà, Brabantio Moccenigo, who I had planned and built great wonders with when he still roamed la terra. “When the news reaches the far corners of Varlyrio, many others will flock to our banner,” Alesio said with satisfaction, for the wine or my vendetta I could not tell. Either way, I gave a slight smile to those gathered in the warehouse. “Uomini, I must bid you addio. Fortune calls,” I said, before returning to the backstreets of Illaryian. La mia vendetta pianificata was coming along so well, and this time I had left no option unthought of, no circumstance up to chance. Soon, it would all unfold. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The door to the Rego’s personal room suddenly flew open. Luca looked up to see a panting Ristoro, quickly followed by the apologetic page. Di Carli held up a hand to stop him. He whispered quickly in the page’s ear and the young fellow rushed away. “Ristoro! Come va? What news of your dear fratello?” Luca leaned back against the wall and ran his hand through his shoulder length hair. “My Rego, it is urgent, he will strike soon, and to kill!” Ristoro said rapidly, breathing harshly. “Mio Rego, he knows something that you wouldn’t want anyone in all Varlyrio to know! That you dare not let anyone in all Varlyrio know.” Luca nodded encouragingly. “Bene?” “He knows that you spend time with the De Cioto girl, Luca di Carlo…” Luca started. “And so do you!” he said, smiling cleverly and talking calmly, as though it wasn’t the horrible surprise that it was, but rather something of a consequential nature. Moccenigo pursed his lips. “And he has struck a deal.” “Un accordo,” Luca mused, still grinning. “Please explain, Moccenigo, if you’d be so kind.” “I know not mio Rego! Ilazio’s message was cryptic, qualcosa about assassini, vintners, and forgers, but signore, I wouldn’t…” Ristoro stopped as a quick rap sounded upon the door. “Come in,” the Rego called, apparently ignoring the unfinished sentence for the moment. Vintners and blacksmiths? Luca knew who that might be! If he were right, those were powerful famiglia. The Moccenigos were becoming dangerous: should he even trust this Ristoro Domingo, a well known mascalzone dissipato? What if his information was all a ruse? He smiled with worried surprise as soon as he saw who the page had admitted into his quarters. “Salve, you came at last! Take a seat,” he said grimly to the newcomer. “Bene, Signore Moccenigo, you mentioned un accordo?” “Sì,” Ristoro replied nervously. He didn’t like the look of the newcomer, a slim girl, lavishly dressed and wearing a mischievous smile in her suspicious eyes. Ristoro couldn’t see the face della ragazza except those eyes, but he felt sure that she was frowning at him thoughtfully. She didn’t seem at all surprised at who she found all of a sudden in the Rego’s room. “But, where is your brother?” Luca di Carli asked. “It would be simplest to find him and bring him at once, to give account of his actions directly.” Such treachery as this could cost him dearly. Luca had let Ilazio Moccenigo escape once already. Ristoro swallowed, his eyes darting between di Carlo and la ragazza. Now he realized who the girl was. Beninteso! It was Arama De Cioto! “I… I know not my Rego,” Moccenigo stammered hastily, backing out towards the door while Arama glanced at him with a questioning smile. He thought he saw her hand near her boot. Was there a knife there? Did she reach for it as a simple precaution, or for a preemptive move? Ristoro didn’t want to know. “Sfortunatamente, mio Rego,” he said, nodding hastily and jumping up and down on his feet, “I must take my leave! At once!” Luca watched as the anxious Moccenigo left without another word. He had no chance or time to try to stop him. He whirled off the wall, turning to the girl leaning over the cluttered desk, and quietly whispered, “Arama! The Moccenigos know that we’re together!” “I heard that,” Arama half smiled and half laughed. “But do you think they have any proof? Could they convince anyone? Could they convince the De Fioris or the Conzagas?” Arama was trembling with earnestness. Luca knew that this thrill of the conspiracy was what she loved, and the more that was on the line, the more she loved it. She had gambled with his life before. But at least she had won her gamble. “I don’t know,” Luca said softly. “Non lo so, Arama.” “I’m gonna follow him then,” Arama said. “It’s our last chance. I wanna kill Ilazio—and I need to know where he is.” Arama drew her knife out of her boot and tossed it up into her other hand. She kissed her hand and pressed it against Luca’s cheek and he also felt the cold steel against it, and then she spun around and pushed off the slightly ajar door as she dashed towards the stairwell down which Ristoro Moccenigo had fled. As she leapt down the stairs the girl left her friend the Rego and Arama di Athena De Cioto behind. Only a nameless assassin remained, with a hood over her hair, a cloth above her nose, and a cloak wrapped around her body… and a dagger in her hand. Meanwhile Luca sat down on his cushioned chair, his eyes gazing out the stained glass windows at the skyline of Illaryian. He hoped Arama di Athena De Cioto would be safe. She had always been safe before, he reminded himself, no matter what conspiracy she got herself into—but that did not stop him from worrying. Now it looked like they didn’t stand a chance: would it really help to kill another person? What if Moccenigo killed her? Luca jumped out of the chair and put his hands against the window. He felt it tremble at the blow. He would make all of Varlyrio trembled like that! All he needed was a chance. He didn’t know if he wanted Arama to succeed or to fail. But he knew she would succeed: she always did. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part IV: Il Rimpianto del Vendicatore Arama sprinted through the windy passages, narrow alleys, and cobbled streets of vast Illaryian. Then she jumped onto a roof and caught sight of Ristoro hurrying through the thoroughfare far ahead. She rushed on across the roofs, leaping the gaps, landing with only a soft thud, her cloak floating out behind her. Arama rushed on across the roofs, leaping the gaps, landing with only a soft thud, her cloak floating out behind her. Suddenly Ristoro heard something above him. He looked up and he saw a shadow watching him coolly from the roofs far above. Now he was even more afraid of the ragazza who had followed him so quickly and found him without erring far in the depths of the greatest city in the realm. He looked up and he saw a shadow watching him coolly from the roofs far above. He couldn’t outrun her, and he knew he didn’t stand a chance in a fight—he didn’t want to kill her anyway! What could he do? There was a bridge. At least Ristoro knew how to swim! He threw off his sword and sprung over the side, landing in the canal below with a splash. Arama knew the canals like the back of her hand. With one deep breath she plunged off the rooftop, tucking her dagger in her sleeve. The canal here was deep and narrow. Arama landed on the other side of the bridge, pitching far below the depths of the water. She spread out her arms to slow her fall. In another second Arama had Ristoro’s doublet in her hand. She lifted him up against the wall on the side of the canal, but she had to let him go to get a breath of air. Ristoro scrambled up onto the cobblestones, but now he was in a cortile with only one entrance, where Arama De Cioto now stood. Ristoro Moccenigo shook in an almost unreasonable fear. Now he was in a cortile with only one entrance, where Arama De Cioto now stood. “Cieli! Just get it over with!” he screamed, petrified. "Just get it over with!" Ristoro screamed. “Stolto, does it look like I have a blade in my hand?” Arama answered with affected dryness, showing her outstretched and empty palms to him. “Così,” Ristoro started nervously. “You aren’t here to seppellire a blade in me?” “No,” she said sweetly. “I just want you to talk. Why didn’t you answer the question Luca asked you?” “You want to kill my fratello and not me?” Ristoro asked, unable to swallow his saliva. For reply, Arama’s eyes glittered. “It’s no use, there’s no point! Ilazio already told the De Fioris that–” “I know,” Arama said, a perturbed glimmer passing across her face. She hadn’t really known that. So it really was too late. She grit her teeth. They just had to ride it out. It sounded like a very dangerous storm. It was time to be brash and reckless. “Vedo, you probably know what Ilazio wants to do,” Ristoro said in a very low voice. “He’ll kill you and il nostro caro Rego!” he warned. “Let him do it,” Arama replied brazenly. “If he kills me it wouldn't matter. But he can’t prove anything he says.” “You, like Signore di Carlo, underestimate mio brother. I’ve seen his plans and correspondences, De Cioto!” “It doesn’t matter what he knows,” Arama smiled thoughtfully, “it matters what he can show, what he can get people to believe. It's not the first time he’s spread false rumors. He would never live another day if he assassinated the Rego.” Arama looked defiantly at the waters of the canal behind her. “Then, I believe,” Ristoro answered, “he will kill you.” A sharp hiss echoed throughout il cortile. Both Ristoro and Arama were caught off guard. They both paused, without further discussion, each searching the dim backstreet courtyard for signs of any intruder. Arama let her knife slip down into her palm again. Then all of a sudden, a shadowy figure, contrasted by a drawn sword with golden hilt engravings, leapt from a window in the stone building behind them, landing beside Ristoro who immediately began to back away. A shadowy figure, contrasted by a drawn sword with golden hilt engravings, leapt from a window in the stone building behind them. The shadowy figure pushed back his hood. Ilazio Moccenigo had heard every last word. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. “Buona serata,” I greeted gruffly, my sword pointed at the two traitors. One had succeeded before in obstructing my plans, but questa notte, I would ensure that they both failed. I began moving towards them, then stopped as I saw a flash of metal. Arama drew a hidden dagger from within her clothes. “Certo, buona serata!” Arama had drawn a hidden dagger from within her clothes, but she didn’t stand a chance against my long, sharp blade. Then, when Ristoro tossed her his sword from the bridge where he had left it, although she caught it deftly in the air with her other hand, I could tell that she was more accustomed to fighting come una assassina rather than a proper duelist. Ristoro tossed her his sword from the bridge where he had left it. Her arms seemed to be shaking slightly, and her footwork was like a tigress ready to pounce upon her foe from behind, not from ahead. But she was light and agile, and playing right into her strengths, Arama ran for it, quickly scaling the walls of il cortile until she reached the roof above. In return, I gave chase. She was light and agile. I could hear Arama’s breath from above me as she silenziosamente prepared to leap across to the nearest roof. She would never make it. “Don’t!” I yelled from the roof below her feet which I was quickly pulling myself up onto. “What do you care if I do?” Arama murmured in reply, but before she got a chance to, I grabbed one of her moving feet, rolling onto the roof beside her. Arama was about to jump to the other side of the street. Arama threw herself down beside me and I spun out of the way just in time. I felt her knife sound against the terracotta altana as it dug deep into the spot where my chest had been a moment before. Her dagger was stuck there now. Arama swept her feet at me as I leapt up and took a better stance upon the roof, but she was too far away. She had to hold up her sword to me. I had the advantage now, but I was still waiting for something unexpected. So far, only I have delivered soprese. Arama stood on the defensive, frustration written on her visage. But I wouldn’t commit. “You want me dead,” I smiled at her eagerly, “not the other way around.” “I wanted to get out of here,” Arama whispered sulkily, pulling her mask below her mouth to breathe, “you wouldn’t let me get away. So if you don’t want me dead, climb down, or let me jump.” “Letting you make that jump? Not if I don’t want you dead. But maybe I do, so go ahead.” Arama made a gesture. “But I’m not putting away my sword. Do you think I am some stolto like my brother, to just let you kill me?” Arama laughed. “Tell me again why you’re mad at me?” she asked. “You killed my father,” I hissed, “and your Rego will pay, just like you, stupida girl. You think life is nothing? You take your own and others pretty carelessly.” “Don’t become careless with yours,” the girl replied, sweeping at me at last with the edge of her sword. Our blades met with my parry and swift counterstrike. Before Arama could recover, I struck out again, the force behind my blade driving her back along the steep roofline. We drove quietly back and forth at each other, our swords ringing through the otherwise silent night. With efficiency, I contrived to drive her back with each of our moves, using forces similar to those which balanced a crane in my father’s constructions to turn everything to my advantage. Arama’s strikes became more wild and her defense mere seconds from la morte. She was still smiling though. Infine! There was a gap, a risky manovra with ricche ricompense. I lunged, hoping my feet would not slip on a loose tile, my glittering sword striking true. Time seemed to slow. A shuddered breath escaped the lips of mia avversaria. I did not wait to see my vittoria. Quickly, I retracted my blade and swung, using shear impact to dislodge the sword from her clammy hands. Then I mercilessly shoved her off the narrow roofline while she looked down at the ever growing blood stains on her fancy clothes. My sword had gone through the chainmail that she wore beneath her dress. Only one image clouded my thoughts, the image of her shocked, and forse scared, expression followed with ragged breaths and dripping blood, an image branded into me. Ristoro backed away from the crumpled, limp form that ended on the cobblestones below. “Ilazio?” he said, his voice filled with discomfort and uncertainty. He shuddered again as I dropped to the cobbled streets below, this time with my gold-inlaid sword sheathed. Mio fratello looked confused, his eyes going back and forth between my demented visage and the bleeding corpse that was Arama di Athena De Cioto. Finally making up his mind, he darted for l’ingresso del cortile. I simply turned and watched as he scurried away. My attention then shifted back to the velvet liquid running freely through the cracks in the cobbles. More blood would flow, abbastanza presto. I unsheathed my sword slowly, letting its ring echo, while I walked over to the shuddering figure, covered in her own blood. No, not quite a corpse yet. The fall had only been about a story, and she knew how to land, although she must have been very bruised. My sword had only pierced her side, not her heart. Not yet. “I'm not afraid of you,” Arama whispered, looking up at me kindly, her breath increasing in pace and raggedness as I descended upon her like a ravenous Mitgardian wolf. I stood over her, the tip of my blade less than a millimeter above her beating heart. The girl still struggled like wounded prey, trying to back away. Maybe she did have another dagger, but she couldn’t use it now. She was dizzy and sick. Arama could barely lift her head, she was so weak. My sword followed, forcing her to concede. Arama let herself drop onto the stones, looking around, to make sure that I was the only one with her. She saw through a black haze, my sword hanging above her. Her last knife dropped from her hand. “Tell Luca I love him,” she said, whispering, wincing and hiding her face behind her arm. I craved that! I was overjoyed to hear it, my entire case proven by its denier! In my mind her guilt was sealed now. But… still. My heart rate increased, breaths ragged as the maledetta below me. Soon, every rag of the vendetta I wanted would be mine! I roughly grasped Arama and bent my sword down to her throat, prepared to strike home. Suddenly her unusually neat hair, wandering in wisps below her half drawn hood, was the same hue as Aurelia’s. I shook my head, scowling fiercely—this was not the time for doubts. Did my padre look this way before di incontrare la morte? I must, I must kill her! As I looked down at her, the image flashed again, then images of mio papà coursed through me. “Go ahead, I guess it was always coming to this,” Arama shrugged, tears falling down upon her stomach and mixing with sangue. I lifted my sword arm up once again, this time to kill! I made a bloodthirsty roar—but then I immediately dropped my blade to the blood-stained pavement. “Bene! I can’t,” I said at last through ragged breath. I staggered away from Arama. “This isn’t what I wanted.” “Che cosa?” she asked meekly. Her arm lowered from her face, and she looked at me with a tired, scared and confused question in her eyes. “I saw him, mio padre in my mind. Revenge won’t bring him back from la morte. It’s only a path of destruction… per tutti!” I said, facing away from the girl who had almost become a corpse. My breath was still coming rapidly, my heartbeats deafening every other sound. I was on the verge of spinning round, of doing it, and of taking my own destruction too if I had to! But I forced myself to speak, and mio voce came from a different person, a body, not a mind. “Arama, I just realized… what you did was horrible, but if I killed you now, just for vengeance, to satisfy myself… that would be horrible too!” I cried. I faced Arama De Cioto again and walked over to her, leaning in close to her teary face, where she had placed her palm and left a stain of blood. Then I whispered into her ear, pleading with her even though she was completely in my power, “Just take my forgiveness and go!” “I’ll love you for this,” Arama replied with a sudden merry feeling waving over her body. She pushed me away from her with her arm and closed her eyes, taking in a rasping breath. That confused me. She loved Luca di Carli! Would she betray him this easily? Is that what she meant? Maybe she just used the word carelessly… or maybe Luca was just like Prince Råiden to her. Would she betray him because I let her live even though it was my deepest desire to slit her very throat, simply because I couldn’t, I really couldn’t, kill her? She pushed herself off the stonework, one hand stopping her blood from flowing too freely, supporting herself on the wall with her other hand. I could tell her whole body was jarred by her fall. Maybe she had some broken bones. She still might die—was it crueler to leave her here than to run my sword through her side again? “No, wait, Arama,” something inside of me twisted, “I… I can’t let you go like this. Non c’è modo…” She looked at me with confusion in her eyes. “Why not?” she asked doubtfully. “You might die before you found help. That would just be more cruelty,” I said, looking boldly at her, as frankly as I could, although something rebelled in my stomach. “I never wanted to be cruel or evil! I can’t bear death, Arama. I don’t really want to return murder for murder.” I hung my head, my fists clenching and unclenching convulsively. Arama looked at me blankly. “Che bene,” she murmured. “I thought you wanted to kill me.” “I did.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Arama’s head throbbed profusely. She reached underneath the uncomfortable blankets placed on top of her and winced as she located the wound. So it had happened in verità, it wasn’t a dream. She hurt all over anyway, so it wasn’t like a surprise. Arama growled at the pain. He had told her, “You might die before you get help. That would just be but more cruelty,” before helping her to a farmacista. “You’re really thinking this through,” she had almost retorted. But she couldn’t understand what he was thinking. How could anyone change at such a moment? Maybe after you killed someone, then you might repent. But this was really weird. Although Ilazio had saved her life, and been very emotional about it too, now he seemed rather cold to her. She had made a few attempts at light conversazione to distract herself from her pain, pain that the brooding man sitting on the stool opposite her bed had caused and didn’t seem to care that she was suffering, and he had all but ignored her. How could he care for her all of the sudden? To help save her life, to give her food and water, and even do his best to make her comfortable. Arama tried to see through the man. She had met one or two pacifisti before, tame people, but she had never heard their stories. Was this how it happened? She didn't understand. These thoughts only made the throbbing worse. Arama’s head sagged back against the soft pillow, darkness enclosing her as her tired eyelids fluttered and then shut. Her breath came normally now. “Grazie,” she muttered in her sleep. “Molto grazie.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part V: La Confessione dell’Assassina Never while she lies before me, crippled and at the death’s door, shall I strike down another soul with blood in vendetta. I knew not why I made this oath to myself. What did I owe her anyways? I hadn’t meant for it to be so brutal. Maybe I had gotten carried away a little. It had almost all gone wrong. I shook my head, vacating the chair that I had occupied the entire serata. I needed to clear my thoughts. “Ilazio?” a weak voice called out as I gently opened the door. I looked behind me at the pale figure sitting up in the infermeria bed, Arama. She seemed enervated, but at least she was alive. I gave a slight smile, closed the door, and walked across the room towards her. “Che cosa?” I whispered. “You saved me. Perché?” she asked. “E allora? That doesn’t mean that I particularly like you,” I responded gruffly. “That’s not the point,” Arama said, looking extra pale and even trembling a little. “Maybe you should be Rego. If you really mean to be like this.” I looked at her, shocked, shaking my head in denial. She had done it for me! This wasn’t the first time today that my weeks of planning had turned out pretty differently from what I expected. But it was all the same in the end. It had to be. I would play my cards all the way. “No,” I said coolly. “Then what is it you want from me? You’ve been sitting there, su quella sedia, all night!” Arama swallowed, frustrated. “I can’t give you anything, more than that.” “No? Non voglio niente. I don’t want that. Nothing, I’ve repented of my vendetta. Mio papà can rest now, riposare in pace. You should too,” I answered ruefully, exasperated. “I don’t offer it for you, and I certainly don’t offer it for myself,” Arama begged, looking even more fragile than before. “But you can’t do it without me,” Arama grinned. “Lo sai.” “Perhaps I could have. Perhaps I didn’t want to. Buona Notte.” I gave a twinge of a smile as I left for the night. It turned out it was even easier this way. This was one maniera to gain vengeance over the dastardly Rego without even shedding blood. My month of hard work, research, and desperate secrecy would pay off soon… and both promesse could be preserved. You didn’t need to shed blood to kill. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Arama De Cioto was eating from a small bowl of porridge when Ilazio entered the following morning. She thought it was delicious even though she knew it tasted horrible. She looked less pale and more determined to Ilazio. He was surprised she hadn’t left. “Sicché?” she questioned indifferently as he closed the door. “Indeed,” he replied calmly despite the severity of his words. “Hai ragione. Luca has only, besides his peace with the Kolgari, caused turmoil and death per la nostra gilda. The last Rego was possibly killed off at sea and look where that got us. If I am to assume the Regoship, I want to do so with popular support. Nessuna violenza.” Arama sighed, bit her tongue, and stared at Ilazio. “You and me, we could do it,” she said. Ilazio shrugged. “At least we could try. If you really mean it. If you don’t mind what people think of you.” “I need you to swear,” Arama said through her teeth. “Swear what? I’ve already sworn in my heart. You think I could have stopped myself from killing you if I hadn’t barred myself with an oath under the moon last night? I will never shed blood again.” Ilazio closed his eyes. “I will become Rego because Varlyrio needs me. That’s never what I wanted. I just wanted to avenge my father! But you’re right. There’s something better for me to do. We need peace, justice, and friendship. I’ll give that, I swear!” Ilazio Moccenigo lifted up his hand and shook it at the roof. Then he sank back onto the sedia. “If we can, I mean. I swear I’ll never stop trying: by Sana Argenta!” Arama looked at him with her mouth ajar. “Bene… I,” she paused, not sure how to continue. This was betrayal, but it was for the best. Everything she had done with Luca, what had it gotten them? Now it hurt to think of the people who were gone—all gone forever, and it was her fault. Did she think it was all a game? What had she done? Whatever it was, she didn’t want to do it anymore. “I agree,” she said at last. She took a breath. Her headache vanished magically and even though she was in physical pain, she had never felt so light and happy before. And it would be fun to do Luca a favor he never imagined. She wondered if he’d appreciate this. But who cared? It didn’t really matter whether Luca understood it or not. It wasn’t up to him. She tried not to laugh. She knew it would hurt her stomach. “This costs me nothing, but everything for you,” Ilazio remarked. This arrangement only seemed to benefit him, ma forse she had some ragione occulto. “What do you want this for?” “Maybe I need to repent too,” Arama countered, both to herself and to Ilazio. “I found out something last night. There are two kinds of hearts. And I have both—at least I think I do.” She winked at Ilazio. Ilazio nodded as he gathered his cloak about himself, preparing to leave. “Then it’s settled. Due giorni and I will return here. If you’ve left, you must come too, at this hour. Then, we will present our case to le famiglie di importanza. Rest well, mia compagna ancora di nella conspirazione.” “This is treason,” Arama grinned. Ilazio grinned cautiously back at her. He would watch her carefully. “Al demone with treason or patriotism!” they both said together. Arama swallowed back her laugh. “Which one even is this?” Ilazio added thoughtfully. “Non lo so,” Arama murmured. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Luca di Carli, Rego of Varlyrio, was writing a letter to be sent to the Queen Ylspeth who demanded tidings detailing the recent assassination attempt, and regarding the death of the famous Tiger Prince, Råiden Tígrisdýrið, when Arama di Athena De Cioto limped in without knocking di mattina presto. “Arama!” he said, curious and alarmed at seeing her bloodstained clothes and pale face. She hadn’t bothered to change. Luca knew she liked going around all bloody and dirty. “Cosa! What happened this time? You can’t dream how anxious I’ve been; I sent out your brother looking for you with a trusted band of guards.” Arama grunted, wincing as she collapsed into the nearest chair. She smiled at him coyly, looking out from under her eyelashes with a resigned but merry expression. Luca leaned over the desk, rolling his eyes as he spilled ink on the letter to the Queen—he would probably just leave it that way, it was kind of artistic—and helped Arama into a sitting position. “Stab wound,” she replied, somehow nonchalantly. He frowned trying to repress any amusement. “Posso vedere. Why don’t you explain, per favore?” “Ilazio ambushed me,” she replied, licking her lips thoughtfully before confiding more. She knew, for one thing, that Ilazio’s agent was watching her from the other room. Well, he was wasting his time. Apparently Ilazio’s pacifism didn’t stop him from worrying about getting killed by someone else. “And he didn’t murder you like he murdered me?” Luca questioned ironically. “Oh, sorry, of course,” he apologized when Arama laughed. But there was something strange about her laugh, a pensive air to her face. Luca guessed that it wasn’t very comfortable for her to laugh at the moment. “Dispiace, didn’t mean to make you laugh,” he said apologetically. “It’ll make me live longer—maybe,” she said. “But no, he’s not dead either.” She smiled at Luca’s astonished look. “You flatter me,” she remarked bashfully. “What? All he cares about is revenge.” “Maybe… not all,” she said slowly. “Do you know what he cares about?” Luca quizzed her, leaning back against the table and accidentally putting his hand on the wet ink. “Accidenti!” Arama didn’t make any remarks. She seemed a little sad, her eyes lazily gazing out the window instead of at Luca. “Arama, you seem… distracted?” he said, concerned. Before, when he had seen her injured, she just wanted to fight. Now, she seemed perfectly happy, or at least perfectly normal. “That’s strange,” Luca accidentally muttered out loud. Arama looked distracted, gazing out of the window instead of at Luca. Arama nodded in affirmation, flinching, but both of them knew that it was a lie. It was… actually, pretty normal… that was what Luca found strange. “Well, it seems the Moccenigos aren’t a threat to us anymore. They know how to kill us but they still can’t. His last attempt on la mia vita has discouraged him, bene?” he said triumphantly, expecting Arama to tease him in return, but instead he disappointingly received nothing. He laughed. “Get some rest. Servo, fetch un dottore, per favore, to attend to her wounds.” “Sì, mio Rego,” the servant replied, bowing in deference. “We don’t really need to worry if all the world sees us together now, ehi?” “I don’t know, Luca,” Arama said hesitantly, “better not to be so reckless.” Luca nodded and gave a slight smile to Arama as she was carried out of the office. He sighed and then began adding some more artistic blotches to the report for Queen Ylspeth. Later, when little Arama De Cioto was more herself, he would find out the details of her disastrous fight with Moccenigo. Everything happened the way she wanted it to happen, he knew that pretty well. He grinned and shook his head. “Sempre impresionante,” he muttered. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Due giorni dopo, I went back to the farmacista to get Arama. We talked about the complicated details, safe exile, how she would get Luca to go with her, riservatezza delle informazioni, extenuating deals. The point was, I had to treat her fairly, and it was pretty tough to arrange it with the De Fioris and the Conzagas, but we did. She would be safe whatever happened, and Luca would be too. As for me, I made sure there was no way anybody else could take the spot I wanted. If things were going to change, I would be the next Rego. Arama was inflexible on that point… and so was I. And without us, nothing could happen. So we got what we wanted. And now it was all up to Arama di Athena De Cioto. I was shocked at the way she chose to do it. What was she thinking? I wasn’t ever going to kill another man, and she believed that. I think she became a little infatuated. She had some pretty terrible mood swings. One second she seemed to be drifting in the sky with joy, and the next hour she would be so sad and silent, I really started to worry for her. Would she do what she had agreed to do? I was committed to make sure that it happened peacefully, or it didn’t happen at all. Fortunately, la ragazza had an idea for how to accomplish that. All we needed was to get the most powerful famiglie of Illaryian on our side… That was what we were about to do, in the most brutal, inconceivable way possible. Arama was going to confess. I helped her limp to the sala conferenze, arranged with some of the most important famiglie of Varylrio, who all together would easily be able to sway the populace. If Arama told the truth… Would she really do it? Once we arrived, I left Arama on a couch in the antechamber. She asked me for a knife and I refused to give her one. “You don’t trust me?” she said, and she almost sounded hurt. “I’m trusting you.” “You don’t have to,” I said wistfully. “But knives aren’t for peaceful people.” Arama’s eyes fell on my one. I took off the belt and the knife and tossed it out the window. “There.” “I can get a knife if I want one,” Arama said. “You don’t want one,” I said, looking at her keenly. She smiled. Before I proceeded into the designated room, guarded all round by faithful De Fiori mercenaries, I tucked my father’s last written words into my pocket and I looked at the girl on the couch one last time. “Ilazio?” she asked weakly. I wondered at how she was planning on giving a speech in this state. “I need…” “Che cosa?” I replied “I need to know what we’re gonna do once I tell them. There are some things that I… I’m not proud of, segreti. I tell them to everyone, and we have to have a plan, how’m I gonna get out if they don’t keep their side of the deal? You bet they’ll want me dead,” she whispered. “They’ll want me dead very badly.” I smiled at her sadly. “I think they’ll know that you’ve changed now. Why else would you be telling them?” “That’s not good enough.” Ilazio sucked on his lip. “Then turn around and leave when you’re done. I’ll give you time to get away. You have to go get Luca, stay safe with the Royal Guards for now.” Arama nodded disconsolately. Those gathered nodded their heads towards me and many whispered greetings or condolences for my father as I entered the room. We began without any pointless delay. “You know what you’re here for. We made a deal. Anyone not know what it involves? Does anyone dissent?” “We’re waiting,” Alesio said, almost coldly. “It’s your turn, Moccenigo.” “Where’s the assassin?” a young man asked. He was a Lord of Baiamonte. I wasn’t scared of him. I nodded. “No one will touch her until she’s done. Then she leaves in peace.” “In pace? Why should she live? Shouldn’t you have killed the assassina the first time?” one of the younger nobles voiced mockingly. It was the same Baiamonte. “Do you think I am an assassin?” I asked calmly. The Lord of Baiamonte blinked at me. The Lord of Baiamonte blinked. “Leave her to me,” I said. “I broke her spirit, isn’t that enough? You know the deal. Violence is what characterized the last Rego’s reign, and the one before that. And the Baiamontes’... but it’s a foolish path. You’ll see that if you wait a moment. If we are to gain the support of the cittadini, we must use a different tact,” I replied coolly. The young noble laughed. He shook his head. “You’re weak, Moccenigo.” I smiled, and looked at the rest. Then I laughed. “Weak? What’s the use of power,” I said, “if you don’t know how to control it?” I advanced towards the insolent ragazzo. Even though I was shorter than him, he seemed to back away as I approached. I advanced towards the insolent ragazzo. “Mio padre aveva l'adagio, ‘Those who are weak give in to their impulses, but those who are strong resist.’ I could have easily killed her, Baiamonte. But we need her,” I said softly, mio voce cutting him like ice. “And everyone here will do as I say in this matter, until the crown of Varlyrio is on my brow, or until I myself am killed.” Silence filled the air of the sala conferenze. “Arama di Athena De Cioto,” I said quietly, “venire.” A gasp ran through the room, and I even felt a few hands stiffen around their swords. “This is your assissina?” Alesio said sharply. “What’s next, Ilazio Moccenigo?” I smiled at the cunning man with the patch. “Ascoltare.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. A servant walked in, helping Arama, who looked much paler and weaker than when we had arrived, to a nearby chair. I went to stand next to her, while De Fiori, Conzaga, and others stood motionless in their places. “Pronta?” I asked quietly. She nodded in affirmation. The same ragazzo who had made un pazzo of himself earlier, unwisely decided to speak up again. “Signori, I thought you said this was una assassina? Certamente, di Carlo couldn’t have any use for this weakling?” Arama bent over and whispered to me, “Perhaps you should have given me that knife.” She grinned at the young Baiamonte. “Perhaps, if you would let her speak, then you’d think differently,” Conzaga replied to him. The ragazzo frowned. Then, he nodded politely in the direction of Arama. “Signorina, per favore inizia.” Arama took a deep breath. Then she got up out of the chair, grabbed it by the top bar, and whirled it around an inch in front of Lord Baiamonte’s face, all in one smooth movement. She set it back down and leaned against it in the center of the room. Fire lit up her eyes. “Now maybe you’ll believe what I say,” she said, biting her lip harshly. I offered assistance but she picked up the chair in between me and her. I saw the pain in her eyes that her physical effort was making, but although her arms trembled, the chair never wavered until she set it back down beside her. Ilazio about to offer Arama assistance. “Arama, we know the part you played before the coronation, and afterwards,” Alesio said slowly. “None of us here bear you any goodwill. It’s about Luca di Carli, Rego régnant, that we need to know. Is it true? What did he care about Brabantio Moccenigo? About the Tiger of Illaryian?” Arama stood there shakily for a few moments, whether from fear or because of her wounds, I know not, but then she opened her mouth and the story came out in a quick torrent, like she didn’t want them to even understand her. But they did. “And about Cadgie De Fiori, Capri, Staffen Conzaga, other names I don’t need to say. The De Fiori backed Luca di Carli to replace old Supano Amancio, my cognato, by secretly murdering him at sea, or something like that. I backed Luca too, and I backstabbed some of you. But it wasn’t just me. Staffen Conzaga was killed by Luca soon afterwards by recommendation of Signore De Fiori.” Alesio gasped and glared at her. He hadn’t expected her to tell that. She knew too much. He looked at the Conzaga watching him bitterly and said pertly, “Staffen Conzaga was a traitor. He had plans that wouldn’t have left the realm in pace for another month. What do you say to that?” “Staffen Conzaga was a traitor. He had plans that wouldn’t have left the realm in pace for another month." Arama smiled and sighed, sitting backwards on the chair. “Of course it was justified to the Guardia Reale as tradimento on Staffen’s part. My brother was captain of the guard then. Each of you can believe it or not—I do, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t kill him. And because Alesio knew too much, we sent un assassino after him, but he failed; however, the ruffiani we sent after Cadgie succeeded. Maybe I should have gone myself. But we had Capri sequestrato in the confusion, and the Conzaga ragazza too. Then, to make Luca look favorable in the eyes of la popolazione and to the De Fiori, we made as though I was behind all of the murders and kidnappings.” Alesio stared at Arama with his one good eye. “Luca and Alesio stormed the Amancio Palazzo to find Capri, and I was injured. Then, Luca di Carli’s position was a sure one, but if anyone knew that the De Cioto’s were close to him, that could end it all. Your father, Moccenigo played the part of ricatto. That,” Arama said and she shook her head, “wasn’t very wise. But he almost got revenge… after he was dead. You know, Ilazio Moccenigo. The Tiger had to pay the price for peace with the Kolgari. It was his life for that of a thousand other Varlyrians and Elves. He was my friend, and I miss him, but it was a sacrifice he might have made himself, if he could have. He had a noble soul.” Arama confesses. I stopped Arama short. She was leaning against the back of the chair with her head now. “Luca didn’t know I had killed your father,” she murmured. I started and tears irrepressibly sprang into my eyes. “He didn’t know?” Arama just shook her head, crying into her sleeve which she viciously wiped across her eyes. “What does it matter now, hadn’t you forgiven him?” she said gently. “Of course,” I exhaled. Lord Baiamonte looked at me in confusion. “Well, the kidnapping of mio cugino Fiorello, which we orchestrated in the dead of night, was a tricky piece of work. Ilazio, we entrapped you in the trap that you had set for the Rego. But it wasn’t really a sequestro at all, it was just a scary serenata for my little cousin.” Arama took a deep breath. “I did most of this. I told Luca some things, and I didn’t tell him others. Then you almost killed him. You would have if it hadn’t been for me. And he actually pardoned you, Moccenigo. I had him pardon you.” Arama looked to her left to see me watching her intently. I helped her out of the chair and whispered, “Grazie.” Arama shot me one slow look. “I was joking,” she said, limping towards the door in a sudden hurry. “I was about to kill you.” “Lo so, I meant thank you for what you just did,” I said again. “It was brave, Arama,” I whispered into her ear. “Grazie.” Arama grabbed the door and pulled it open. “Arrivederci,” she said, holding onto it for one instant. Then she pushed off and ran down faster than I thought she could go, down the stairs, through the room, over the rail, and into the street. There was an awful silence in the sala di conferenze. I called the guards to close the doors. “So,” Conzaga said, “most of what you suspected was just so. It seemed like there was a surprise in there for you too, though, Ilazio Moccenigo. How do you know that what she said was true?” “The same way I know that what you all promised me was true,” I smiled cleverly. “You don’t have any other options.” Then, the great De Fiori stood forward. “We know your demands, Moccenigo. We are tired of the rule of this domineering di Carli. Let us hear the response of all present here. We all want peace, and we need to work together if there is to be no bloodshed. What about the Royal Guard?” “They’re taken care of,” I said, nodding. “If you bring the populace to our cause, gentiluomini, I will do all the rest.” I waited in suspense to hear their response. Alesio de Fiori went first. “As you all fully know, Ilazio Moccenigo, the son of the unfortunately deceased Signore Brabantio, possa riposare in pace, has offered us a plan to take down the Rego.” Those faithful made the signs of Sana Argenta; the bucket of water and the sword. Alesio looked at them with a wise and almost scornful look. “Signore Moccenigo,” he spoke again, giving a slight nod in my direction, “we had already prepared our course of action, seeing you have fulfilled your first part, we of the famiglie di Illaryian gathered here on this fine morning have all agreed to put all our influence and wealth behind you until you’re crowned. But we work together in this. We can’t do it without you… but you can’t do it without us.” “We will have our eyes on you,” Conzaga said slowly. “Your position as Rego will be dependent on us. Do what you will, but betray us…” Conzaga looked around at his fellow conspirators. “And there will be a civil war. Or perhaps only a dagger in your back. We here are not pacifisti.” Baiamonte laughed. “Viva la Gilda!” I said coolly. “Viva la Gilda!” several others muttered. Those with wine glasses, filled with red Conzaga wine, naturalmente, raised them and took a long sip. I waited until they had finished questo rituale. “In our correspondences Signore De Fiori, I did not explain all of i dettagli,” I said to the nobles gathering closer around me. “Listen. This is how it shall be done…” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part VI: La Sfilata del Nuovo Rego I stood waiting behind the closed main doors to L’Arco della Vittoria that guarded the ingress to La Via Grande which led directly to the Palazzo Reale. Even through the thick stones, I could hear the roar of the people. Behind me, Il Guardia Reale, headed by Arama’s brother, Aluysio De Cioto, who was frowning in distrust, obviously not interested in serving a new Rego and only doing this for his sister, stood at attention. Then, a herald with a horn stopped next to me and whispered, “Shall we begin, mio Rego?” “Avviare,” I commanded, motioning for my entourage to follow. The gates began to open, letting light and the noise of the crowds seep into il cortile outside the main gate. Triumphantly, the horns blared, and with that, we began marching towards the Palazzo Reale and the end of the old era had begun. Luca di Carlo was a Rego without a supporter. In fact, I was worried for Arama. I looked back briefly at the Captain of the Royal Guard. Wasn’t he supposed to be with his sister? She wouldn’t be safe all by herself. I bit my lip and felt myself shrug involuntarily. As we paraded along the strada, I heard many cries of, “Viva Varlyrio! Viva la Gilda! Viva il Rego!” I simply smiled as I walked past the crowds. Then all of a sudden at one point I saw Arama. For some ragione, she was standing next to Ristoro and Aurelia. I grinned and waved at mio nipote and Arama, who both seemed to be enjoying themselves. Arama smiled sweetly back at me. Ristoro, gave a slight nod, but otherwise frowned. Even though he was part of why I had succeeded, he seemed to not want to celebrate the frutti del suo lavoro. I made a mental note: I would deal with mio fratello later. A slight glance backwards revealed that Arama had left. Non era preoccupante. If she could make it through the crowd alive she would go to Luca. That was where I wanted her to be. There with her fellow murderer, Luca di Carlo… A kilometer later and we had finally arrived at L’Arco dei Rego Varlyrio where many ufficiali and members of the powerful famiglie stood haughtily before the impressive gates. Alesio de Fiori walked out from among them and quitened the gathered throng of Varlyrians from across the guild. I wondered if this brought him back to when he had worked to get di Carlo in power, which worked out disastrously for his family. I, on the other hand, intended to honor our alleanza. I had no choice, for now. “Amici, my fellow Varlyrians,” Alesio smiled, “we are gathered here on this most momentous occasione to witness a new era of our history! As you all have been made aware, our previous Rego, Luca di Carlo, betrayed us.” I felt Aluysio De Cioto staring at my back and my hand tightened around my sword. I had told Arama that it was only for ceremony. It was the same one that had cut through her side days ago. Alesio continued, “His closest accomplice was una assassina. Arama di Athena De Cioto!” I smiled slowly. It wasn’t my fault if there were others who didn’t keep their part of the alleanza, was it? I’m afraid that every word Arama had said had been used against her, and perhaps, her name was the most vilified in all Illaryian on this day, even above that of Luca di Carlo, the treacherous Rego who the people wanted no more of. I thought she was lucky to have escaped with her life… so far. There were guards, not the Royal Guard, on their way to the Palazzo Reale right now. They would keep her safe: and they would make sure she didn’t escape. I hadn’t explained to the powerful families how to get the populace on our side. They had used the weapons that Arama herself had provided. Did she think a word was going to stop anyone from getting what they wanted? She had confessed herself that it hadn’t stopped her. Another powerful family head was speaking now. “…aided in the death of the Tiger of Illaryian! He betrayed his allies who made him the popular Rego that he was!” There was a pause and an ominous murmur ran through the crowd. Most of them had already heard rumors, but this was real. “That is all about to change. I present to you, the architect of Varlyrio, Ilazio Moccenigo, son of the famed Brabantio Moccenigo, cui anima requiescat in pace, and now Rego of Varlyrio!” The throng cheered joyfully, joined by glorious fanfare from the trumpeter. I then took off my feathered hat and kneeled before Alesio De Fiori as he placed a wreath upon my head. It was heavy to wear, and perhaps an uneasy quiver ran through me. But I would do what was right. For Varlyrio! I stood and turned to face the crowd as their king. Ilazio turned to face the crowd as their king. “Viva il Rego!” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. “Viva il Rego!” Luca rolled over and jumped out of the comfortable cushions. He had lain down in full clothes, and now he thought he heard a ruckus outside his window in the streets below. He pulled up his cuffs and leaned out over the street. “Viva Ilazio Moccenigo! Viva il Rego di Varlyrio!” Suddenly a girl caught his eye. It was Arama! He started. What under heaven was this? Arama looked back and forth, but there was no way to get into the palazzo quickly. She looked up with decision in her eyes. Arama looked up at Luca di Carli with decision in her eyes. “No, Arama, you’re mad, you can’t do it, hurting like that,” Luca said to himself, bending farther out of the window. She was climbing up! “If you fall you’ll die!” Luca called out. “So will the person I fall on,” Arama said impertinently. She skipped in through the window and Luca put his arm around her to help her in safely. “You always keep my heart in my throat,” he said, taking a deep breath and tossing himself back onto his bed. “‘Viva Ilazio?’ What is this?” “This means we have to go,” Arama whispered back at him. She looked at the window. “What?” “The same way I came in,” she said. “Arama, why are they calling Ilazio Rego?” “Because he is,” Arama said lightly, acting as if Varlyrio wasn’t crumbling under their feet, “don’t worry, I guess he’ll make a good one. Quick, throw a hood on.” “I don’t carry those things around here,” Luca said with a little disdain. “Then good thing I brought one for you,” Arama grinned. “Quick, cut your hair, the populace wants you dead.” “Che cosa? And you?” Luca asked with a worried look. “And me,” Arama whispered. “Accidenti. What about the Royal Guard?” “I don’t know!” Arama cried urgently. “Aluysio was supposed to be here! It must have been the Conzagas with a false message. It just makes it that much more dangerous for us. Listen!” Arama cropped off his hair with a knife she had brought. “They’re breaking in below!” Luca threw a cloak around himself and jerked the hood on and Arama pulled hers farther over her face. Arama nodded to the window. “I’ll go first,” she said. “No, neither of you will go, I think.” “Accidenti!” Luca’s sword flashed out of his cloak and Arama’s fingers curled around the blade of her dagger. “Hello there,” a dark voice suddenly muttered from behind. Arama spun around, her hand disconnecting from Luca’s. Suddenly she relaxed a little and breathed out tensely. It was Ilazio, dressed handsomely in a velvet cape and plumed hat, alone or so it appeared. Luca dragged his sword across the floor up to Ilazio Moccenigo’s collar. Moccenigo didn’t have a sword in his hands. Arama whispered into Luca’s ear. He frowned and his eyes met Ilazio’s cool ones. Did he have any choice? “Trust in me,” Arama whispered. Luca nodded ever so slightly at Ilazio and pulled back his sword, looking at Arama warily out of the corner of his eyes, his hopes extinguished. This was his last chance, and he was throwing it to the wind. What if the girl was wrong? What if the girl was right? Arama clasped her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek. Ilazio stood out of the way, leaving a space open to pass out through the door. “Signore di Carlo, Signorina di Athena De Cioto, buongiorno,” he said, nodding his head politely, displaying a certain charm usually reserved for gaining new contracts. “If you will follow me.” Ilazio was their last option beside the mob. But maybe, maybe if they killed him now they could make it through the window and be lost forever, a pair of incogniti. “Don’t,” Arama whispered forcefully into Luca’s ear through his hood. Ilazio just smiled slowly. He followed after the pair, although Luca was looking back at him and still had his hand wrapped tightly around the hilt of his blade. Then suddenly, Ilazio stood back. “Stop there!” Era una dichiarazione, non una interrogare. The pair halted, Arama willingly, even giving a slight smile to Luca, who swallowed and looked up at Ilazio suspiciously from under his brow. Then Ilazio just let his limbs relax and smiled kindly at Arama. There was a complacent glimmer in his eyes, and Arama saw it, but it was too late. Ilazio merely said in a calm and lulling voice, “Guardie, accompagnaci.” A contingent of Il Nouvo Guardia Reale, numbering around thirty, jumped out of every crevice and hallway to surround the pair, and Ilazio almost laughed as he stared Arama right in the eyes. He made a simple hand gesture and the guards seized Luca di Carli and Arama De Cioto as he escaped the enclosing circle. “Take them to the dungeon.” Arama’s knife flew up and she was about to hurl it… but she couldn’t. Did she really want to hurt someone else? Was it really worth it? What would it get her? Revenge? She looked about with scared eyes. And suddenly her knife was knocked to the floor, a pair of rough arms were around her, and it was too late. Luca looked at Arama with a doubtful smile. Her reaction sent a sudden thrill into his heart. “Aren’t you taking this too far, Arama?” “I don’t…” Arama faltered. Then she turned down her eyes from looking into Ilazio’s hard ones and her voice fell… “I don’t know.” A wave of fear washed through Luca’s body. Now what? Was this how it would all end? .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Part VII: L'Astuzia Superiore? “Ilazio! Traitor!” Arama said in disbelief, reproach in her voice. She screamed as the guards dragged her and Luca, the former Rego, who showed no emotion towards his surroundings, lost in deep thought, further into the depths of the remote Varlyrian castello. Panic surged through her. “What are you going to do with us?” He could throw her from the top of the tallest peak in the west. They could both die with their bodies left in pieces at the base of the rocks. Ilazio didn’t answer. Luca stared at Arama in shock. For the first time he heard her speak to Ilazio as though she knew him, like she had an understanding with him. What had she done? “What do you mean ‘traitor?’” he said coolly. Was she even on his side? Tears welled into Arama’s eyes, and for the first time a burst of fury passed over her. She shook her arms and jerked herself out of the hands of the guards until at last her wrists were red with the chaffing of the hard rivets and she fell upon her face on the hard stone flags. She turned her face up and looked at Ilazio Moccenigo piteously. Arama cringing behind Luca. “You promised Luca and me amnesty,” she said and her voice broke. “What did it all mean to you then? Nothing?” Her lip trembled. “Che?” Luca looked at her curiously. “I did,” the new Rego replied calmly. “You and Luca are safe from the popolazione, who would have torn both of you into pieces, and they are safe from your deception.” “My deception?” Arama cried, turning herself over and pushing herself up with her hands. “Moccenigo, what about peace?” “Oh, there will be pace now.” Arama looked so hurt, Ilazio felt sorry for her again now. But he didn’t show it. He just slowly pushed open the heavy metal door overlooking the neighboring towers. Arama looking out over the desert wasteland. There from the tallest stone tower, hung from an over jutting beam of wood, sagged a rope, upon which swung a noble looking guard, with the epaulets of the Captain of the Rego’s Old Guard. It was Aluysio De Cioto. The pale blue sky behind him stretched out far over the desert, and a cold wind whipped through the stony chamber. Aluysio De Cioto, hanging between the desert and the sky. “What about no bloodshed,” Arama asked, terrified and trembling, kneeling in front of Ilazio, Luca’s hand keeping her up. Her eyelids quivered with tears for her brother. “There are other ways to kill,” Ilazio smiled and he looked at her with cold, hard eyes. “As far as I can see,” he said, “this is only fair.” Arama knew it was. She had used the same tactics when she had betrayed Råiden and Brabantio for Luca. She had begged her brother to swear allegiance to Ilazio, to support the new Rego—but he had refused. She looked at Ilazio Moccenigo mutely. Did she see remorse in the repentful man’s eyes, or just cold calculation, the same he had used to cut her down on the rooftops? She felt something pressed over her eyes. “Arrivederci, Luca di Carlo e Arama di Athena De Cioto,” Ilazio said in a calm voice. She felt a rope wrapped about her neck and then she heard the tramp of the guard filing towards the wall. “Pronto!” Arama cringed and a low cry of fear escaped her. She only knew one thing: she wasn’t ready to die! Ilazio put his hand on her shoulder and lifted her up to her feet. She leaned sickly against the wall as her blindfold fell from her eyes. “Take them below, and keep them there,” Ilazio said with a smile, “safe.” Arama opened her eyes with a bitter, painful feeling of relief and regret. She was breathing hard. Luca put his hand into her hair, and she twisted her head to look at Ilazio one last time. “Addio, Arama,” Ilazio said. And with that, the pair were dragged beyond the sight of Ilazio Moccenigo, deep within the vaults of the old desert castle of the west. Luca and Arama were thrown into the same cell, deep beneath the surface of the sand. The architect of their ruin had traded them blow for blow. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Back in Illaryian, in the unfinished Palazzo Vincenzo, as the newly crowned Rego of Varlyrio, I wandered the halls that mio padre had prowled at night when he first discovered the secrets that had led me here, secrets now known across all of Varlyrio. The Chiaro boy had brought me my crown in good time, once it had been removed from Luca di Carlo’s brow, and I had personally conveyed the late Rego and Arama De Cioto far out into the west, together with several other dangerous traditori politici. It had been necessary to lock the pair up in the strongest, deepest castle in the realm, far away across the mountains in the wastelands, for even there, they could still cause caos if given the chance, and I was afraid that wouldn't take much. The rest of the traditori would never trouble Varlyrio again… that was certain. I gave a slight smile as I looked off into the sunset towards La Tigre di Illaryian. Although there still remained mia famiglia to restore, that could wait; for my vendetta had succeeded. I was satisfied! It was the same feeling I had received after my first commission, aided by my wise and shrewd father, that I won against the dastardly Edmondo Ziccardi, albeit narrowly and through un piccolo legal knothole. Even though those responsible for la morte di mio papà were still alive, I felt better this way! Perhaps it would do them good. Maybe, I had a thing or due to learn from mio nipote, Aurelia. I could never completely abstain from shedding blood, but rule with giustizia e il mio ingegno; my blade would only shine bright red when it was required to maintain the peace of the realm, and perhaps to construct a better Varlyrio. I laughed. No Rego could do that, even Sana Argenta herself hadn’t been able to quell the storms that bashed our guild… but one could hope. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
  3. Previously: https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/185879-cdc1-tower-torre-orientale-prelude/ L'assassinio di Brabantio Moccenigo Capitolo due di La Tigre di Illaryian The sun was beginning to set over the town of Porto Caglaveri, outside of Illyrian, shadows fading over the edifices standing around the quaint piazza, one of which was the aged Tempio della Signora del Secchio e dello Scudo, a once proud temple for the revered Sana Argenta. Approaching the piazza head-on was a lone figure, the only one there on that eve. The steps of the figure echoed around the cobbled piazza with the only other noises being the gentle flow of water from the small fountain and quiet breaths from the figure’s snakelike nose. Everything seemed normal about this figure except for the dark tan piece of cloth around the mouth and the mean crossbow at the figure’s side. “È una bella serata,” remarked the hooded figure, looking upwards. Upon looking down, the figure’s gaze fixated on the faded doors, slightly ajar. “Ma non per lui,” the figure finished, advancing on the ajar door. On the inside of the temple, Brabantio was clearing up for the night. He’d gotten the scaffold cleaned free to be used on the morrow for whitewashing the decrypt exterior. But then, the door hinges creaked as the large, black door was opened letting in a bit of the late-evening breeze. “Who is it?” Brabantio called down, expecting another accursed lackey to come in to tell him he was too old to be working this late in the eve. “Ah, Signore Moccenigo. Have you not heard enough of our pleasant conversations to recognize la mia voce?” A cold tremble went down his spine as he heard the voice. He then stood up and dropped the bucket, swearing “Accidenti!” “There’s no time to fool around,” said the figure, drawing the loaded crossbow and pulling out a spare bolt. “I need you to swear – here we are in a cattedrale, che fortuna! You must never, I swear never reveal what you know. Swear it, Moccenigo, by Sana Argenta herself swear it! Look here, the Rego dares to trust you. Bene! Are you worth it, feccia!" Brabantio spun around slowly on top of the scaffolding, looked down and spat at the hooded figure leaning in through the ajar door. “What does it matter to anyone what I am worth?” said Brabantio his voice quivering but now louder and more defiant, “But appestare! I know those letters that I wish to be paid for are worth a fortune. And you, assassina, know it too! There are famiglie that’d pay a million piastres to know this, but your Rego must pay more.” “My Rego?” the figure said, sounding hurt, “he is your Rego too!” The figure then shifted his stance and moved more into the ingress, saying “You see I would give you a chance, you wretch, will you take it or not? “And you would give me a chance, you audacious villana?” Brabantio scoffed, “Am I in your power, or is it not the other way around?” Before Moccenigo could answer, a crossbow bolt sped towards his beating heart. He threw himself down upon the wooden boards, but not in time. He tumbled off the scaffolding, the bolt piercing his side before he could crumble onto the hard, cold flagstones. “There … is another person who will possess the letter, if I die,” groaned Brabantio through his teeth, winded from the fall. Don’t be a fool, assassina!Think through it first! This is but vendetta, not prevention. It’ll be far worse .. for you if you kill me. Someone else will get the ricatto,” he paused coughing,” someone who will do you much more harm than me!” The figure laughed a high, cold laugh. “Oh, Signore Moccenigo, you are tame! “Oh, and I ... have something of yours,” the figure said coolly while pulling out two wrapped pieces of parchment. They were the two letters that Signore Moccenigo had written inculpating the Rego, Luca di Carlo. “Someone else will have the ricatto, you say? Bene Me,” the figure said, raising the crossbow to the shoulder again. “No!” Brabantio cried, feebly getting to his knees, “someone else already read that!” “What? Who? I’m losing my patience, Moccenigo!” “Edmondo Ziccardi,” he croaked. “You’re lying,” the figure retorted shrewdly. “You haven’t given a letter to anyone yet. Would you like for your last words to be a falsehood? If not condannato, then speak up quickly,” the figure said impatiently, the crossbow fully loaded. “Dead or alive, I will fool you yet. You think you know it all! Stolto, you don’t know the future!” Brabantio said defiantly, accepting the inevitable and asking Sana Argenta for forgiveness. “I know your future, Moccenigo,” replied the assassin coldly. The deed was done, the paw of the tiger had struck. The figure then whistled and the sounds of hooves clattering on the uneven cobbles could be heard in the piazza. The figure then left the Tempio, closing the ajar door, never to be seen in Porto Caglaveri again. Il giorno successivo Besides mine Papà, my family was safe. I had seen to that before going with the servant to Il Tempio della Signora del Secchio e dello Scudo in my home of Porto Caglaveri. Papà had gotten the contract to reinvigorate the spirit of that ancient cathedral from the Rego himself. I’d always been suspicious of that mercante and that now led me to suspect Rego of this treacherous act. Sì, he must have set my father up! However, I had other evidence to consider. Mia nipote, Aurelia, had attended a ball the previous eve at the Ziccardi’s palazzo and seen similar documents to what mine Papà had on his desk. Edmondo Ziccardi could be in league with the dastardly Rego, he is my father’s rival after all! “Mio Signore,” the servant questioned. “Are … you alright?” I looked at the servant, my concentration now broken. His face was wrought with concern for me, he seemed genuine. “No,” I replied. We then arrived at the temple, which still had a façade worn from the ages, he had been renovating the interior after all. “I will leave you here,” said the servant, his eyes downcast. “I will wait at this door until you are done, Mio Signore.” I then walked up the steps and pushed open the large, black door, and then saw it. Mio padre dead, slain, with crossbow bolts protruding from his wretched, bloodied corpse. One bolt stuck out from his frail side and the other, his lifeless heart. I knelt besides the physical remains of my father, now only existing in memory. Tears sprung from my eyes as I collapsed onto my knees. “Papà, I know you cannot hear me, tuo figlio Ilazio, but I swear. I swear to Sana Argenta herself that I will make whatever bastardo maledetto did this pay. I will make them pay with their own life! Even If I have to condemn my soul to the depths of Nocturnus, I will make that miscredente pay!” Continua
  4. socalbricks

    [MOC] RCSN Gunzerker

    A heavily armed minifigure I made as my sole contribution to the "Dispute on LV-4273" collab, which was displayed at Bricks Cascade 2020. I just got a lightbox, so now I'm finally able to photograph it! More info on the collab: Dispute on LV-4273 by Douglas Hughes, on Flickr
  5. Jan_the_Creator

    Viking Village Collaboration

    I'm glad to present you the newest project by Zbudujmy.to LUG, the Viking Village! 8 members and friends of our Polish community teamed up for a huge early medieval display in the far north, where the Vikings rule unquestionably! Our model had its premiere on Hobby Fair in Poznań on 5th and 6th of september. Yes, we still have conventions here, even during the worldwide pandemic. ;) The whole collab stands on 7x8 standard 32x32 baseplates. We want to expand this project next year, as more builders enter with their parts. This is definitely a long-term project. ;) Big thanks to JaskiertheBard, because he was the one to start the project and he's built a huge chunk of it baseplates of it, including basically everything on the left side. I've just built a tiny 2x2 slice with the pathway uptop the cliff. :P Please excuse my terrible editing skills, but I guess it looks fine for a photo that was primarily taken on a convention last week with a light striking into the camera lens. It was tough, but I guess it looks quite nice. :) More closeup pics: [ Here's a whole Flickr album with even more pics. Thanks for viewing! ~Jan, the Creator
  6. awesomenessborn

    Creeps from the Deep: Kalmah

    “We shared our victories, and our punishment… so we will share the power of this mask as well.” ~Kalmah This was a collab made with several other builder’s. Check out their creations here: Takadox Carapar Nocturn Pridak If you guys enjoy what I make, visit my flickr and instagram pages! Flickr Page: awesomenessborn Instagram: awesomenessborn
  7. soccerkid6

    Sabishi Monastery

    A collab between John and I for the miscellaneous category of the CCC XVII. The build was inspired by this stunning concept art. It weighs in at 41.2 pounds, making it our second largest build to date, behind only Life In Nordheim. Credit for the deer design goes to Grantmasters. We hope you enjoy our last build of 2019! Sabishi Monastery is located high in the Heavenly Mountains of Mitgardia, leading to a very secluded life for the monks who reside there. Still there is plenty to do, and the scenery is beyond beautiful. See more images on Brickbuilt. Thanks for looking, and Happy New Year
  8. Let me present the first iteration of the Swebrick post-apocalyptic landscape! (I assume this belongs in this forum...?) More modules and exhibitions to come.
  9. I've already posted these builds separately on AG and SoNE, but I wanted to show them together and as we displayed them at BrickUniverse. These four sections are my attempt to make Star Wars modular buildings a thing. Join our Flickr group if you have modular builds you'd like to share, too - Modular Sci-Fi Jedha Dark Red 1 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr Jedha Medium Dark Flesh 1 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr Jedha Medium Azure 1 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr Jedha Market 1 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr The rest of the build (temple, tank, carts, and eastern buildings) was done by Dwight Neal, a fellow DFWLUG member. Jedha 2.0 BrickUniverse OKC by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr Jedha 2.0 BrickUniverse OKC by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr We've been working on this collab since some of the first trailers came out last September, starting with Dwight's tank and street, Dwight's Jedha by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr displaying the first version of it in December for BrickUniverse Dallas. Rogue One - Jedha - BrickUniverse Fair Park 2016 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr Rogue One - Jedha - BrickUniverse Fair Park 2016 by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr My sections changed quite a bit between Dallas and OKC to make it a 360 build and our layout changed to accommodate Dwight's new Jedha temple. Once we get the blurays I'm sure we'll change/add some more. Feel free to post screenshots of architectural details on Jedha. Again, we'll be displaying it next at BrickFiesta in Mesquite, TX June 29-July 2, which is an AFOL focused convention with a lot of potential for growth. If you can make it, let me know so we can meet up and talk Star Wars MOCs.
  10. Tree of Worlds Each year, a group of Eurobricks members meet together in Schaumburg, Illinois, at the annual Lego convention Brickworld Chicago, to construct one large and crazy collaborative build. This is the result: This year, 18 members of our online community came together to build one crazy display--a massive free-standing tree, six feet tall, holding on the end of its mythical branches, Elemental Worlds--realms embodying all of the most important elements of the universe. This build took a year of planning, building, headaches, and Swedish Fish to construct, transport, rebuild, and finally display to the public and private attendees this past weekend. To build the tree itself, a small number of us met up a for a few weekends prior to the event to pre-build the entire piece. This worked wonders, as it meant we didn't have to build on site...in theory...until we arrived and found out we didn't organize well enough and had to rebuild half the trunk from scratch... One of the coolest aspects of the tree was that it was situated on the convention floor, in a wide open space. Utilizing planning and generous fire safety regulations, we are able to position the tree in a vast wide open space, which meant that all the aisles in the hall seemed to lead to it. This made the display a landmark of the convention, so much so that we noticed people start to use it as a meeting-point. For those interested in logistical construction, we supported the tree with a simple wooden frame (somewhat visible on the progress picture above). It was...mostly successful! Additionally, we must thank LEGO themselves for their great Event Support program (via their Ambassador Program)--which allowed us to buy many many many more brown bricks that we thought we'd need at an affordable rate. We otherwise would not have been able to build this creation. --- So who built this? Eurorbricks--that's who! Well more accurately, a number of Eurobricks members did: Front Row, Left to Right: @Hinckley, @Quarryman, @Ryushi, @CorneliusMurdock, @soccerkid6, @LittleJohn Second Row, Left to Right: @Darkdragon, @ZCerberus, @Kristel, @Captain Nemo, @MKJoshA Third Row, Left to Right: @Prune Face, (Tree), @Silver.Smith, @Rogue Angel, @Gideon, @Vincent Kessels Not Present at Convention: @Bob De Quatre @RoxYourBlox ---- Who Built What? Each member of the collab built a realm on a branch and/or helped construct the tree itself. The Ice Realm, by @Gideon, who also apparently took 1000 photos at the convention, many of which are shown here. The Night Realm by @Kristel--her Dragon was nominated for Best Creature...it was also at one point destroyed after a great fall and had to be rebuilt...thanks in no part to unnamed persons who know who they is Edit Z- There was one sober person there... he takes no responsibility for the incident. The Gem Realm, by @Quarryman, who also came so close to finishing his individual build this year! Edit:Z- Quarry was also nominated for Best Land Vehicle for another build! The Harvest Realm, by brother builders @soccerkid6 and @LittleJohn. This was their first Brickworld Chicago, and we were very excited to have them join the team...and teach them the important lesson that you need to put Technic in heavy things if you want it to hang upside down. Edit Z- Little John was nominated for Best Teen Creation and SoccerKid6 was nominated for Best Individual Layout and won a Judge’s Award for their castley creations. Speaking of heavy things, @MKJoshA built the Earth Realm--which ended up being too heavy for the tree when it snapped a branch overnight (although for the record, all the sober members were not in the convention hall at the time of the incident...) So we were forced to make a quick fix by moving his realm to a nearby table and moving the Bee to the end of the branch. So...sorry again Josh! The Water Realm, built by @Captain Nemo, because of course. Edit Z- Nemo wracked up 4 more nominations for Best Creature, Best Sea Vessel, Best Large Building and Brick World Master! The Heart Realm, by @CorneliusMurdock, who we apparently don't love enough, because we broke his heart like three times. The Thirst Realm, by @Darkdragon, ironically located next to the Water Realm and under the furnaces of the Forge Realm. Dark Dragon also won the award for Best Train, which was part of her individual layout. The Forge Realm, by @Silver.Smith, with a very cool Forge Deity. The Nature Realm, by @Rogue Angel, which contained numerous flowers that were constantly knocked off. The Nebula Realm, by @Hinckley. The fire ship on his realm was nominated for, and won, best Sea Vessel. Edit Z- Hinckley also took home a small brick for his Best Large Building! Additional Builds In addition to the Tree itself, we constructed numerous other builds to decorate the display. Builders: @Captain Nemo (Dragon Snake, Bear, Dream-Catcher) @Hinckley (Bee, Beehive, Mushroom) @Ryushi (Greenery placement) @ZCerberus (Frogs, Flowers) @Bob De Quatre (Stag Hall Design), @Prune Face (Lighting) Edit Z- Ryushi captured a big brick for Best Replica and ZCerberus got the nod for Best Spacecraft thanks to table space donated by Hinck and Nemo! Transformation One of the best things about the display was that it transformed. During the annual World of Lights (in which the convention hall lights are turned off, leaving only lights on the builds) the tree transformed from a mythical representation of the universe to that of a physical one--with the realms becoming floating planets. Accolades The Tree of Worlds was awarded the Best Group Display at Brickworld Chicago 2018. This is the third consecutive win for Eurobricks! The Fire Ship won the award for Best Sea Vessel and the Night Dragon was nominated for Best Creature. Additionally, our very own Root-Admin @Hinckley finally won the prestigious Brickworld Master award. -- Finally I'd like to thank everyone once again who participated in this undertaking that was our display! It was a lot of hard work but we are very happy to show off the results. If you would like to see more images, please view the Flickr Pages of Gideon and Hinckley
  11. The Maestro

    The Battle of Maerwynn Creek

    For many years the forces of Arbenheim have tested their neighboring kings power by pillaging border villages. In an attempt protect his people the king ordered small encampments around the borders. One location was the homestead of Maerwynn, an important location as it was host to one of the few mills in the area. The kings intuition had been right, for only a fortnight later did the horns of Arbenheim sound in the village of Maerwynn. A collaboration between SirWilsonBricks( https://www.flickr.com/photos/133117612@N02/ ) and myself for the CBS 2017. His is the left, my side is on the right. Hay, after me finally finishing editing (which is a bit sloppy in places) here it is :D This was our main build for the show and it is the biggest build to date for both of us. It was great fun planning, skyping, planning, bricklinking, more planning and finally building this whoppa. If I could change a couple things I probably would (namely the ground texturing on my side) but it still came out looking incredible. The reception we got at the CBS was also great, with loads of people loving. I must say though, I may have stared a kid to death after he said "Hey mum, look NEXO KNIGHTS" Speaking of the CBS, it was a real blast and getting to know people better, meeting new people was awesome :) and of course seeing new creations (cough David Hense... Cough) Cannot wait to next year to see everyone again. Another creation on the way and hope you enjoy, C&C always wanted.
  12. Dear all, We know (and hope ) that you are all busy with some awesome entries for the last chapter of challenge V. And while we do not want to take your attention away from that, we still have a little something extra to offer. As some of you may know, Eurobricks is the home of several RPGs, and one of them, the Star Wars themed Shadows of Nar Eurbrikka, has proposed a collaboration. In short, we (and other Eurobricks RPG's) build for the NPC faction in their challenge, and they will offer their builders for some of our challenges in the future. But what is our role in this? We are building for the Black Sun in this challenge (Operation Eclipse) together with volunteers from other eurobricks RPGs. As such, our builds will compete against the two player factions in SoNE, comparable to if we had someone building for Mardier in a future challenge. A few words about the Black Sun from Nar Eurbrikka staff member LucasLaughing: The deadline is the 3rd of June, well after our own challenge V ends. Each builder can build one build, placed in one of three locations: The Sewers Imperial and Rebel builders must show their sigfig sneaking through the sewers of Coruscant to infiltrate Xizor's palace Black Sun builders must show Black Sun gangsters protecting the entrance to the palace Xizor's Palace Rebel builders must show their sigfig fighting through the palace to rescue Leia Imperial builders must show their sigfig fighting through the palace to capture Xizor Black Sun builders must show Black Sun gangsters fighting off the intruders Xizor's Skyhook Builders must show a chaotic space battle as Imperial, Rebel, and Black Sun forces fight around the skyhook Our builds will be scored similarly to the player builds, and if the Black Sun (us) wins, the player factions will lose territory. If you are interested, or want more information, go to the Black Sun sign-up thread and state your business. The Brethren Court would like to encourage you to participate, to spur cross-theme collaboration and to gain the assistance of other themes in some of our future challenges. Therefore, participation will be awarded as follows: BOBS prizes: All participants are awarded the right to license a small property based on a microbuild. Best (BoBS) entry instead gets a large property. 2nd best gets a medium. These licenses must still be paid for, but only requires microbuilds for activation. We hope you like this offer - and should you have any questions, feel free to ask them here, or over in the Nar Eurbrikka forum. May the force be with you!
  13. This is a royal collaborative build by (in order of appearance): @blackdeathgr, @Kolonialbeamter @robinnilsson403 @Captain Genaro, and @Brandon Stark. Comments and criticism are always welcome. Riding a few dozen yards behind the rest of the convoy, partially for privacy but primarily to avoid the dust tossed up by the convoy of horses, men, and wagons, Lieutenant Wolfgang Hochstetter worried about his future. The unsigned letter, the cause of his worries, sat in the lieutenant’s saddlebag as he pondered every possible reason for the unexpected order to return to Breshaun and report to the Royal Mint. The lieutenant was in charge of overseeing the convoys of pure Belson silver that traveled from the isolated mines deep in the island’s untamed wilderness to the massive smelting operations, and finally at the Royal Mint, where the metal was turned into coins, bars, and whatever else the King desired before being placed on massive galleons destined for Granoleon. Sure, there had been delays, the young lieutenant knew. The natives were getting restless again and there were reports of robbers, possibly even pirates, ambushing travelers along the isolated island roads. But these weren’t his fault, Wolfgang told himself, he was simply in charge of ensuring the silver kept flowing, something that, despite a few delays, he did very well. Still, despite his near perfect record, that single piece of paper in his saddlebag consumed the young lieutenant’s mind more than hordes of cannibals or violent brigands could. The sun was just beginning to set by the time the convoy arrived at the city gates. The convoy remained together for a few miles, but as they neared their destination, the wagon and guards took the right path which lead to the freight entrance behind the Mint, while Wolfgang took the left path to the front of the majestic building. The lieutenant rode on for a few hundred yards, the shadows growing longer, before finding a stable where he could keep his horse. Delaying only long enough to pay for his horses’ supper, Wolfgang continued down the winding roads before turning onto the tree lined boulevard which lead straight to the Mint’s main gate. Despite seeing the building on multiple occasions, Wolfgang couldn’t help but be in awe of the building’s sublime splendor. But it was not the intricate stonework or gold-plated royal crest that Wolfgang reflected on; rather, it was the sheer size of the imposing structure. And as the last rays of the setting sun disappeared behind the Mint’s enormous roof, Wolfgang passed the black iron gates and into the dark foyer. Immediately upon entering, Wolfgang was approached by a porter who, upon seeing the letter instructed the officer to “follow.” The two quickly took off and within a few moments were completely lost in the labyrinth of halls, stairs, and rooms. P2280008 by Robin Nilsson, on Flickr After countless turns and endless corridors, they arrived at a portion of the Mint Wolfgang had never seen before. A long simple hallway flanked the corridor, empty apart from two vigilant soldiers guarding a massive gold-plated vault. Like most visitors to the Mint, Wolfgang heard stories about the massive vaults deep within the building, but had never seen them. Walking past the guards, Wolfgang’s worries disappeared for a moment as he tried to imagine just how much wealth lay behind the massive iron door. But as imaginative as he was, Wolfgang couldn’t begin to fathom the plethora of chests filled with coins, the stacks of silver bars too heavy for the strongest draft horse to carry, and the long rods of pure silver destined to be melted down and turned into whatever the artisans (or more accurately, whatever the artisans’ customers) desired. P2280016 by Robin Nilsson, on Flickr They finally arrived in a rather large antechamber, empty apart from a few chairs and a secretary’s desk. After confirming that Wolfgang was ready to meet his host, the porter turned to the massive French doors and gave them two loud knocks. After a brief pause, a firm voice from within replied. “Enter,” the voice commanded, and the doors swung inwards revealing the immense office of le Intendant General des Finances d'Oleon. Realizing who sat before him, Wolfgang froze for a moment before walking forward. Reaching the Intendant’s desk, Wolfgang froze and, looking at the life-sized statue of Tyche that stood behind the Intendant’s desk, he clumsily blessed himself in the Oleander fashion. While he did this, the Intendant got up and proceeded to stand next to the young lieutenant who, upon finishing the blessing, turned, knelt on one knee, and kissed l'Anneau de Vele, the Ring of Vele, which rested upon the Intendant’s right middle finger. P1110334 by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr “Lieutenant Wolfgang Hochstetter, reporting as ordered, my lord” said Wolfgang as he stood up. The Intendant stared for a moment before speaking in his firm, cold voice. “Fortuna iuvat pias [Fortuna favors the pious], Lieutenant. I have seen men greater than you, men of Oleander birth, who upon entering my office kneel before me before paying homage to the goddess,” replied the Intendant, his cold voice showing just a mere hint of kindness. “Those men have all failed. You, however, a foreigner no less, knows the proper order of things. I am pleased to see this. Sit,” the Intendant gestured toward two chairs. Wolfgang bowed and thanked his lordship and walked towards the chairs while the Intendant walked towards a liquor cabinet and filled two glasses from separate bottles. Speechless, Wolfgang struggled to grasp his situation. Not only did he meet a Peer of Oleon, but he received some rather high praise and was now being served drinks by the same Peer. P1110341 by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr “I believe you are found of raspberry schnapps” said the Intendant as he held out a glass to Wolfgang. Wolfgang nodded before the Intendant toasted “To the King” and they both took a long swig from their glasses. “You must forgive the secrecy, but there are those that must not know of my presence in Breshaun and especially of my meeting you” stated the Intendant in a conversational tone. “You are aware of the fate of Major Leon?” Wolfgang thought for a moment. “The RNTC officer who drowned in Lavalette?” “No, the RNTC officer who was drowned in Lavalette. Make no mistake, Lieutenant, Major Leon was killed, and he was killed by the Order.” “But how can you be so certain, my lord. I don’t mean to doubt your lordship, but these are serious accusations” a stunned Wolfgang replied. “It’s all in a report I shall give you. But I did not order you here to explain my reasoning. No, I ordered you here because there is an opportunity you should accept.” The Intendant took a sip of his wine before continuing. “It appears that the RNTC is in need of an officer to command its forces in Lavalette. You are my primary candidate.” Stunned, Wolfgang couldn’t believe his ears. “Me, sir, my lord?” stammered Wolfgang. “I don’t mean to question your lordship, but are you quite certain.” “I have reviewed your record,” replied the Intendant. “Your intelligence and brutality, especially your unique methods of interrogation and native pacification, are in high demand in Lavalette. Better yet, as a foreigner, I have nothing to fear from you. It’s a miracle you made it to a lieutenant, but you won’t advance any further in the army. You need me if you hope to advance, so you can’t betray me.” “Your praise is too much, my lord. I simply served the Crown as best I could.” As he said this, Wolfgang reflected on the Intendant’s words. They were all true, and what choice did he have? As an exile, he could never return to his home country and his welcome in other lands wouldn’t be any warmer than Oleon. With no skills other than his military knowledge, he couldn’t exactly change careers and he had no desire to spend the rest of his days as a lieutenant taking orders from men half his age. Besides, he had no family and the new settlements further east offered untold opportunities for fortune and fame. “What do you command of me, my lord?” At this, the Intendant stood up, walked over to a smaller desk and pressed two seals onto a sheet of paper. “Your orders, Major Hochstetter, are quite simple. Restore order in Lavalette, check the spread of the Order’s authority, and find the assassin who killed Major Leon.” P1110344 by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr “The assassin, my lord?” “A cleric of Hades. I only know of two priests of Tyche in Lavalette right now, so the cleric has not decided to make his identity known. Your report includes a list of names, one of which is our cleric. You are to identify him, arrest him, and have him sent to me alive. Is that clear?” the Intendant asked with a threatening tone. “My lord, I’m not sure I heard you correctly, sir, as I’m merely a lieutenant and the next rank is,” “I am well aware of military ranks, Major, and I hope you are aware that in this matter my word is final.” “Yes, my lord. Certainly, my lord, forgive me, I never meant to question you.” Wolfgang paused for a moment before continuing. “May I ask how you know so much about the assassin?” The Intendant stared for a moment before continuing. “Your horse and personal affects have been loaded onto the Philip Roi, and you are expected onboard before the morning tide. Your uniform is in your cabin along with a tailor who can make the final adjustments. Congratulations on your promotion, Major,” said the Intendant as he stood. On que, two servants opened the massive French doors to the Intendant’s office. Wolfgang stood, feelings of fear, pride, and confusion all competing inside him, took his leave, and began to exit when the Intendant interrupted. “Major, the assassin shall be delivered to me alive. There is no debate on this point.” P1110315 by Capt. Genaro, on Flickr Brandon Stark's Story: Breshaun Collab 1 by Brandon Stark, on Flickr Breshaun Collab 2 by Brandon Stark, on Flickr Brandon walked through the Royal Mint of Breshaun, on his way to a meeting with the Intendant General des Finances d'Oleon. It was two weeks ago when he had received a summons with the royal seal asking him to come to Breshaun for a meeting with the Intendant General. After a long journey and a brief stop in King's Port, Terraversa, Brandon arrived at the port of Breshaun. He had no time for a stop in Eltina. As he walked through the halls of the large building, which reminded him so much of the palaces back home in Oleon, Brandon couldn't help but wonder why he needed to meet with one of the kingdom's top officials. He thought he was summoned to be reprimanded or punished for settling an island without the Crown's permission, but that meeting would've been with the Secretaire des Colonies. Maybe they were going to force him to pay a fine? As Brandon continued walking down the hall, he noticed a familiar young woman walking in his direction down the corridor. She also seemed to be wearing a very familiar dress. Brandon assumed it was just his eyes, but he decided to get a closer look. As he got closer, he immediately noticed the young woman. "Lady Maelynn of the House of Couture. What brings you to Breshaun?" Brandon said in a half joking manner. Brandon also saw she was wearing the silk dress he had sent her with the money he made from investments and mayor pay. Maelynn responded with. "I'm not a lady yet, Mayor Lantell. And I'm following my father, who's helping run this mint for the crown" Brandon quickly bowed and kissed her hand. Maelynn Couture, the daughter of a prominent aristocrat back in Oleon, was Brandon's betrothed. He had gone so far in life since that day in the Juniper grove, he thought to himself. Though he and Maelynn were to marry soon, Brandon left for the colonies as part of a royal expeditionary force more than a year ago, though he stayed in the colonies even after his duties were done. "It is pleasant to see you after a year of being apart. You've only grown more beautiful since then." Brandon then looked at his watch, then remembered the time of the meeting. "Apologies, Maelynn, but I must go now. I have to meet with the Intendant General des Finances, and he is one you don't want to make angry. Now, after I'm done, would you like to come with me to the mayor's mansion tonight? I hear he's hosting an event for nobles and other prestigious people like us." "Brandon, I would be more than happy to go with you. Please meet me at the Poseidon Garden at 6 tonight. I have to go home first to prepare for the event. Just wait for me there. Until then, Brandon." Maelynn then begun walking down the corridor. Brandon then walked in the direction of the Intendant General's office, wondering what the meeting would be like. But Brandon had feelings of joy after meeting his betrothed after a year of being apart.
  14. LittleJohn

    Nutcracker

    My fourth entry for the ABS builder challenge, and a collaboration with Dave Zambito, a fellow Azure Blue teammate. We were both at a local LUG event this Saturday, so I contacted him asking if he would be interested in doing a live collab while we were there. He said yes, so we decided on a subject matter and each brought some bricks to build with. Despite only having around 2 hours to build, we were able to complete the whole thing at the event. 28 of the seed part are included in the build, in 4 different colors. More pictures on Brickbuilt Thanks for looking, C&C welcome
  15. marathon_productions

    Assassination on Clak'Dor VII

    Hope you enjoy
  16. LittleJohn

    Nordheim Armory

    The 5th module of my large collab with Isaac, for BrickFair Virginia 2016. See the others: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. The Nordheim Armory supplies the Nordheim Watch with their weapons and armor, in addition to storing to storing many of the weapons for the bustling city, in case of attack. It also houses a small forge area outside, where the weapons are made. Lots more pictures on Brickbuilt Thanks for looking, C&C appreciated
  17. LittleJohn

    Nordheim Harbormaster

    The third module of a large collab build that Isaac and I are building for Brickfair, Virginia. First module, second module. We’ll be posting one new module a week. The harbor-master’s house and tower both have full interiors. The tower is only one half of the gatehouse, which is why the arch has nothing on top of it. The harbor-master’s house sits in the corner of the Nordheim Docks, and all incoming traffic is registered there. The winter lull gives the harbor-master plenty of time to catch up on his records, inside his cozy home. I would like to claim UoP credits for: General Building: Interior Design Lots more pictures on Brickbuilt All C&C much appreciated
  18. Kai NRG

    Antville - A Family Collab

    Welcome to Antville! This build was a collaborative effort between myself, my two brothers (@Garmadon and W. Navarre), four younger sisters, my Dad, and a friend who dropped by. We managed to build it over the course of three days. There are 8 different 32x32 (+ border) sections. First of all, my section, the City Pool: Right across from that are a few shops. This segment was done by my 14 year old sister. As we drive down the road from there we hit the Samurai Shop, built by my Dad and a friend with a bit of technical advice from @Garmadon. Right across from that is the bank. Yes, it sticks out like sore thumb. W. Navarre just plain refused to do anything other than a cowboy style bank, so - whatever! Then as we continue our sightseeing trip, along comes the playground - theoretically built by the four year old, but actually the 14 year old did most of the work with a little inspiration from KOS Brick's great playground! Across from the playground is a residential home, built by @Garmadon. Right behind that is a barn... probably a little close to the house for comfort, but we had a limited footprint and did what we could! This was built by my 12 year old sister; I helped out especially with angling the barn. And the last section is a small Church building, built by my 6 year old sister who thankfully didn't mind me tearing down what I didn't like and was pretty good about stacking things exactly the way I told her to. And finally, one last overview: Hope that wasn't too many pictures! Comments are appreciated - thanks for looking!
  19. A collab built for the Colossal Battle Contest on Flick by W. Navarre (the citadel and farthest end is his), Kai NRG - you all know her - (the center), and Garmadon - oh wait, that would be me - (the front). A few facts about it: 1. The whole thing took us only 8 days to build. 2. The entire MOC was completely destroyed only one day after all the last pictures were taken - which was about three days after it was finished. 3. The build measures 150x66 studs. 4. I was originally going to have rock-work on both sides as well, but, as Kai expressively put it, I'm not MassEditor! (i.e., I ran out of pieces before then... ) 5. Kai got to photograph the whole thing together... and demanded that I put this one in here. JK. 6. Geneva (Kai) and Josiah (W. Navarre) are my brother and sister respectively. Of the three of us siblings (by which I mean the ones of us who worked on it, there are a bunch of younger ones as well!) Kai is the oldest, then sincerely yours, and then W. Navarre. 7. Although this the first collab between the three of us, it hopefully won't be the last! More shots, first of the front: Figless: The Pass: The middle: Red House: Blue House: Green House: See all of Kai's houses in her album on Flickr. And the last section, the citadel: Some more pics of all three together: Fighting in the streets: The invading force: [/url And some of the defenders: Thanks for viewing, C&C are welcome!
  20. LittleJohn

    Katoren City Hall

    My second module for a large collab with soccerkid6. The Katoren city hall collects taxes and issues licenses. A concealed compartment under the floor provides a secure location for the collected money. See a video of how the trapdoor works here: Link Credit goes to robuko's "King of Queenscross" build for inspiring the dark red parts on the city hall. More pictures can be seen here: Link C&C much apreciated
  21. MKJoshA

    Feud in Teridyan

    See the previous parts of the story: Part 1 Part 2 Wyndor and Glorfindel left Dålig Ulv on their journey to try to foster unity amongst their fellow Mitgardians. They had already journeyed for many days taking time to stop at different villages and cities along the way sharing their message. They even had to time to watch certain local tournaments like the one in Arnarvhall. Wyndor and Glorfindel thought that these kinds of festivals were good at reminding the people that they all belonged to one guild regardless of their past history. Next stop on their journey was Teridyan. As the two adventurers walked into the city they could tell that no festivals awaited them here. Instead they were accosted by angry voices. “What do you mean this is all you have! The jarl will not be satisfied with this, we were counting on you being able to provide us with much more food” they heard the guard captain say. “With this famine times are hard even for us Clansmen. Maybe you City-Dwellers should learn to fend for yourselves better!” replied the leader of troop of Great Elk Clansmen. Glorfindel and Wyndor looked at each other for just a moment before Glorfindel spoke up, “I’m sorry to interrupt your… business good sirs. But as official representative from Valholl, perhaps I can be of assistance in settling this dispute?” “You city dwellers are all the same” spat the Clansman. “You think all problems can be settled with words. Well, you are welcome to try your hand here. I could use a good laugh today.” The other two Clansmen chuckled to themselves. Not to be dissuaded, Glorfindel continued with his questions. “Captain, perhaps you could begin with your side of the story.” “Well, your honor,” began the guard, “it’s like this you see. There’s been a famine this harvest. Maybe it’s affected other parts of Mitgardia, but none so much as here in Teridyan. As you can see our fair city is in need of repairs and we haven’t received much help from Valholl… no offense your honor, I know you all have been busy with bigger problems. But you see many of our farmers have moved to other parts of Mitgardia and with this famine, we haven’t the food to feed everyone in the city. We’ve always had a good relationship with our neighbors, the Great Elk Clan, so our jarl commissioned the Clan to help provide us with provisions. We are paying them adequately, but you see there just isn’t enough for everyone… and well my family…” Glorfindel could tell this guard had a lot on his chest and knew they weren’t going to get far in their discussion if he let him continue. “All right captain, I think I’m beginning to understand. And you, Clansmen, what is your side in all this?” “Hrmph,” the leader started, “as he said, we have had a shortage of food recently. We agreed to help the people of Teridyan by bringing in some of the game we had killed. But the famine is starting to affect us too and we can’t spare any more. We have to think of our own families first. We can’t look after these weaklings anymore. If they knew the land as we do they wouldn’t be in situation!” “And if they all hunted don’t you think there would be far less game to find?” asked Wyndor. “Who’s the whelp?” the dark haired Clansman asked. Not showing he heard Wyndor continued, “and if all these ‘city-dwellers’ lived the way you do who would trade with you and provide your barrels and wagon wheels? Do you have trained coopers amongst your people now or blacksmiths or glass workers?” “We lived without them before, we can live without them again!” answered the gray-haired Clansman. “That’s not what you told me when I came of age Dain” replied Wyndor. Dain looked closer at Wyndor. “It couldn’t be, not Graham’s little pup? How’d you grow up so fast?” Glorfindel raised an eyebrow at Wyndor inquisitively. “My father was a firm believer in raising us accord to the clan’s ways and sent us to them for our right of passage into adulthood” Wyndor explained. “Dain here was one of the elders who oversaw my time in the wilderness many years ago.” He then turned back to the Clansmen. “You said at that time that the clans and the city-dwellers would always need each other.” “That was a different time” answered Dain. “Things have changed. Most city-dwellers no longer care about our ways and traditions. They have no knowledge of the past and that betrays their contempt for the future!” “The future is not living like a savage!” shouted one of the townsfolk. A small crowd had gathered to see the two strangers and had stayed to hear the heated discussion. “You see,” said the Clansman leader. “We can afford to help these aragant city-dwellers no longer! Take these barrels of venison, but know that there will be no more from the Great Elk Clan.” Dain caught Wyndor’s eye for a moment after the leader had spoken his final pronouncement, and then turned away sadly. Wyndor and Glorfindel were soon left by themselves as everyone else had business to take care of. “Well, that didn’t go as planned” said Glorfindel. “No, it appears Mitgardia is not as unified as we had first hoped” answered Wyndor. “Let’s meet with the jarl to see if there is anything else we can do to try to heal the rift here. But I’m afraid that there may not be much more we can do.”
  22. The Temple of the Twin Jaguars. from Mark of Falworth, on Flickr. My contribution to the Symphony of Construction round 2. Be sure to check out the full interpretive progression of four MOCs and three musical compositions in the Round 2 thread in the Symphony of Construction group!