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Found 11 results

  1. The Nagra Luca An entry into "A Safe Haven", the Fifth Anniversary Challenge, Category C Henjin Quilones, Knight of the Druidi Order of Historica, exile from Hesperia, and his constant companion, Galaria, formerly Princess of Hesperia, now an exile like Henjin, were discussing their journey on the poop deck of the Nagra Luca. The swift ship was making good time as it sailed ever westward, veering only the slightest bit south. It had been some time since they had left the Isle of Tíre, fully stocked with provisions for a journey that could possibly take months. And it had, several months longer than anticipated, in fact; they had been aboard this vessel, now terribly small and cramped, for far too long. The food supply was now rather short, nearly as short as the tempers of the crew as they spent their time walking the same planks and pulling the same ropes each and every day, seeing the same eighteen people day and night. The wolves in the hold below were particularly restless, and one at a time they were brought up to pace on the deck when the weather was fair, just to stretch their legs a bit. Skoll, Henjin's white wolf, had even leaped overboard once and swum with some dolphins for a spell before they could lower the rowboat and fish out the sodden beast from the briny waves. The whole hold had smelled of wet fur for a week afterwards. "We must be getting close, Henjin," said Galaria with a sigh. "We are, I can feel it," replied Henjin. "Sir Kravek's charts were clearly mistaken about some of the nautical distances, as this journey has gone on long enough, but those rocky fingers we passed sticking out of the sea yesterday at noon are supposed to be only a day's sail from shore to this new place. And besides, Hamisha has been saying for a few days that the smell in the air is that of her home, so we must be close." "My lord Henjin, Lady Galaria, the smell is stronger than ever, too!" shouted Hamisha from where she was looking over the maps and charts. "I apologize for interrupting!" "Apology accepted!" Galaria shouted back and shook her head. "She has always been a strange one," she said in a low voice, "not like the rest of my wolfriders. These Mwamban elves must be an odd lot if they are all like her. She is reliable, though." "What are we going to do once we get to Mwamba, though, Galaria? We are a crew of exiles, castaways now from your home, refugees far, far away from my own, with little in the way of a trade or skill to earn our silver and gold. I have some magic, I suppose, and you can hunt, and we are all good with swords, but unless there is some sort of conflict going on that particular skill is not very useful. What are we to do?" "We will figure it out in good time, Henjin," the elf said, resting her head on his shoulder. "We are together, and that is what is important to me. Besides, I was a princess, and I am still an elf, and elves are always welcoming to other elves, with the exception of my father. And we have Hamisha." "Who is now twice exiled, and still will not tell us what she did to be kicked out of Mwamba in the first place, I must point out." "You worry too much, my handsome druid." "Land ho!" came the shout from the lookout up in the rigging. "I see land!" Allicea shouted again. Soon others were climbing the rigging and crowding the gunwales of the fo'c'sle trying to see the shimmering blur on the horizon denoting land. "I see it too!" shouted Celdrian triumphantly. Soon the Nagra Luca was making her way into a harbor, with a large city overlooking the water. Small fishing boats were dotting the waves, and the shouts of people from the shore reached their ears. Henjin, Galaria, and Hamisha were lowered in the rowboat to the water and made their way to one of the docks. Some more pictures: ________________________________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................................................................ C&C welcome! This was my first attempt as an AFOL at making a ship (besides, of course, the official ship sets that I have acquired over the past few years), and I am rather pleased with the outcome. I went entirely brickbuilt instead of using any of the large hull pieces that I have, since I wanted to try my hand at it and liked the look of it better. The ship is inspired by the lateen-rigged vessels of the past, particularly the caravel of Portugal and the dhow of India/Arabia, as well as a Ninjago ship built by @Garmadon, with some elvish flair of my own.
  2. Citizens 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...
  3. The Chronicles of Hesperia Volume 1: The Sky Man Chapter 5: Stopping at Tíre Keep The Previous Chapters: Henjin Quilones stepped out of the elvish rowboat and walked up the dock towards the tower. Though it was only early evening, the flames were already roaring from the beacon post at its top, ready to ward any passing ship away from the dangerous shoals that lined the coast of the island. Tíre Keep, with its lighthouse, was one of the most important strongholds of Avalonia, and one of the farthest, if not the farthest, west, a final stopping point for food and supplies for any Avalonian ship sailing out into the Great Western Ocean. His ship, or rather, Galaria's ship, was moored deeper out to sea, past where the rocks would cause a danger to the fragile wooden planking of a ship's hull. He had been sent ashore to this abode of humans, since he, a human, would not look so out of place as one of the elvish exiles on board the Nagra Luca, or Black Wolf in the common speech of Historica. His brother, Bu'kanjin, or one of their druid warrior companions, could also have been sent, but Henjin had volunteered to come alone to broker a deal for supplies sufficient for an ocean crossing. Of gold they had enough, if pressed, to buy everything they needed and more, but then they would have nothing when they reached the shores of some distant land; Henjin's powers of persuasion had become legendary among his friends, and they all agreed that he would be the best to negotiate a favorable bargain for them. Henjin sighed as he gazed up at the tall tower, its six sides facing every direction. He did not know when they would be back in civilized lands again. Galaria had taken it into her head to travel the world after her father had sentenced her to exile, and she had no desire to stay around the continent of Historica. She had been granted a Historican Title of Nobility for her actions in the war with Raavage, same as Henjin, and would thus find a warm welcome wherever the Ruler of Historica was revered, but she wanted to leave, to see how people lived in other lands. Henjin had agreed to go with her, as he found something about the green-haired elf maiden hopelessly attractive. Bu'kanjin felt similarly towards Yavenna, Galaria's trusted lieutenant among the wolf riders, as well, and had needed little persuasion to join his brother. The wolves. Skoll, the white wolf that was now his, along with Biryuk, who was Bu'kanjin's mount, Laika, who was Galaria's, and the other wolfsteeds of Galaria's band, was in the hold of the Nagra Luca, undoubtedly very unhappy and seasick. Henjin had to get enough meat to feed them, in addition to everything else they needed. The gold in his pouch needed to go a long way. As he walked towards the small door set in the wall, he observed a man fishing from the rocks. "Greetings, sir," he said. "Where might I find the lord of this keep?" The man turned from his fishing with a sigh, saying, "The fish are not biting so far today, I am afraid; I blame the weather. It has been too hot, unseasonably so. We need some rain, that's what we need, rain." "If I could send you rain, sir, I would," said Henjin. "Now, where might I find the lord?" "Right here, my good sir," smiled the man. "I am Sir Kravek, Baron of Tíre Keep, Ruler of the Isle of Tíre, Lord Councillor of Avalonia. How may I be of service to a traveler such as yourself?" "My thanks, Sir Kravek. My name is Sir Henjin Quilones, Knight of Historica. My friends and I need sufficient food and supplies to sail across the Great Western Ocean." "I see. Welcome, Sir Henjin. Well, you have come to the right place. Now, that ship of yours anchored off in my harbor is clearly elvish, or I am an orc, so am I to assume that you stole it, or are your companions elves?" "Yes, Sir Kravek, they are elves, as well as men. And one orc, a refugee that we picked up along the way. Not more than eighteen all told, plus beasts." "Destination? Unknown, I suppose? Well, Sir Henjin, let us step into my office, where we can discuss matters more deeply. I have what you need, including charts and maps, and a suggestion for a destination, a place sure to welcome a motley collection of humans, elves, orcs, and beasts, whose existence has been reported to me by sailors coming through. You, in your turn, will give me assistance (and gold, I am sure). Come, come, this way." ____________________________________________________________ ......................................................................................................................... Thanks for looking, and C&C welcome! This has been posted at long last, my entry to the Summer Joust with @TitusV and @The Maestro. If you look closely at the last picture you might be able to see them there. The hexagonal nature of the tower was a challenge, but it worked out pretty well, I thought. My wife, typically no fan of LEGO, thought that this was my best build, and was genuinely sad when I took it apart. It should be fairly clear where my story is going, what with a 5th Anniversary Challenge deadline just over a month away...
  4. The Chronicles of Hesperia Volume 1: The Sky Man Chapter 4: The Banishment of Galaria The Previous Chapters: Princess Galaria sat in the gardens of the palace of Istolia, awaiting her father. She knew he would be displeased by her actions, yet she could not, would not, apologize for doing what had been necessary to save not only Hesperia, her father's High Elven kingdom, but all of Historica. She had returned after travelling far and wide, having used information taken from her father's library to defeat the threat of the tyrannical Lord Raavage. She had been keeping company with humans, in particular the druid, Henjin Quilones, but also lords and ladies of many lands from all corners of Historica. This was behavior decidedly atypical for an elf of the blood, scandalous, even, and Galaria had been hesitant to return to her father's halls to receive what was certain to be a stern censure. She heard sounds from the hallway outside, and pricking up her keen elvish ears to listen, caught the full conversation between her brother, Fingalad, and her father, King Fingolë the Golden. "Father," began Fingalad. "Surely you have heard that Galaria has returned from cavorting about with half-bloods and humans?" "Yes, my son, I have. I was on my way to see her now, in fact. My ministers informed me that she is awaiting my presence in the gardens." "And what are you going to say to her, Father?" Fingalad said, a note of anger in his voice. "I will demand an accounting for her irregular and dishonorable behavior," replied the king with patience. "No, Father, you must punish her for her disobedience to your commands." "What command did she break, my son?" "She stole from your library, she used the eagle riders without permission, she acted in your name without consulting you, and above all, Father, she violated your express prohibition against getting involved with the human affairs of the outside world." "You speak wisely, my son, and yet..." "Yet nothing, Father. She has disrespected and dishonored you, our family, our people, and our land. She has taken up with humans, in particular that pseudo-druid and charlatan, Henjin Quilones, becoming inseparable from his side. I have even heard that she has fallen in love with him, and would mingle our high blood with his baseborn mud. Surely you cannot tolerate such an affront and insult to our kingdom, Father?" "I will speak to her, and shall keep my own counsel, yet you have given me much to think on, my son," said the king. "Now depart from us, and I will enter and speak to your sister alone." _________________________________________ "My daughter, what have you to say for yourself? Why do you bring yourself back here surrounded by such clouds of gossip and accusations of scandal?" "Scandal, Father?" asked Galaria, as though she had not overheard her father and brother speaking in the corridor. "Will you agree to renounce the disgusting human Henjin Quilones, never to see him again, to remain here in the palace of Istolia for the next century or two, never going out into the woods like a lowly wood elf, to serve your sister Falaria as her handmaid?" "Father, no!" "Then will you dishonor me and your whole kindred?" "No, Father, I helped to save our people, and all people of Historica, by stopping Raavage and bringing the High Ruler of Historica to the throne, joining as one with the many realms out there! I did nothing to dishonor our people or you!" "You disobeyed my commands and in so doing have dishonored me and your kindred. To atone for this, I ask you again: will you agree to renounce the disgusting human, Henjin..." "He is not disgusting, Father, and neither are most humans out there that I have met!" interrupted Galaria hotly. "So you do love him!" shouted the king accusingly. "I don...I...I...I said nothing like that, Father!" yelled Galaria, now angry past her ability to contain it. "But you do not deny it! You would mingle our pure blood with the corruption of humans!" "Father, please..." "No, Galaria, the time has come. Either accept the terms I have given you, or depart forever from this land, an exile from the Elves of Hesperia, banished until the end of time." "Father, don't..." "Choose." "If I must choose, Father, then I shall leave, and maybe someday you shall repent of your foolishness and allow me to come back. Until then, farewell. I shall take a ship from the harbor and my companions, including the 'disgusting' humans, and not come back." "You have chosen wrongly, Galaria, but you may have the ship. Do not count on my heart softening for you, however. Time only strengthens the resolve of a High Elf's oath." "Goodbye, then, Father." ____________________________________________________ ........................................................................................................ The latest installment of the Chronicles of Hesperia. Feel free to make any C&C, though, to be honest, the build came together in an hour or so, and is mostly just a filler build to move the story, so it does not do anything particularly nice or fancy. Better stuff is coming soon! Another chapter should be up later this week, since it has been built, photographed, and dismantled now for several months! It just needed this story to fill the gap first, and I have been concentrating on other builds.
  5. Historica United A story illustrated by builds, for Category C of Challenge V of Book II. Like most of the Category C entries, this is a picture- and story-heavy post, so it may take some time to get through. I hope it will be worth your while. Part I: In the Halls of Hesperia The story of the beginning of the end has been told elsewhere, in the tales of the build-bards of old, of intrigue, murder, magical items, quests, and alliances. Thus this is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the end of the end, if you follow. And the beginning of the end of the end begins in one of the furthest corners of Historica, in the far west of Avalonia, in one of the last remaining pockets of High Elves in the known world, the Kingdom of Hesperia. High Elves seldom get involved with the affairs of men, yet in times of the greatest peril they will venture forth with their glittering array of armor and gilded weapons. This is one of those times, with the threat of Raavage and his magically-unleashed threats of doom for all the living, and yet it is not so simple for the King of Hesperia, Fingolë the Golden. In his halls in his summer palace, at Istolia, he met with his trusted advisers, his two eldest children, Falaria and Fingalad. Suddenly, ignoring his guards, his youngest daughter, Galaria, and several others burst in. "Father," cried Galaria. "You must listen to me!" "And why should he listen to a child as rude as you?" retorted Falaria, speaking in place of her father, who sat on the throne glowering at his impetuous, almost wood-elf daughter. "Surely you have heard the message that Celdrian has brought?" said Galaria, gesturing to the blue-clad Eagle-Rider beside her. "Of course I have," spoke the king. "But neither he nor you were invited to this meeting, were you? And is that a human in my presence?" "Yes, Father, it is. This is Henjin Quilones, a knight of the Druidi Order, whom I found while on patrol in the forest. You also saw the fireball flying through the sky, did you not? That was his arrival, and the sign that the fulfillment of the prophecy is at hand. The true king of all Historica returns!" "Bah!" exclaimed the king. "A druid he may be, or perhaps not. I have no use for humans, nor dwarves, nor even lowly wood-elves. Begone from my presence! And think well before coming before me again uninvited, Galaria, my daughter." "May we have permission to search the library of the palace here, Father?" Galaria asked before leaving. "Search all you want, just do not disturb my councils again!" shouted Fingolë. __________________ "A charming fellow, your father," said Henjin when they were safely in the library. "Indeed," agreed Galaria. "I would like to say that he takes some getting used to, but even after four hundred years I am still not used to his arrogance and pride. He is obsessed with the proper place of the High Elves, and as the years go by he thinks less and less about what is good and true and beautiful in the universe, still less about the fate of Historica." "Are you sure this is the proper section of the library, Galaria?" asked Henjin. "These stacks are palatial; I have never seen such books and scrolls in my life." "Well, whatever else can be said of my father, he takes it very seriously to have a record of every book, parchment, decree, spell, recipe, or anything else ever written in the four lands, and beyond, in his libraries. There are plenty of maps here, but which is the correct one?" "We need something referring to a helm, the Necromancer's Helm," chimed in Celdrian, the messenger, who had joined them in their search. "I thought there was just a battle over helms a few years back," said Yavenna, Galaria's most-trusted elf-scout. "That was the Elemental Helm, this is the Necromancer's Helm," corrected Galaria. "Very different, though both helms." A shout came from the balcony level and the others saw Henjin waving a tattered scrap of parchment over the railing. "I have found it! This scrap tells of the location of the Necromancer's Helm!" "Quickly, then, let us compare it to the maps and mark the place where the Helm may be found," said Galaria. "Then what?" asked Yavenna. "What do we do when we know where the Helm is?" The group fell silent. They had not thought that far ahead. Henjin joined them below and they stood around the table in the library, pondering. "We need some way of neutralizing the magic of the Helm, I think; something to control the arcane flows that radiate out from a magical artefact like that." Celdrian looked up at the druid in surprise. "Did you say 'arcane flows'?" This time it was Henjin's turn to look surprised. "Yes, I did. Why?" Celdrian smiled. "I know just the people who specialize in the regulation of arcane matters, on a very practical and technical level. Make a copy of the map and everything we know about the Helm, and I will bring it to Zotharith and Onicimus; they will know what to do." "We also need to have the armies of the various guilds ready to fight, in a unified front against our different, and yet united, enemies," said Galaria. "I will bring letters to leading men in the guilds, telling them where to bring their troops and when, while I am on my way to deliver the map to Zotharith," said Celdrian. "Aeriglaaac flies faster than the wind, so we can have it done in no time." "When you are done, return here and collect us," added Galaria. "We still need to make sure the True King can retake his throne." Part II: Heroes Assemble And so Celdrian mounted on Aeriglaaac the Great Eagle and visited the four guilds, bringing messages to leaders far and wide. As he flew eastward over the forests and plains of Avalonia, he stopped in Eolas first, to deliver the message to the Maestro: Soon he met deGothia in the halls of Sionnach: Then he flew north across the mountains of Mitgardia and visited Fin of Terydian on the edges of the tundra: Sir Glorfindel was next, near the gates of Nordheim: Then the mighty eagle flew on the back of the North Wind, faster than the currents of aether, and was soon in the lands of the south, in the Guild of Kaliphlin, where he stopped in Barqa to meet the half-elf Lord Gideon: Katoren was next, with the Lord Aymeri greeting him by the gate: Finally he flew further east to Nocturnus, and visited Lord Vladivus at Shadowmere: A stop in the lowlands near the Reach allowed him to visit Gal-Turok, Leader of the Goblin Clans: After many miles, though only a few hours aloft, Celdrian and Aeriglaaac circled down over Zotharith. Part III: Zotharith Council Meeting In Zotharith, a council meeting was underway, with Exetrius standing in for his father, Onicimus, who was busy tinkering with his gadgets far beneath the city. That such an inexperienced and low-ranking member of the Order should be leading a meeting rankled some in attendance, but all held their tongues out of respect for their leader's wishes. Exetrius called them to order. "If we could find the Helm, my father thinks that we have both the manpower and the technical knowledge to disable the Helm and its magics," the white-haired mage said. "But what of Raavage?" said one of the others in attendance, General Zeruko Urima. "My armies are well-trained and well-equipped, but I am not sure they are ready to face the dreadful power that is Lord Raavage." "Even Raavage cannot defeat an entire army of warrior-mages, General," replied Exetrius. "We will bring a combination of your warriors and some of our best mages, so that we shall not fail. We will also be provided with several of the arcane-regulation devices that link up to the core that my father has been building, which should, if the calculations are correct, neutralize the artefact entirely. If only we knew where it was!" At that moment, Celdrian knocked at the door and entered. "I think I can help you there, young Exetrius," said the elf-messenger. "My friends have pored over the extensive libraries of Hesperia and discovered the location of the Helm you seek. They have included instructions in that letter, and marked the place here on the map in red." "Thank you, Celdrian, and may the wind be ever under Aeriglaaac's wings." "May your mana never run short," said the elf as he bowed out. "We start tonight!" cried Exetrius after the elf had left. "We cannot afford to waste even one day in this quest, since Raavage has already had several days' head start. Let us go!" Part IV: The Great Battle of Historica While the Zotharians were travelling to the location deep beneath the Rakath Mountains that held the Necromancer's Helm, the armies of Historica were on the march, too. From every guild, from every race and people, the armies came forth. The enemies of the guilds also marched forth, drawn by the reports of spies that the guilds were gathering. And so the battles were fought between the armies of the four guilds and their deepest enemies, enemies united behind the banner of the Black Spire. The Battle of the Moruth Highlands In Nocturnus, Gal-Turok led his goblin armies in the charge in the Battle of the Moruth Highlands, joined by the armies of Anfauglir, Lord Vladivus, Anzar the Dragon Master, and Lord Jorrith, among others. The press of black horses against the charging Uruks of the Hand of Corruption carried the day, despite the chanting of witches giving the Uruks strength. The charge was glorious and valiant, and the army of the Resistance won the battle, scattering the remaining Uruks in every direction, to be picked off one by one. The Battle of the Shifting Oasis In Kaliphlin, it was the Barqan fire that won the day, burning through the armor and flesh of the High Council troops who had joined with the Spire. Not all had, and many within Kaliphlin chose not to fight at all, as the scars of the civil war were still too fresh; but those patriots who desired peace and the return of the True King to Cedrica bared their blades and fought with those who wished for dissension. In the shifting sand dunes outside of the famed Shifting Oasis, the two armies met, and the High Council soldiers, and the occasional orc, were routed. Led by soldiers of the Desert King, Barqa, Katoren, and Khadira, the armies loyal to the cause of the True King rode off victorious. The Battle of Crystal Tarn In Mitgardia, the Algus were stopped once and for all at the Battle of Crystal Tarn, when the Mitgardian men, led by Sir Glorfindel, Lord Fin, Sir Gunman, and Davok Shieldbasher, among other great northern heroes, and an army of dwarves met the onrush of the mysterious ice-people. Despite the blasts of cold and ice launched by the sorceresses of the Algus, the Mitgardians stood strong with their dragon-forged steel and destroyed their enemies. The Battle of Green Leaf Pass In Avalonia, the Drow armies were annihilated at the Battle of Green Leaf Pass, with not a twisted dark elf left alive. The Flight of Dragons, led by Lords de Gothia and Alric Drondil, together with the Maestro and Brandon Stark, some elves, forest men, and one strange half-elf, charged up the pass and broke through the Drow lines, and Laesonar did the rest with a few well-placed leaps and swings of his katanas. The back of the Drow army was broken, and it would be years before they could muster another army and pose a threat to anyone. All of the free peoples of Historica were participants in the Great Battle for Historica, fought on many different fields but all joined together in one spirit. Part V: The Chamber of the Necromancer Meanwhile, beneath the Rakath Mountains, Lord Raavage finally reached the crypt that held the Necromancers helm. The only problem was that instead of one helm, there were eight. "Which one is the Helm I seek?" Raavage muttered. "Which one is it?" He reached out to first one, then another. Each felt distinctly magical, but he could not tell which was which. Behind him he heard a noise, which caused him to turn around to see who had made it past his guards. It was those infernal Zotharians, the mages who refused to join him despite his many threats. No matter. They would be dealt with once he had the Helm. "Raavage!" the white-haired one in the front shouted at him across the chamber. "Step away from the Helms and we will not hurt you." "Ha!" snorted Raavage. "Hurt me? You? A half-grown, 39th-ranked mage? Did Zotharith have no one better to send? Did Daddy not want to come himself, so he sends his little runt in his place?" "I am not alone, Raavage, as you can see. I have behind me some much more powerful mages than I, and what is more, I have the knowledge of which Helm you seek, which, from the looks of it, you lack." Raavage growled. "How can you be so sure, Little Mage? Did Daddy tell you?" "No, an Avalonian druid and elf princess did, after studying the lore available in their library. It is really quite amazing what you can learn if you read, I hear. Not that you would ever bother with such mundane matters yourself, I am sure, being a big, tough beast like you are." "Grr! Which helm is it, Zotharian?" "The helm you seek will call out to you, if you listen. But be warned, Raavage, the lore says that if you choose the wrong Helm, it will destroy you utterly." "Are all of these fake, then?" growled Raavage. "Except the one real one?" "No, they are Helms of different powers, but they are not powers for the likes of you and me to tamper with." Raavage turned his back on Exetrius and felt along the alcoves with his magical intuition, seeking the call that the Zotharian had said he would feel. He was not sure why he felt that the mage was trustworthy, at least in this matter, since he seldom trusted anyone for anything, but he did. At last, feeling over the second-to-last helm, he felt a small tug. Nothing much, nothing he would have noticed if he were not on high alert, but it was there. He lifted down the helm and began to laugh. "The power is mine! After I don the Helm, I shall slay all of you and raise you back up, and you shall be my undead slaves!" He put on the helm, still laughing. But his laughter soon turned to a scream, as the powers of the helm he had donned began to age him and rip apart the fiber of his being. His fur turned grey, and then white, and then all his flesh wasted away until he had nothing but a skeleton remaining. The body of Lord Raavage fell to the ground, lifeless, his soul sucked from him by the Helm he had chosen. Even the bones vanished, leaving nothing but the Helm and the armor of the once-mighty lord. Exetrius and two of his companions came forward, carrying arcane devices. "It worked, just like you said it would," one said. "All we had to do was use the device you are holding to alter the flow from that helm just enough to make him choose it," Exetrius said. "It was rather simple after all." "What does the other device do?" said the other. "That will close up this cavern and lock it into another dimension, inaccessible to Historicans again. Let's get out of here and activate the device. Raavage is defeated." Part VI: The Throneroom of Cedrica "Are you sure the King is in here?" asked Henjin as they stood outside the door. It had been recently repaired, it seemed, and the mortar was barely set around the new hinges. There had been no king in these halls for years, and some work had been necessary to get things back in order. "Yes," said Celdrian. "The King is in here, as everyone has told us." "Very well, let us enter." To Henjin's surprise, however, it was not a King who sat upon the golden throne, but a Queen. A young, very beautiful queen. "Welcome, my friends," the Queen said in a gentle, mellifluous voice. She stood up and came forward to greet them, and they bowed before her. Henjin proffered his sword to her, and she accepted it kindly. "Your sword, Knight Henjin Quilones, of the Druidi Order, I accept and return to you. Bear it well, for me, Ylspeth, your queen, and may you always fight for the cause of truth, justice, and right." "I shall, my queen, Your Highness." "You have done me great favor by bearing tidings to my people, allowing our armies to overcome on the field of battle, and our mages to overcome in the realm of the arcane," continued the Queen. "I shall bestow upon you whatsoever you wish to show my gratitude." "I wish nothing, my Liege, save to be counted among those loyal to you," said Henjin. "That, and I would like to know how you came to be on the throne, alive, when all the rest of your family is dead." Queen Ylspeth laughed, and it sounded like clear water flowing over rocks, like the the honeyed song of birds. "I shall tell you, then, Druid Henjin, but not here. I am parched, and the wine here has been awful without the proper government in place. Do you know the Grand Griffon Tavern? The proprietor, Master Gabbold, is an old friend of mine, and he keeps all the best in his cellars. Let us go thither and talk over some drinks." "Do you mind if I bring a few friends?" asked Henjin. "Not at all! The more the merrier!" Part VII: At the Grand Griffon Tavern "When Henjin said a few friends, I assumed he meant a few friends," said Queen Ylspeth to Princess Galaria as they were pressed by the bodies of many sweaty warriors fresh from battle. "Well, he has made connection with many folk from the different parts of the kingdom, so getting to know them all will be helpful for you," said Galaria. "In fact, Your Highness, in this room are many of the most important figures in your kingdom, all eager to hear your tale." A voice somewhere in the room shouted, "Three cheers for Queen Ylspeth!" A loud cheer erupted from many voices. Then the room grew silent. "Thank you all for joining us here. Master Gabbold will be happy to serve you whatever beverage you like, and the tab is on me, so do not stint yourself. Aymeri, I see you drinking tea, you can get something stronger if you like. Lord Vlad, O-positive? Good. Many of you are wondering just how I came to be here. My father, the late king, was killed by Raavage soon after Revolword was deposed; the rescue party came too late. I, either by good fortune or bad, was away from Cedrica at the time; indeed, I was away from Historica at the time. I was aboard one of my father's ships, sailing from distant land to distant land, exploring the different islands, meeting new peoples. I hope that all of you have a chance to do so someday, as the world is so much larger than you think. It was my father who sent me, perhaps realizing the danger the kingdom was about to face, on my sixteenth birthday off to sea. One day, on an island far, far from here, away off west, I came across news of my father's murder. I wondered about the fate of my brother, fearing the worst, and the worst was confirmed at another stop. My mother, too, was cruelly butchered at the hands of Raavage. Knowing that I was not prepared to rule, and that to come back then would be suicide, I stayed at a western island, training with an order of warrior monks. They taught me their wisdom, gave me access to their library, and trained me in their manner of combat. When I was judged to be proficient, nay, a master of both wisdom and war, I came back. It seems I was just in time to inspire the last forces of good to make a stand, and to do so with success. My eternal thanks to you, my brave warriors, for all you have done. I am forever in your debt." When the queen had finished, those in attendance gave another loud cheer and called for another round. Lord Gideon, who had arrived late after grooming his horse, got his drink. And as the talk went on, Laesonar, who had never moved far from the queen, finally managed to strike up a conversation with her. "So, Queen Ylspeth, are you seeing anyone?" "Not currently, no," she replied. "But surely you will need heirs to the throne, right?" the half-elf persisted, putting out the vibe. "I suppose so, yes, but I have not yet met the right man." "You have met me, now," he said with a cheeky grin and a wink. "I am sure I shall have hordes of suitors lining up. Perhaps I shall hold a joust of some kind, or a contest, to winnow down the candidates?" The end. ________________________________ ................................................................ Wow, so if you read the whole thing, good for you, and thank you! I hope you appreciated it and enjoyed it. More pictures can be found on my Flickr page, especially of the battles. C&C is of course welcome. I tried my best, with the parts I had, to make as many sigfigs as I could, but I know that I missed many, many figs of some really excellent builders. Please take no offense at any omissions, as I assure you that no one was left out on purpose. I for one am glad this contest is over now, and I can go back to regular, leisurely building. And spending time with my family! If this wins, by the way, Queen Ylspeth can be made easily with either Rey's face (from Star Wars: TFA, for fleshies) or Wyldstyle's face (from The LEGO Movie, for yellows) with Barbara Gordon's hair from The LEGO Batman Movie. I tried to pick elements that are currently available from relatively cheap sets (the hair is found in a CMF, for example,and Rey's speeder was only $20US) that will continue to be available (with more SW and another TLM in the works) for a while, while still being distinctive.
  6. The Armored Bears of Hesperia A Build for Challenge V, Category B, on behalf of the Alliance. In the land of Hesperia, an elven kingdom in the far west of Avalonia, nestled in the depths of the Enchanted Forest, there are many beasts of great size, from giant eagles to mighty dragons. Among the fearsome creatures one might encounter under the shade of the magical trees, typically in the upper regions of the highlands, are enormous brown bears. Fiercely territorial and aggressive when provoked, nevertheless the elves have managed to recruit their aid in times of need to serve as mighty beasts of war. Blacksmiths work long hours to create custom armor to protect the mighty frames of the great bears from enemy projectiles while not seriously impacting the mobility of the noble creatures. Here, at Rogobel's blacksmith shop just outside the walls of Istolia, a major Hesperian settlement, Rogobel and his assistants are working around the clock to turn out armor for the bears. Urgaalikku, a proud Ursine chieftain, is receiving his armor. To keep the bears from leaving as the heavy metal is pounded and riveted around them, the bears are fed a steady supply of fruit and vegetables. "Rogobel!" shouted Haladrian. "We are going to need more fruit here pretty soon! Chief Urgaalikku is hungry today." "You've been working at the forge all day, Rogobel," said Tirian, his lead assistant. "Let me take a turn at the anvil." "Grab your own from the corner, Tirian," grunted Rogobel, "and make yourself useful rather than standing around like a maiden in a daisy field." "Feladrim, I'm glad you are here," said Drogo. "Did you grab the case of rivets from the shelf like I asked? I have to add the next row of plates above this one or Rogobel will be on my case." "Um, no, I grabbed the forward-mounted crossbow, like I thought you asked." ________________________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................................................ Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. This thing was rather difficult to photograph, but I think it turned out alright in the end.
  7. The Chronicles of Hesperia Volume 1: The Sky Man Chapter 3: The Return of the Druids The Previous Chapters: Henjin Quilones and Galaria, daughter of King Fingolë the Golden, walked a little away from the campsite of the others. It had been a long day for everyone: Henjin and his brother, Bu'kanjin, along with his companions, had endured a crash landing and an unexpected transformation; Galaria had ridden far on wolfback to reach the impact site, and then suffered the loss of one of her elf warriors when she was shot by Bu'kanjin. They all needed rest, badly, but first there were some questions that needed to be asked, and answers that needed to be heard. Henjin was the first to speak, as they reached the shores of a small lake. "Princess Galaria," he began. "Just Galaria, please," interjected the elf. "Galaria, then," continued the man. "Can you tell me more about the druids of your world? I read some of the inscriptions on the stones back at Stangraf, and they told me some things, but there are other things I would like to know." "Well, to begin, the druids left many, many years ago, after their race began to die out, and they left behind a powerful magic spell, hidden, never found, somewhere to the east of here among the islands. Then...they just vanished...turned to dust, the old stories say. Whether that is true, I do not know, since I was born here in Hesperia many centuries after the elves moved west, and even my father has no personal knowledge of the druids. Why do you ask, Henjin?" "Curiosity, I guess. Where I came from--and the memories get fainter every moment, so that I am not sure where that was--there was an ancient mystical order dedicated to preserving peace and justice, using the deep powers of the universe, the Living Soul of All Being, you could say; we could do incredible things, impossible things, even, except save people from death. Though some tried. Some were seduced to use those powers for selfish ends and became evil, but most of us used them for good. I think that your druids here in Historica might be the same as, or at least very similar to, the Druidi Order of which I was, or perhaps still am, a member. When a member of the Druidi Order died, typically he would be cremated, but some learned how to just...disappear, become one with the Soul of Being, just like your druids did long ago." Galaria turned to Henjin. "So...are you saying that you are a druid?" "I think so," said Henjin. "I am, and my brother is, too. That is how we have such quick reflexes to catch arrows, and do other impossible things." "But you could not save Ankeria after your brother shot her." "No, sadly, her soul had already gone to the Halls of Waiting, and I have not the power to recall anyone thence." "I see." A moment of silence passed as they looked out at the wind rustling the reeds on the shore of the lake. Somewhere far off a bird sang a song of evening. Galaria looked up, her eyes narrowing as she gazed at a dark speck just above the horizon, moving quickly across the setting sun. "Come quickly now, Henjin Quilones, Knight of Stangraf and the first of the New Druidi Order of Historica; we must make haste. I have seen one of the Great Eagles of Hesperia winging his way swiftly through the heavens, and it was unmistakably Aeriglaaac and his rider, Celdrian, my father's most trusted messengers, whom he sent to the far east to learn of the tidings of war. That he flies so swift and sure to Istolia, where my father is visiting, is a sure sign that something is afoot. We must go thither more quickly than I had planned. We go tonight! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ........................................................................................................................ Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. It's not much to look at, but I needed a build to move the story forward a bit, as well as explain a few things. A few more small builds will be forthcoming in order to set up a Category C story arc.
  8. Evening Falls Like a Vulture's Wing A build for the Spire in Book II, Challenge V, Category A As the sun set below the horizon, Ellardin the elf messenger slumped back against the rock. His body was afire with pain every time he moved, as the spear points and arrows lodged in him dug a little deeper into his vitals, and it would not be long now. A rustling behind his ear caused him to look up. A black vulture was perched on the rock inches from his face, its eyes looking hungrily from its red bald head. Ellardin looked away and sighed. His bloody fingers clutched the letter to King Fingolë the Golden, knowing that it would never make it to its destination; those drow huntsmen had made sure of that. More vultures circled and landed around Harafel, his horse, as the light dimmed. The sound of beaks tearing at the soft innards caused the elf to shudder, which in turn caused him to cry out softly in pain as the points worked inwards. The evening was falling quickly now, and the vultures were coming in thickly. Darkness had come. More pictures: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- .............................................................................................................................. Thanks for looking, and C&C welcome. Gideon's vulture design was the inspiration for this build, so a big shout out to him for being inspirational.
  9. The Eagle at the Great Wall of Hesperia A build for the Alliance in Book II, Challenge V, Category A "We have to make all speed, Aeriglaaac, to get this message to King Fingolë the Golden," said Celdrian the Eagle Rider. "The eastern elves were very particular about making haste. The heir to Cedrica returning will be news welcome to his ears, I think, even if the humans of Avalonia and all of Historica are hardly his concern. Lord Ravaage certainly is his concern, though." "EEAAAAAK!" "You're right, Aeriglaaac, as usual. It would be fun to buzz the tower over at the peak of Oronech, wouldn't it? I love keeping those guards on their toes." "EEAAAAAAAAAAAK RAAAAK!" "You see Prince Fingalad at the tower with your eagle eyes? Excellent, a chance to show off our flying skills!" "EAAAK EEEAAAAAAK EEEEEEK!" "Ok, alright, your flying skills, then." "EEAAAAK!" "Let's go!" "What the..." said Prince Fingalad. "Eagle Riders. Cocky bunch. How I despise them, however useful they may be." More pictures: _____________________________________________________________________ .......................................................................................................................................... Thanks for looking! C&C welcome. Hopefully the overhang is not unreasonable. The base of the build is 248 studs, slightly smaller than the 256 of a 16x16 base, though the decorative border adds to that (but doesn't count, thankfully).
  10. The Chronicles of Hesperia Vol. 1: The Sky Man Ch. 2: The Crash Site The previous chapter: DISCLAIMER: For those of you who may be extreme GoH purists, the following build may be disturbing, as it does contain some Sci-Fi elements. To ease your concern, however, let me assure you that after this chapter those elements are gone and a pure medieval fantasy vibe is all that will remain. The unwholesome elements are my way of introducing a character that I had been using for many years in builds with friends, in a different galaxy, far, far away... [edit: Druidic magic is behind these events and causes the non-Historican elements of them to be erased from the memories of the participants after they happen, so do not be concerned that they will be entering into Historica on a full-time basis; such 'pollution' is not, and never was, my intention.] Galaria peeked through the trees and bushes at the sight before her. Her wolfsteed, Laika, she had left back in a small meadow with the wolfsteeds of her fellow Hesperian Wolf Rangers, so that they could approach closer without being seen. Some of her rangers climbed trees for a better vantage point on the smouldering mass in the clearing. The fireball had landed in the center of an ancient ring of druid standing stones, erected long years before the first elves had come this far west in the world. The druids themselves were gone for many centuries before Galaria's father, Fingolë the Golden, first established the kingdom of Hesperia, and that was an age ago in the land of sunset. The smoking hulk did not look like any meteorite that Galaria had ever seen before nor like any she had heard tell of; if she were not certain that it could not be true, she would have said that it looked like metal, a giant steel cylinder that fell from the sky. As she watched, a panel on the side opened, revealing a brief glimpse of the interior as a man stepped out. The man was clad in tan robes and wore a brown cloak over them, and carried in his hand a metal tube that vaguely resembled the hilt of a sword, though no blade was attached. His tousled, wavy brown hair framed a handsome face with a roguish grin. His eyes moved over the landscape swiftly and Galaria shrank back into the bushes instinctively. Soon the man was fully out of the sky-cylinder, and another, also clad in tan robes and brown cloak, carrying the same type of metal tube followed, and then came a small army of helmeted and armored figures carrying some sort of black thing in their hands, held almost like she had seen a crossbowman hold his weapon during a marksmanship contest two summers before. Weapons of some sort. With the exception of two of them, the armored figures were clad in greens and browns, camouflaged for thick forests. They quickly made a defensive perimeter around the sky-cylinder. The two cloaked figures examined one of the druid columns, together with one of the white-and-green clad figures. Galaria could hear their voices talking in a strange tongue, one not spoken in Historica, at least not by elves, dwarves, men, orcs, drow, or any of the tribes of Nocturnus that she knew of. The other white-and-green figure came over, and both armored ones took off their helmets, revealing a brown-haired man and a golden-haired woman. The woman clearly thought that they ought to move away from the crash site, by her hand gestures, and followed that up by stepping past the Druid column. To Galaria's amazement, her clothing and gear changed the instant she passed the standing stone, looking like a typical human warrior woman with a bow and quiver. The armored man, amazement on his face, also stepped past and underwent a similar transformation. "That was incredible," the man said in perfect Hesperian Elvish. "I cannot believe what just happened, Thorra; can you?" "No, Gree, I cannot," replied the woman in equally excellent Hesperian. "Henjin, Bu'kanjin, you two step across now and see what happens." The robed-and-cloaked men also stepped through and were transformed, the one called Henjin now wearing ancient druidic armor and Bu'kanjin wearing a different style of the same. The others wearing armor gathered around the edge of the stones and began to take off their helmets, revealing more men, of colors more familiar to Kaliphlin traders than Avalonian forestmen. Suddenly one of Galaria's Rangers, Ankeria, stood up and drew back her bow, letting an arrow fly. In the blink of the same moment, the man called Henjin caught the arrow that was aimed for his heart in his hand and Bu'kanjin fired an arrow of his own, piercing Ankeria in the neck and killing her instantly. The humans were on high alert with arrows nocked on taut bowstrings, with more of them stepping across the stones and transforming all the time. Galaria's small band was vastly outnumbered and, by the signs of it, outmatched in skill. She stepped out from behind the foliage she was using as cover, right in front of the Henjin, the Sky-Man, and said, "Put down your weapons, we mean you no harm." Henjin smiled at her and she felt her fate entwine with his as his voice spoke to her. "Greetings, we are strangers here in this land. My name is Henjin Quilones, son of Henjin Quilones, and this is my brother, Bu'kanjin. We have journeyed far across the heavens, called here to this land by the Force." Galaria nodded. "And I am Galaria, daughter of Fingolë the Golden, the king of Hesperia. If you have been called here, it was not by us, but perhaps by the power of the druids in whose circle of stones you landed and whose armor you bear. There is an ancient prophecy that said that the true king of Historica, the great and vast land of which Hesperia is but a tiny part, would arise, after a star fell from the heavens, to battle and defeat the dark scourge of the land. Are you he?" asked the elf maiden. Henjin shook his head. "No, I know nothing of your prophecies, and I am no king. A humble Knight am I, not yet even a Master. But I shall gladly join you and your father the king in the battle against that dark scourge. My sword and bow are at your disposal." "And mine," said Bu'kanjin. "Thank you both," said Galaria. "Now, you had better follow me away from the stone ring, called Stangraf by the Druids, O Knights of Stangraf, before any orc or drow patrols come and investigate. I shall take you to Istolia, the city where my cousin governs." "Very well," said Henjin Quilones, the newly dubbed Knight of Stangraf, and he and his companions followed the fair elf maiden into the eaves of the forest. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Thanks for looking and reading! It has been a long time since my last Hesperian build, but much has happened between then and now (moving twice, starting a new job, etc.) so it is good to be back building in the Guilds again, C&C welcome!
  11. On behalf of the Resistance in Nocturnus: Deep beneath the Rakath Mountains, hidden from those uninitiated into the Cult of Kanohau, the god of Fire and Volcanoes, lies the holy temple of Kanohau. Even most Nocturnians are unaware of its existence, or of the race that tends it, for it has but newly made contact with the dwellers of the upperlands. There, in the heart of an active volcano, the lava-born gather each summer solstice, when the sky-fire burns the longest, and offer their gifts to their powerful god. The offerings of food and wine are intended to feed the hunger of the fire-god, who could starve otherwise without the added fuel, and ensure that the flames continue to warm the people of the lava and that the rivers of lava continue to visit their towns and homes. The food and wine offered are taken from the upperlands, plunder from raids to the surface, proof of the power of the lava-born. The entrance to the temple is carved from the surrounding bedrock. The fiery face of Kanohau greets the acolyte daring enough to approach, glowing in its wall-shrine. A bridge connects another part of the cavern to the temple itself, arching over a river of molten lava pouring out of the temple. Here Magmarthan, a queen in her land to the west, beneath a newly-risen volcano, pays tribute to Kanohau, accompanied by her minions. Kanohau especially likes turkey legs and sausages, but fish and sometimes even vegetables are also acceptable tribute. And wine. Kanohau loves wine, but only the dry red varieties, like a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. White wine is for sissy deities, and beer is for horses. Queen Magmarthan is well-aware of Kanohau's preferences and has chosen an excellent vintage of CabSauv stolen from the finest vintner in Avalonia. Within the temple are three shrines. The main, central shrine is to Kanohau himself, while the other two are shrines to Gem of Eternal Fire, said by the lava-born to be the source of all fire in the world, and to Kilahau, Kanohau's semi-divine son, the first king of the lava-born, who was conceived when Kanohau laid with a river of lava. .............................................................................................................................. _______________________________________________________________ This is my entry to the second Nocturnus minichallenge. It was rather difficult to photograph as I designed it with too much enclosed space, preventing light from getting to the middle of it. However, the shrines are easy to remove to provide access to the interior space. I still find myself wishing for a better camera and better photography "studio", as the pictures hardly do it justice in my opinion, but they are the best I can do with my current budget and resources. C&C is welcome. *I have edited the post to include an affiliation; I chose the Resistance for this post because I imagine the lava-born do not like the Drow, being competition for underground space, and they reside in the western portion of Nocturnus under the Rakath Mountains.