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Henjin_Quilones posted a topic in Guilds of HistoricaLady Galaria, Mistress of Dragons, and Daeara the Earth Dragon A freebuild for Avalonia Lady Galaria, Mistress of Dragons, is the wife of Henjin Quilones and co-ruler, with her husband, of the Isle of Druidham in the Mystic Isles of Avalonia. She was exiled from the High Elvish kingdom of Hesperia by her father, King Fingolë the Golden, for joining with her fellow guildsmembers in defeating Raavage, rather than sitting back and doing nothing like her father wished. In her exile, she journeyed aboard the Nagra Luca, a swift Elvish ship, far to the west and south, to the city Bandari and the land of Mwamba. There, amongst the equatorial High Elves of that land, she learned much about elemental dragons and how to best raise and train them. In a gesture of unequaled generosity, King Mfalme allowed Galaria and a few of her companions to form soul-bonds with young Mwamban dragons, who then, after a few years of training under Kufunzi, returned all together to Avalonia, where they settled on the Isle of Druidham. Now Galaria and Daeara, her soul-bonded dragon, lead the other dragonriders of Druidham, teaching a new generation of dragonriders how to manage their companions, and protecting Avalonia from elemental threats. They fly here and there, meeting the people of the land and bringing messages, and sometimes passengers, from one corner of the land to the other. _____________________________________ .......................................................................... I had originally built this months ago for the Summer Joust, but never posted it since I wanted to build an all-LEGO scene in which to place Daeara, rather than the stand-alone display base here. I never got around to that all-LEGO scene, however, and decided instead to just post it now as-is. Ah well. Daeara is the same size (frame-wise) as Hewa and Moto, despite being female like Kijani and Maji, due to growing to full stature in earth-magic-rich Avalonia rather than Mwamba. C&C welcome.
Henjin_Quilones posted a topic in Guilds of HistoricaHistorica United This is a modified version of the entry that I (Henjin_Quilones) contributed to Book II, Challenge V, Category C, combined with the highlights of my fellow Avalonian, @TitusV's, entry to the same challenge category. He approached me, after being approached by other Guildsmembers, about combining our entries into a single cohesive narrative, as a way of trying to help speed up the judging process; what you see here is the result. Part I: In the Halls of Hesperia The story of the beginning of the end has been told elsewhere, in the tales of the build-bards of old, of intrigue, murder, magical items, quests, and alliances. Thus this is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the end of the end, if you follow. And the beginning of the end of the end begins in one of the furthest corners of Historica, in the far west of Avalonia, in one of the last remaining pockets of High Elves in the known world, the Kingdom of Hesperia. High Elves seldom get involved with the affairs of men, yet in times of the greatest peril they will sometimes venture forth with their glittering array of armor and gilded weapons. This could be one of those times, with the threat of Raavage and his magically-unleashed threats of doom for all the living, and yet it is not so simple for the King of Hesperia, Fingolë the Golden. In his halls in his summer palace, at Istolia, he met with his trusted advisers, his two eldest children, Falaria and Fingalad. Suddenly, ignoring his guards, his youngest daughter, Galaria, and several others burst in. "Father," cried Galaria. "You must listen to me!" "And why should he listen to a child as rude as you?" retorted Falaria, speaking in place of her father, who sat on the throne glowering at his impetuous, almost wood-elf daughter. "Surely you have heard the message that Celdrian has brought?" said Galaria, gesturing to the blue-clad Eagle-Rider beside her. "Of course I have," spoke the king. "But neither he nor you were invited to this meeting, were you? And is that a human in my presence?" "Yes, Father, it is. This is Henjin Quilones, a knight of the Druidi Order, whom I found while on patrol in the forest. You also saw the fireball flying through the sky, did you not? That was his arrival, and the sign that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. The true king of all Historica returns!" "Bah!" exclaimed the king. "A druid he may be, or perhaps not. I have no use for humans, nor dwarves, nor even lowly wood-elves. Begone from my presence! And think well before coming before me again uninvited, Galaria, my daughter." "May we have permission to search the library of the palace here, Father?" Galaria asked before leaving. "Search all you want, just do not disturb my councils again!" shouted Fingolë. __________________ "A charming fellow, your father," said Henjin when they were safely in the library. "Indeed," agreed Galaria. "I would like to say that he takes some getting used to, but even after four hundred years I am still not used to his arrogance and pride. He is obsessed with the proper place of the High Elves, and as the years go by he thinks less and less about what is good and true and beautiful in the universe, still less about the fate of Historica." "Are you sure this is the proper section of the library, Galaria?" asked Henjin. "These stacks are palatial; I have never seen such books and scrolls in my life." "Well, whatever else can be said of my father, he takes it very seriously to have a record of every book, parchment, decree, spell, recipe, or anything else ever written in the four lands, and beyond, in his libraries. There are plenty of maps here, but which is the correct one?" "We need something referring to a helm, the Necromancer's Helm," chimed in Celdrian, the messenger, who had joined them in their search. "I thought there was just a battle over helms a few years back," said Yavenna, Galaria's most-trusted elf-scout. "That was the Elemental Helm; this new one is the Necromancer's Helm," corrected Galaria. "Very different, though both helms." A shout came from the balcony level and the others saw Henjin waving a tattered scrap of parchment over the railing. "I have found it! This scrap tells of the location of the Necromancer's Helm!" "Quickly, then, let us compare it to the maps and mark the place where the Helm may be found," said Galaria. "Then what?" asked Yavenna. "What do we do when we know where the Helm is?" The group fell silent. They had not thought that far ahead. Henjin joined them below and they stood around the table in the library, pondering. "We need some way of neutralizing the magic of the Helm, I think; something to control the arcane flows that radiate out from a magical artefact like that." Celdrian looked up at the druid in surprise. "Did you say 'arcane flows'?" This time it was Henjin's turn to look surprised. "Yes, I did. Why?" Celdrian smiled. "I know just the people who specialize in the regulation of arcane matters, on a very practical and technical level. Make a copy of the map and everything we know about the Helm, and I will bring it to Zotharith and Onicimus; they will know what to do." "We also need to have the armies of the various guilds ready to fight, in a unified front against our different, and yet united, enemies," said Galaria. "I will bring letters to leading men in the guilds, telling them where to bring their troops and when, while I am on my way to deliver the map to Zotharith," said Celdrian. "Aeriglaaac flies faster than the wind, so we can have it done in no time." "When you are done, return here and collect us," added Galaria. "We still need to make sure the True King can retake his throne." Part II: Heroes Assemble And so Celdrian mounted on Aeriglaaac the Great Eagle and visited the four guilds, bringing messages to leaders far and wide. As he flew eastward over the forests and plains of Avalonia, he stopped in Eolas first, to deliver the message to the Maestro: As soon as the Maestro received the news, he sent out riders to summon his banners to the fight, and, knowing the state of the enemy they might be fighting, called even upon the various mages he had in his realm. Celdrian, after leaving Eolas, soon met with deGothia in the halls of Sionnach: After stopping at a few more Avalonian villas to rally the lords against the Drow, he then flew north across the mountains of Mitgardia and visited Fin of Terydian on the edges of the tundra: Sir Glorfindel was next, near the gates of Nordheim: Having assured that the northerners would muster against the Algus, the mighty eagle flew on the back of the North Wind, faster than the currents of aether, and was soon in the lands of the south, in the Guild of Kaliphlin, where he stopped in Barqa to meet the half-elf Lord Gideon: Katoren was next, with the Lord Aymeri greeting him by the gate: Finally he flew further east to Nocturnus, and visited Lord Vladivus at Shadowmere: A stop in the lowlands near the Reach allowed him to visit Gal-Turok, Leader of the Goblin Clans: The goblin leader had his border patrols increased, and built new walls and towers to forestall any Spire incursions onto his lands. Finally, after many miles, though only a few hours aloft, Celdrian and Aeriglaaac circled down over Zotharith. Part III: Zotharith Council Meeting In Zotharith, a council meeting was underway, with Exetrius standing in for his father, Onicimus, who was busy tinkering with his gadgets far beneath the city. That such an inexperienced and low-ranking member of the Order should be leading a meeting rankled some in attendance, but all held their tongues out of respect for their leader's wishes. Exetrius called them to order. "If we could find the Helm before Raavage, my father thinks that we have both the manpower and the technical knowledge to disable the Helm and its magics," the white-haired mage said. "But what of Raavage?" said one of the others in attendance, General Zeruko Urima. "My armies are well-trained and well-equipped, but I am not sure they are ready to face the dreadful power that is Lord Raavage." "Even Raavage cannot defeat an entire army of warrior-mages, General," replied Exetrius. "We will bring a combination of your warriors and some of our best mages, so that we shall not fail. We will also be provided with several of the arcane-regulation devices that link up to the core that my father has been building, which should, if the calculations are correct, neutralize the artefact entirely. If only we knew where it was!" At that moment, Celdrian knocked at the door and entered. "I think I can help you there, young Exetrius," said the elf-messenger. "My friends have pored over the extensive libraries of Hesperia and discovered the location of the Helm you seek. They have included instructions in that letter, and marked the place here on the map in red." "Thank you, Celdrian, and may the wind be ever under Aeriglaaac's wings." "May your mana never run short," said the elf as he bowed out. "We start tonight!" cried Exetrius after the elf had left. "We cannot afford to waste even one day in this quest, since Raavage has already had several days' head start. Let us go!" Part IV: The Great Battle of Historica While the Zotharians were travelling to the location deep beneath the Rakath Mountains that held the Necromancer's Helm, the armies of Historica were on the march, too. Many of the Lords of the Realms came to the Grand Griffon Tavern on the outskirts of Cedrica to make the final preparations for the upcoming battles. They would be fought on many fronts, for the enemy was diverse: the Avalonians were up against the Drow, the Mitgardians against the Algus, the Nocturnians of the Resistance were fighting against the Spire's dominion, and Kaliphlin, still divided by conflict, was fighting itself, torn asunder again by the Spire's influence. The recently resurrected and restored Trian Burress led the meetings. Some of the leaders, those who had not yet met the True King of Historica, were discussing his identity; Burress interrupted them with a story of the old king, saying, "Many years ago I was with Artorious Rex, Avalonia's disappeared leader, walking through Cedrica here, when we saw, in the street, a beggar who looked a little too familiar. When we looked closer, we realized that it was the king himself, dressed in rags, begging on the street." "Needless to say, I was shocked at the sight, but Artorious merely laughed. 'The king likes to be among his people, to feel what they feel and see what they see; today he might be a beggar, next week a stableboy, the next a barkeeper'. It moved me to see a king who cared so deeply for his people." "Later, when we were back in Albion, I asked Artorious more about the king and his habits; I learned much that day, but alas, the time on the earth was short for our beloved king, for it was not long before Revolword, that accursed drow-lover, killed him and started all of this chaos. One thing I learned, and will lay before you now, before the battle, to give you hope for our cause, was that the king had sent off his children to explore the lands outside of Historica. He had done so for two reasons, Artorious said: first, to keep them away from palace intrigue that might be deadly; and second, to force them to learn more about the world and different ways of experiencing life and rule, just as he did when he sat as a beggar in the streets. One of those children has returned to us now, in our time of need, to guide the Guilds once more." The other lords, hearing Burress's tale, were much cheered, and fell to the task of making the plans for victory over their enemies. And so, guided by the enheartened lords from every Guild, the Historican armies came forth from every race and people. The enemies of the Guilds also marched forth, drawn by the reports of spies that the Guilds were gathering. Then the battles were fought between the armies of the four guilds and their deepest enemies, enemies united behind the banner of the Black Spire. The Battle of the Moruth Highlands At first, the Nocturnians took a defensive stance, not knowing what the Spire would throw against their walls. But it soon turned out that the Spire troops were mortal too, when Raavage was not there to lead them. Hence, the Resistance got bolder. And so Gal-Turok, himself at the forefront, led his goblin armies in the mighty charge in the Battle of the Moruth Highlands, joined by the armies of Anfauglir, Lord Vladivus, Anzar the Dragon Master, and Lord Jorrith, among many others. The press of black horses against the charging Uruks of the Hand of Corruption carried the day, despite the chanting of witches giving the Uruks strength. The charge was glorious and valiant, and the army of the Resistance won the battle, scattering the remaining Uruks in every direction, to be picked off one by one. The Battle of the Shifting Oasis Lord Gideon of Barqa led the Kaliplinites into war, along with his secret weapon, the Barqan fire. It was the Barqan fire indeed that won the day, burning through the armor and flesh of the High Council troops who had joined with the Spire. Not all had, and many within Kaliphlin chose not to fight at all, as the scars of the civil war were still too fresh; but those patriots who desired peace and the return of the True King to Cedrica bared their blades and fought against those who wished for dissension. In the shifting sand dunes outside of the famed Shifting Oasis, the two armies met, and the High Council soldiers, and the occasional orc, were routed. Led by soldiers of the Desert King, Barqa, Katoren, and Khadira, the armies loyal to the cause of the True King rode off victorious. The Battle of Crystal Tarn In Mitgardia, the Algus were stopped once and for all at the Battle of Crystal Tarn, when the Mitgardian men, led by Sir Glorfindel, Lord Fin, Sir Gunman, and Davok Shieldbasher, among other great northern heroes, and an army of dwarves met the onrush of the mysterious ice-people. Despite the blasts of cold and ice launched by the sorceresses of the Algus, the Mitgardians stood strong with their dragon-forged steel and destroyed their enemies. The Battle of Green Leaf Pass In Avalonia, the Flight of Dragons flew again, charging across the field of battle. Thus the Drow armies were annihilated at the Battle of Green Leaf Pass, with not a twisted dark elf of that army left alive. The Flight of Dragons, led by Lords de Gothia and Alric Drondil, together with the Maestro and Brandon Stark, some elves, forest men, and one strange half-elf, coursed up the pass and broke through the Drow lines, and Laesonar did the rest with a few well-placed leaps and swings of his katanas. The back of the Drow army was broken, and it would be years before they could muster another army and pose a threat to anyone. All of the free peoples of Historica were participants in the Great Battle for Historica, fought on many different fields but all joined together in one spirit. Part V: The Chamber of the Necromancer Meanwhile, beneath the Rakath Mountains, Lord Raavage finally reached the crypt that held the Necromancer's helm. The only problem was that instead of one helm, there were eight. "Which one is the Helm I seek?" Raavage muttered. "Which one is it?" He reached out to first one, then another. Each felt distinctly magical, but he could not tell which was which. Behind him he heard a noise, which caused him to turn around to see who had made it past his guards. It was those infernal Zotharians, the mages who refused to join him despite his many threats. No matter. They would be dealt with once he had the Helm. "Raavage!" the white-haired one in the front shouted at him across the chamber. "Step away from the Helms and we will not hurt you." "Ha!" snorted Raavage. "Hurt me? You? A half-grown, 39th-ranked mage? Did Zotharith have no one better to send? Did Daddy not want to come himself, so he sends his little runt in his place?" "I am not alone, Raavage, as you can see. I have behind me some much more powerful mages than I, and what is more, I have the knowledge of which Helm you seek, which, from the looks of it, you lack." Raavage growled. "How can you be so sure, Little Mage? Did Daddy tell you?" "No, an Avalonian druid and elf princess did, after studying the lore available in their library. It is really quite amazing what you can learn if you read, I hear. Not that you would ever bother with such mundane matters yourself, I am sure, being a big, tough beast like you are." "Grrrrr! Which helm is it, Zotharian?" "The helm you seek will call out to you, if you listen. But be warned, Raavage, the lore says that if you choose the wrong Helm, it will destroy you utterly." "Are all of these fake, then?" growled Raavage. "Except the one real one?" "No, they are Helms of different powers, but they are not powers for the likes of you and me to tamper with." Raavage turned his back on Exetrius and felt along the alcoves with his magical intuition, seeking the call that the Zotharian had said he would feel. He was not sure why he felt that the mage was trustworthy, at least in this matter, since he seldom trusted anyone for anything, but he did. At last, feeling over the second-to-last helm, he felt a small tug. Nothing much, nothing he would have noticed if he were not on high alert, but it was there. He lifted down the helm and began to laugh. "The power is mine! After I don the Helm, I shall slay all of you and raise you back up, and you shall be my undead slaves!" He put on the helm, still laughing. But his laughter soon turned to a scream, as the powers of the helm he had donned began to age him and rip apart the fiber of his being. His fur turned grey, and then white, and then all his flesh wasted away until he had nothing but a skeleton remaining. The body of Lord Raavage fell to the ground, lifeless, his soul sucked from him by the Helm he had chosen. Even the bones vanished, leaving nothing but the Helm and the armor of the once-mighty lord. Exetrius and two of his companions came forward, carrying arcane devices. "It worked, just like you said it would," one said. "All we had to do was use the device you are holding to alter the flow from that helm just enough to make him choose it," Exetrius said. "It was rather simple after all." "What does the other device do?" said the other. "That will close up this cavern and lock it into another dimension, inaccessible to Historicans again. Let's get out of here and activate the device. Raavage is defeated." Part VI: The Throneroom of Cedrica "Are you sure the King is in here?" asked Henjin as they stood outside the door. It had been recently repaired, it seemed, and the mortar was barely set around the new hinges. There had been no king in these halls for years, and some work had been necessary to get things back in order. It had been done in a hurry after the various battles had been completed. All of the armies were now coming back to Cedrica, but Henjin had come early, brought by Celdrian, to make sure that the King was ready for coronation in front of the armies of all Historica. "Yes," said Celdrian. "The King is in here, as everyone has told us." "Very well, let us enter." To Henjin's surprise, however, it was not a King who sat upon the golden throne, but a Queen. A young, very beautiful queen. "Welcome, my friends," the Queen said in a gentle, mellifluous voice. She stood up and came forward to greet them, and they bowed before her. Henjin proffered his sword to her, and she accepted it kindly. "Your sword, Knight Henjin Quilones, of the Druidi Order, I accept and return to you. Bear it well, for me, Ylspeth, your queen, and may you always fight for the cause of truth, justice, and right." "I shall, my queen, Your Highness." "You have done me great favor by bearing tidings to my people, allowing our armies to overcome on the field of battle, and our mages to overcome in the realm of the arcane," continued the Queen. "I shall bestow upon you whatsoever you wish to show my gratitude." "I wish nothing, my Liege, save to be counted among those loyal to you," said Henjin. "That, and I would like to know how you came to be on the throne, alive, when all the rest of your family is dead." Queen Ylspeth looked troubled for a moment as grief passed over her face, but then she composed herself and laughed, and it sounded like clear water flowing over rocks, like the the honeyed song of birds. "I shall tell you, then, Druid Henjin, but not here. I am parched, and the wine here in the palace has been awful without the proper government in place. Do you know the Grand Griffon Tavern? The proprietor, Master Gabbold, is an old friend of mine, and he keeps all the best in his cellars. Let us go thither and talk over some drinks." "Do you mind if I bring a few friends?" asked Henjin. "Not at all! The more the merrier!" Part VII: At the Grand Griffon Tavern "When Henjin said a few friends, I assumed he meant a few friends," said Queen Ylspeth to Princess Galaria as they were pressed by the bodies of many sweaty warriors fresh from battle. "Well, he has made connection with many folk from the different parts of the kingdom, so getting to know them all will be helpful for you," said Galaria. "In fact, Your Highness, in this room are many of the most important figures in your kingdom, all eager to hear your tale." A voice somewhere in the room shouted, "Three cheers for Queen Ylspeth!" A loud cheer erupted from many voices. Then the room grew silent. "Thank you all for joining us here. Master Gabbold will be happy to serve you whatever beverage you like, and the tab is on me, so do not stint yourself. Aymeri, I see you drinking tea, but you can get something stronger if you like. Lord Vlad, O-positive? Good. Many of you are wondering just how I came to be here. My father, the late king, was killed by Raavage soon after Revolword was deposed; the rescue party came too late. I, either by good fortune or bad, was away from Cedrica at the time; indeed, I was away from Historica at the time. I was aboard one of my father's ships, sailing from distant land to distant land, exploring the different islands, meeting new peoples. I hope that all of you have a chance to do so someday, as the world is so much larger than you think. It was my father who sent me, perhaps realizing the danger the kingdom was about to face, on my sixteenth birthday off to sea. One day, on an island far, far from here, away off west, I came across news of my father's murder. My mother, too, was cruelly butchered at the hands of Raavage. I wondered, fearing the worst, about the fate of my brother who had been sailing around like me, and the worst was confirmed at another stop. Knowing that I was not prepared to rule, and that to come back then, like my brother had tried to do, would be suicide, I stayed at a western island, training with an order of warrior monks. They taught me their wisdom, gave me access to their library, and trained me in their manner of combat. When I was judged to be proficient, nay, a master of both wisdom and war, I came back. I wish I had been able to return sooner, but it seems I was just in time to inspire the last forces of good to make a stand, and to do so with success. My eternal thanks to you, my brave warriors, for all you have done. I am forever in your debt." When the queen had finished, those in attendance gave another loud cheer and called for another round. Lord Gideon, who had arrived late after grooming his horse, got his drink. And as the talk went on, Laesonar, who had never moved far from the queen, finally managed to strike up a conversation with her. "So, Queen Ylspeth, are you seeing anyone?" "Not currently, no," she replied. "But surely you will need heirs to the throne, right?" the half-elf persisted, putting out the vibe. "I suppose so, yes, but I have not yet met the right man." "You can check that off the to-do list, since you have met me, now," he said with a cheeky grin and a wink. "I am sure I shall have hordes of suitors lining up. Perhaps I shall have to host a tournament to meet the eligible men of the realm, to have the best possible information about making an alliance that is for the best of all of Historica. But first, we must remember the fallen and bury the dead." Queen Ylspeth raised her glass and called out to the assembly, "To all those who fell in the battles for Historica, may the memories of them never die!" Another cheer arose at that, and more beer was quaffed. "For Steen," a Mitgardian voice called out. "For Steen," came the cry from the others. And the names of the dead were remembered by all, called out by their lords and friends. Master Gabbold was unable to serve any drinks to customers for months after the gathering, and most of the attendees had difficulty waking up in the morning. But Historica was free. Part VIII: Steen Larsson's Funeral When the armies of Historica returned to their homes to rebuild their lives anew, some returned whole and strong, others badly wounded and marked for life, others returned under a shroud, and still others returned not at all. In a scene the like of which was repeated all too often around the Guilds, Steen Larsson, the famed Mitagardian lord, was led out for burial after a ceremony at his local stave church. His fellow Lords accompanied him to his final resting place, his face covered by a traditional death mask of the north. The war was over, the Guilds of Historica were united once more, but still much work remained. The Queen had returned. Now she had to rule. The end. ________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................ So there you have it, a combined version of the builds of TitusV and myself. We were the top two vote-getters in the voting thread, so one of our stories was likely to become canon, but perhaps this combined version can serve instead. We combined our entries in order to facilitate speeding things up and allow life in the Guilds to go on sooner, perhaps. That is up to the Guild Leaders to decide, though, I suppose. C&C is welcome, of course, though most of you probably already gave what you were going to give the first time around. It was not a perfect marriage between the two stories, but I think we did a pretty good job of blending the two together (except for the whole yellow/fleshie difference, of course). The pictures are labeled as to who did what, if you could not tell otherwise. And if you read the whole thing, thanks! And good job.
Henjin_Quilones posted a topic in Guilds of HistoricaCitizens of the city of Bandari in the land of Mwamba An entry into "A Safe Haven", the Fifth Anniversary Challenge, Category B In the land of Mwamba, an large island located in the tropics, near the equator, dwell many different peoples. Like on mainland Historica, where elves, dwarves, orcs, humans, and countless other races coexist in relative harmony, so too is the case in Mwamba. In the harbor city of Bandari, located on the northeastern coast, elves predominate, as they founded the city many long ages ago; but humans are found in plenty, particularly in the roles of merchants and shopkeepers, and a robust civilization of gnomes has grown up to nearly rival that of the Mwambian elves, though underground as gnomish cities are. Centaurs also trot the streets of Bandari, friendly to the elves, at least. Pale skin is not seen here, except on outsiders who have come to the island from afar, as the sun shines hot all through the year, with a short pause for a rainy season or occasional ocean storm. The humans: 1. Panga the Dragon Knight Panga belongs to the ancient human order of Dragon Knights, who long ago fought and killed off the dragons on their side of the island, bringing peace to the human settlements. He is an unwelcome sight in the city of Bandari, however, as the elves who rule the city live in harmony with the dragons and look with suspicion on all who have sworn vows in that dragon-slaying brotherhood. 2. Mkate the Baker Mkate, though human, is much sought-after in Bandari for her buffaloberry tarts and cocoa-bean scones, and the other products of her ovens grace many a table and fill many a belly. When her daily baking is done, she can be seen walking the streets of the city selling her baked goods. Her skills have made her wealthy, as seen by her elaborately embroidered bodice. 3. Anyo the Hunter Anyo is no ordinary hunter, taking down the giant herdbeasts of the plains or fierce predators of the forest; rather, he roams the streets of Bandari and kills the large rodents that terrorize the homes of the residents. He is an expert marksman with his bow, despite having lost an eye years ago from a vicious attack of one of the rodents he now hunts. 4. Ganga the Ranger Ganga is one of the most trusted men in all of Bandari; whenever, of course, he is actually in Bandari. He spends most of his time in the wilderness, scouting with the elves, guiding travelers across the treacherous plains and mountains, and fighting with bandits along the trails. Few besides the elves have his level of woodlore and knowledge of the wild, and fewer still return time after time still alive and in one piece. It is said that the striped cloth around his waist was the blanket his mother left him in, which later became his loincloth as he was raised by lions and other forest beasts, and now serves as a belt. 5. Biashara the Merchant Biashara is the most well-known merchant in Bandari, largely because he sells goods that no one else can, merchandise imported from far away across the sea and delivered to no one but him. He made his start delivering the whisky of the famous Pombe the elvish distiller from Bandari to the other regions of Mwamba, and continues to be the exclusive distributor of that prized spirit, but he has capitalized on that success to become fabulously wealthy, yet still directly involved in the day-to-day running of his empire. The gnomes: 6. Chombo the Gnomish Handyman Chombo may not look like much, but he keeps the machinery of Bandari running like a song. His magnifying glasses allow him to see the finer technical details with great precision, never losing a screw, even the tiniest ones. Pombe relies upon Chombo to keep the various stills of his distillery running, and it is Chombo who makes sure the dragon hatching ground's underground furnace keeps the eggs at the perfect temperature. 7. Bunda the Gnome King Bunda maintains his underground kingdom with strict discipline, running everything like the clockwork that his technicians so meticulously design and tend. He spends hours each morning combing out his beard to give it the proper volume and shine. He loves gold, and decorates everything he can with the warm tones of his favorite metal, accented with the burgundy hues of his favorite wines. 8. Injini the Gnomish Tinkerer Injini is the brains behind many of the gnome kingdom's many technical marvels. It is said that he can make chunks of black rock move a wagon, though no one--besides Injini himself, of course--has seen it work yet; but clouds of steam seem to follow him wherever he goes. He developed a new type of glass, and discovered a revolutionary technique for tinting it, resulting in the rose-colored safety glasses he always wears. He has yet to lose a limb or suffer serious injury in his inventing work, but those close to him say it is only a matter of time. Injini, looking at the world through his safety glasses, however, begs to differ. 9. Duki the Gnome Guard Duki is one of the many guards who surround King Bunda day and night. Heavily armored, and getting up there in age, nonetheless Duki remains spry and light on his feet. The double bladed ax he carries is rumored to be no ordinary ax, but instead some sort of new device invented by Injini using unknown black powders. Like so many of the gnomish marvels, however, no one has seen them work besides their inventors and owners. To date, no one has been foolish enough to attempt to attack Bunda's people in war and put the rumors to the test. The elves: 10. Pombe the Distiller Famed the world over for his fine whiskys, Pombe is one of the most popular elves in all of Bandari. Always ready with a dram and a smile, Pombe's distillery is the best spot in Bandari to relax after a long day or meet an old friend. The pleasant amber color of his whisky, combined with the smoky undertones, cause troubles to melt away and the world to become a better place. 11. Chuma the Blacksmith Chuma is known for the quality of his blades, as even the elf princes and the dragonriders seek him out; yet his work is probably seen more frequently by the residents of Bandari in the iron rings that bind together the barrels coopered by Mbao and then filled by Pombe's whisky. His clientele, besides the high elves, includes Injini, who prizes the finery of his tools, and many of the centaurs of the area, who insist that nobody shoes a centaur better than Chuma. He wears a dragon-decorated leather apron to advertise his importance to the dragonriders. 12. Bahari the Sailor Bahari has the responsibility of following the shoals of fish off of the northern and western coasts of Mwamba, catching them, and bringing them back to feed to the dragon hatchlings of the Hatchery, since it is easier to catch the fish in the sea than to herd cattle on land to feed the voracious appetites of the growing flyers. When he is not out in his larger fishing boat looking for the swarms of sharks, tuna, and other large fish, he takes his smaller craft out for the smaller fish right outside the Bandari harbor to sell in the market. He knows his way through any storm and can navigate either with the fancy compass made specially for him by Injini or else by the stars, wind, and the smell of the water. 13. Mbao the Cooper Mbao occupies the small shop between Chuma's smithy and Pombe's distillery, where his craft is plied exclusively on behalf of Pombe's whisky. No one makes a better barrel than Mbao, with tighter seams and less loss through evaporation than is typical for barrels from other coopers. Mbao's skill has seen his fortunes rise alongside Pombe's, and is himself a wealthy elf. 14. Mkuu the Elf Lord Mkuu is the prince of the elves, the lord of the dragonriders, and the governor of the region around and including Bandari. His skills as a rider are unparalleled, and his wisdom in council is much sought after by humans, gnomes, centaurs, and elves alike. His dragon, the black Nyeusimoto, is seen soaring through the skies all around Mwamba, an image of strength and hope to those in distress. The other dragonriders trust him in all things, and only Mkuu's father, the venerable Mfalme the Wise, has more power on the island. 15. Kufunzi the Dragon Trainer Kufunzi is an old dragonrider, one who has seen it all and yet lived to tell the tale. It is said that he was the first elf to successfully ride a dragon, subduing the proud creature to his will somehow, though the exact details are surrounded by legend and Kufunzi himself never talks about his past in any detail. His role is now to train the dragons that hatch at the Hatchery, as well as their riders. He carries a staff to hook an unruly dragon around the neck, and always has a bribe of food of some kind or other. He is covered with scars from many a recalcitrant student, and is blind in his one remaining eye, yet nothing escapes his notice. 16. Hamisha the Exiled Elf Hamisha was exiled away from Mwamba many years ago, for some crime that she will never speak about, but is rumored to be theft of a dragon egg. She has passed the centuries living in Hesperia, in the westernmost part of Avalonia, and became one the most trusted members of Princess Galaria's wolfriders. Now she has been exiled again, this time from Hesperia by King Fingolë the Golden, and is sailing back to her original home with Galaria, Henjin Quilones, and their companions aboard the Nagra Luca, hoping that she might find a warmer welcome from her old people. 17. Winda the Elf Scout Winda is the younger sister of Mkuu, and is thus a princess of the elves. She serves as an adviser on her brother's council in her role as the leader of the patrols of elves that roam the island, scouting for threats that might arise. She is adept with the bow she carries and has never been seen to miss her target, though the others on the council whisper that her true target is to become a dragonrider like her brother; thus far that goal has eluded her. 18. Yoka the Dragon Nurse Yoka is the overseer of the Hatchery, the place where female dragons come to lay their eggs, and where the eggs are kept safe until they hatch. Once the dragonets crack out of their shells, they are fed and raised up by Yoka until they are old enough to be trained by Kufunzi and assigned a rider. The hot sands beneath the Hatchery are kept warm by the furnaces of the gnomes, but Yoka does not mind the heat anymore. She is close friends with Winda, who has been seen visiting the Hatchery more and more frequently, ever since the most recent clutch of eggs hatched. The yound Kijivu, a greyish-silver dragonet, is Yoka's personal favorite ward right now. ____________________________________________________ ........................................................................................................ C&C welcome, of course. A special thanks to those who gave me feedback on them from Flickr, when I first posted images of these figs a month back or so, especially @TitusV. I took much of the criticism and used it make a few of the figs much better. I hope you enjoyed the look at the peoples of Mwamba, and in particular Bandari. It used up all of my non-light-flesh flesh-toned heads to make them, including two PotC zombies. TLG needs to make more dark-toned female minifigures, especially! As a bonus (since Ecclesiates seemed to imply that they would not fit the mold of a CMF) I'll post the pictures of the four centaurs that I also made at the end of this post later, once I have taken better pictures of them, but you can always see somewhat blurry pictures of them on my Flickr account here if you cannot wait...
The South Gate of Lleidr Castle A freebuild for Avalonia This is the south gate of Lleidr Castle, a ruined fortress of central Avalonia, nestled in the eaves of a forest that has slowly grown over it. A band of outlaws has made it their abode, calling themselves the Merry Men of Lleidr. No one knows the history of the castle, as all records of it have vanished, and the bandits themselves do not care. They have repaired certain parts of the castle just enough to serve as living quarters and storehouses. They did not do an especially good job of repair, though; if they had been capable of an honest day's work at a building trade, after all, they would not have become bandits. __________________________________________________________________________________________________ ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. This was built as an entry for the Castle Collaboration category of the Summer Joust 2017, with @ZlatanXVIGustaf and @The Maestro as teammates. When they get theirs posted here in the guilds, I recommend checking them out, or else go to Flickr and look if you are impatient, since their entries are superior to mine, and are the reason our team won. Mine just ensured we did not lose...