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  1. Part I by @W Navarre Part II by @KevinyWu Part III by @ZlatanXVIGustaf La Cospirazione: Part IV Alesio arrived late to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa. He was weak, weary, and haggard, and as soon as he entered he felt in his heart that something was wrong. “Capri!” he cried loudly, and the echoes of his shout reverberated off all the walls, down the long halls, and throughout the castle. But there was no answer. Alesio dashed forward, slamming through all the doors of all the rooms, wildly calling Capri, and Cadgie, and the servants! Not a soul was there! The servants had all gone out deeply frightened, some of them searching with the royal guard for Capri and others burying Alesio’s brother. It took the wounded man only a few hours to learn all this, and in spite of his wounded side, with gritted teeth and burning eyes he leapt on his horse and rode madly back to Illaryian. Later that day the doors of the Palazzo of Illaryian burst wide open with a resounding clang. “Where is Capri!” roared Alesio with all of his might. “Luca di Carlo, son of an olive merchant, I demand your presence!” Alesio flung a heavy gauntlet onto the ground, and the tiled floor cracked. It was Cadgie De Fiori’s gauntlet. Footsteps then sounded in the corridor, and Luca appeared all out of breath, running up to Alesio and grasping his hand. “What is it man? Why, you are pale! Accidenti! Alesio, you frighten me!” Luca cried, startled. “Capri has been kidnapped,” Alesio flung out the words. “My brother is dead!” Luca gasped and gnashed his teeth. “Impossibile!” Luca dropped Alesio’s hand and spinning round paced the length of the room. Alesio sunk back against the wall. “The only clue left was this, sir,” he said, holding out a small slip of paper. Luca leapt up and grasped it eagerly. “Signore, Ercilia has given me the word. Capri is to be taken, and the Captain of the Guard sla–” The paper was torn, but Luca grasped at the ray of hope it offered. “Ercilia De Cioto!” he cried eagerly, marching to the edge of the hall and crying, “Man!” As a footman approached Luca looked briefly at Alesio, and then he spoke rapidly. “To the stables! Fit out the horses, order the Royal Guard to arms! We march for the De Cioto palace!” “The palace of the Amancios, signore?” the footman gasped. “The Amancios,” he warned, trembling, “still are very powerful, although the Rego is dead, and Ercilia is a popular and influential friend of the people.” “Go, man! Il demone take the Ciotos and their influence,” he cried excitedly, “if they dare go about murdering the Fioris in secret, besides the very throne! Come Alesio! Peste, man, you do not even mention your own wound,” Luca sprang to Alesio’s side to offer his hand. Alesio pushed himself off the wall and bowed, refusing the hand but saying, “It is a trifle, sir. Do you think there is hope, Luca?” he added with a slight tremor. Luca di Carlo’s eyes glinted. “They will pay,” he averred. “And we will find Capricia! Even if every Cioto has to be interrogated and each of their mansions ransacked! To horse!” And without another word they sped out of the room. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Very early the next morning, just after dawn, the doors of Amancio Palace were crashed through with a deafening noise. Luca leapt off his horse and shouted with a powerful voice, “Smash every piece of furniture, search every wall, and do not let a man escape! Find the girl!” “Capri De Fiori!” cried Alesio. “Where is she?” He sprinted up the stairs as the soldiers marched through the archways and doors, crushing and searching everything, everywhere, and seizing the weapons from the startled guards. Meanwhile Arama De Cioto, a thin girl with a long flowing black cape around her neck, snatched a narrow rapier from the wall and leapt down the stairs at the head of a group of retainers. Alesio met her midway and dashed aside one of her men. “De Cioto!” he snapped, adjusting the sword in his hand. “Do not cross swords with me, girl: tell me, where is Capri, my daughter?!” “Signore De Fiori!” she cried astonished in response. “I see there is blood on your mail,” she breathed sharply, dashing up with her sword and trapping Alesio against a corner of the balustrade. She raised her hand and her retainers passed them both quickly. Descending the stairs they threw themselves upon the Royal Guard with fury and loud cries and shouting broke out. Luca watched nervously, pacing up and down and shouting commands to his men. Then he saw Alesio with Arama De Cioto on the parapet of the staircase and with a start he rushed towards them. As there were soldiers on the ground floor, blocking off the stairs, Luca jumped up and grasped the top of the balustrades. As he pulled himself up he saw Alesio fling the slim girl back and heard him say, “What do you have against us Fiori, you Ciotos? Hand me back my girl and we will leave you in all the peace your mind can achieve!” The girl shook her head and laughed. “Capri is dead, signore!” Before Luca could leap down and grab Alesio’s hand he sprang forward and struck Arama a fierce blow at her side. Her thin rapier shattered in two and she shrank back as the sword cut through her leather coat and blood seeped through it, turning it from blue to red. “How dare you,” breathed Alesio with fury. Luca put his hand on De Fiori’s shoulder. But just then a shout rang out. “Capri! Capri è vivo!” cried the soldiers of the Royal Guard. “Out, now out of here!” Luca exclaimed, grasping Alesio’s cape and dragging him towards the lower stairs. Luca let him go, looking back as he sprang down the stairs. The sound of shouting and approaching men could be heard from the floor above. Alesio waited no longer and muttered, “You will pay dearly, De Ciotos.” Arama clinched her firsts and watched them leave as her men rushed past her. Then she leapt vivaciously up the stairs holding her side tightly. Just as she reached the window the troops had forced their way out, with Capri De Fiori, and were hurrying to their gondolas and horses. “Goodbye, Luca,” she murmured with laughing eyes and a quick smile. “Ci vediamo domani!” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The palazzo grounds of Illaryian once more: “It is quite difficult, girl,” Luca said with a sigh. “You can’t imagine it. If only you were Rego.” “I don’t want to be Rego, capretto.” “Well what happened. Don’t leave out a single detail.” “Very well, signore. The assassin failed to kill Alesio.” “I noticed,” Luca remarked dryly. “And my guard took Capri as your men dueled the Captain of the Guard. The paper slipped out of my hand. Touché, you know that, signore, it was your suggestion. When Alesio came to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa he found it empty, and he came here. You managed it all nicely from there. Il fastidio, my side hurts. Well, what would he have said had he known that Luca Di Carlo had hired the assassin who slipped my name to him, and the men who killed Cadgie? And them all?” She laughed merrily. “They are certainly unsuspecting.” “Accidenti! It is over at least,” Luca rejoined, flinging a gold coin into a pool in the courtyard. “Over?” laughed the girl. She blinked her eyes. “I doubt that! It will be over when you find a knife in your back,” she added. “That is so, Arama di Athena De Cioto,” Luca wryly frowned, with a cheerful look at the girl by his side. “Thank you for pointing it out, De Cioto. That is just so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
  2. La Cospirazione: Part I It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city. As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe. There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl. As Alesio arrived the man on the horse jumped down and grasped his hand in excitement. “Tomorrow!” exclaimed Staffan Conzaga, stamping the ground. “All is arranged! Tomorrow we will meet in the palace of Illaryian: there will be none to stop us! Di Carlo will be crowned Rego and by Sana Argenta, the people will be wildly pleased with it!” Di Carlo nodded, and Alesio stroked his beard. “All seems to be going well. Supano should have known his days were numbered. Are there any final matters to arrange, Luca?” Luka skipped off the wall and there followed a short talk, all in hushed whispers. Finally everything was settled, just as the sky began to darken. “Addio, gentlemen,” Staffan remarked, climbing onto his horse with a short glance at the sky. “Tomorrow then, at dawn, I will meet you in Illaryian.” “Godspeed!” Luca waved him off. Then he leaned back casually on the wall as the man and his bodyguard the Minotaur galloped off. “An ambitious man,” Alesio remarked. “Aye,” di Carlo assented carelessly. “He will stop at nothing,” Alesio flipped a knife in the air. Luca looked up thoughtfully. “None of us will?” he ventured with a sharp look. “What I mean is ... ” Alesio de Fiori fingered his knife suggestively. After a short silence he added, “I don’t think you should let him escape out of your hands.” Di Carlo stepped back in affected horror and ventured no remark. The girl leaning on the wall watched out of the corner of her eyes. “This will be the last time Staffan Conzaga ever plays himself into your hands,” Alesio leapt forward and spoke with animation. “If he once gets away he will grow all too powerful. He is cautious and scrupulous: we will never be able to get him in his fortress at Laryian, and he will stop at nothing. I promise you he will not be satisfied with the gains tomorrow’s work will get him. He has played himself into your hands this once, but it will be the last time. Finish him now or it will soon be too late.” Alesio frowned and let the knife slip into his belt. “And you will live to regret it.” The girl inclining against the wall leaned closer, moving her fingers nervously. Alesio saluted her and shook Luca’s hand. Not another word was exchanged, only De Fiori mouthed silently, “Assassinate the man.” Then Alesio De Fiori pulled his cloak about him and walked quickly away, back into the city, and Luca watched him out of sight with his hand held pensively to his chin. “Assassinate him?” he mused, eyeing the girl with a slight grin. “I suppose we just might be able to do so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The Palazzo by General 尓àvarre The beautiful blue water of the canals of Illaryian calmly reflected the stately arches of the Rego’s munificent palazzo, but all else in the city was far from calm, and inside the luxurious palace halls there hung a thrilling atmosphere of victory and success. Soldiers and guards marched hurriedly to and fro through the palace’s otherwise empty halls, and, besides that, throughout the courtyards and rooms barely a whisper could be heard; save the whisper of the wind as the fresh air seeped in through the open windows. But in one corridor a calm and even voice broke the stillness with measured tones, as Luca di Carlo, the Rego now of the twin lands, conversed thoughtfully with Staffan Conzaga about the affairs of the Realm. As they finished the talk Alesio De Fiori walked in and bid them adieu. “Sirs, I have matters to attend to,” he bowed, “and will make my way to my house now.” “Aye, sir,” Luca di Carlo nodded. Alesio thought that he seemed to be looking past him, and looked briefly around. There was only a distracting shadow moving behind the pillars. He bowed again to Staffan. Bowing shortly in return Staffan cried vehemently, “Well met, sir! Without your aid, I swear by Sana Argenta, we would have never seen a day this glorious!” He chewed vigorously on an old herb popularly used by the farmers of Northern Varlyrio. “Who would have thought that it would be so simple? Such a show as at the coronation today I have never seen. Far too much shouting. Ah, yes, addio, sir!” Alesio walked smartly out, just tipping his hat as he passed out of sight through the archway. “I as well will now leave, with your permission, Rego,” Staffan grinned conceitedly. “There are pressing matters to attend to at Laryian, and I expect we shall not see each other again, for some time.” The olive merchant merely grinned good-naturedly in return, and waved his hand casually. “But au revoir, di Carlo,” Staffan smirked, lowering his eyebrows in a clever way. “When we do meet again, remember the ones who put you into your position.” “I will remember you,” Luca commented with boyish insouciance, “very kindly for your aid and support. No better man could I have by my side, sir.” A sound flowed through the room as of the barring of a door. The barring of the door. Staffan turned, startled for a brief second. “Farewell,” he said, dismissing it quickly, and walking a few paces. “Minos!” he loudly shouted through the passageway. "Minos!" he shouted loudly. “Oh, Minos is already gone sir, I dismissed him,” Luca smugly remarked, pushing a loose tile around on the decorated floor. Staffan looked at him keenly, a puzzled look in his eyes. The sound of footsteps in the corridors increased. “I do not need to say, my dear Staffan, that he has been well payed,” Luca genially observed. Suddenly from every direction the Royal Guard poured into the room and Staffan stepped quickly back. From every direction the Royal Guard poured in! “What does this mean, Luca?” he bellowed. “What are the guards here for?” Luca di Carlo waved them up with nonchalance, and Staffan turned pale. Luca motioned the guard to close in. “What … what is this, man?” "What is this, man?" cried Staffan. “It was not my idea, sir,” Luca grinned, stepping up till his face was within a few inches of Staffan’s. The soldiers clamped into a square about them, leaving no room for escape. “And I am sorry for the fate that befalls traitors, Staffan Conzaga. But the only place for traitors in our Realm lies below the dirt; and I do not mean the Sunken City.” The soldiers formed a square around them. “Traitors? What do you speak of?” Staffan cowered, his trembling hand clutching something behind his back. “What do I speak of, sir?” Luca’s voice rose now. “Matters to attend to at Laryion? Your proud domineering air? A dagger in your hand?” Luca grasped Staffan’s hand and dashed the dagger he held in it to the ground. It slid across the room, and Staffan fell to his knees, powerless in Luca’s grasp. “Oh, consider my family!” he cried. “Your family? You are very close to them,” Luca mocked, “while they are all leagues and leagues away, where you sent them, far away from you! And as for the girl Poppa, she is in a dungeon somewhere now. Non importa, I will take care of her and assure her an honorable husband in due time.” The Captain of the Royal Guard bent over and retrieved Staffan’s gilded dagger. “No!” Staffan cried, violently seeking to shake himself from Luca’s fierce hold as the Captain of the Guard approached. The Captain of the Guard approached. Luca Di Carlo only soberly remarked, “Such be the fate of all traitors in our Realm.” Then he threw Staffan to the floor, and at his signal the Captain of the Guard bent down and buried Staffan’s own knife into his heart. It was over, and silence reigned once more in the vast halls of the Palazzo of Illaryian. It was over. Staffan was dead. And the vast halls were left in silence once more. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione by General 尓àvarre To be continued! Stay tuned for the next three parts over the weekend. This is my build and story for category B of Challenge V. Expect more intrigue to come! Hope you enjoyed the story and the build, I think I went a little colorblind with all those crazy colors I tried to use . More pictures including some special effects in the spoiler.
  3. Illaryian, Varlyrio Even in times of peace, it is sometimes necessary to maintain the practices of war. Supano Amancio and his advisors considered ways to fulfill the Queen's decree and eventually had the idea of reviving the old sport of Calcio as a way to not only promote cohesion between the Guilds, especially newly welcomed Varlyrio, but also as a way to keep the warriors of the Guilds doing something where their skills are useful off the battlefield. An exhibition game between teams made up of Kaliphlini and Mitgardian warriors was hastily planned. The warriors, of course, very much enjoyed a chance to meet on any field of honor. It's important to remember that Calcio is a rough game, however, The ball is heavy and must be maneuvered with the full strength of the body. Between the ball and the martial prowess of the players, Calcio often leads to injuries. The Mitgardian and Kaliphlin onlookers react with horror or elation as a Mitgardian player goes down in a spray of blood across the sand. The Varlyrians in the crowd are mostly bemused at the peoples of other Guilds playing their ancient sport. Queen Ylspeth herself has turned up for the exhibition. Though a part of her would rather be walking among the people, taking in their reactions and the general pulse of her subjects, she can't argue with the superior view of the game from the rooftop. She is flanked by Cedrican guards and N'ri, her friend from Mwamba, as well as a young woman from Mitgardia. Alva Tyrnsdottir has walked a long road from Arnarvhall, but she is proud to be in the Queen's service. As trade and travel open between the Guilds, plenty of people from Kaliphlin are able to show up for their team's big game. On the other side of the sand, the Mitgardians have also turned up in numbers. Unused to the heat of Varlyrio, many have shed their furs and leathers in favor of the lighter clothing of their southern territories. Varlyrians move about the plaza where the game has been set. A Knight of Sana Argenta offers water to a thirsty minotaur sailor. Warriors, sailors, and people from all around Varlyrio move about on their business or stop to watch. Crown Knights of Cedrica mix with Varlyrian orders, prominently patrolling in parade armor to show that they are there to keep the peace and promote the mix of cultures. The game also provides a good cover for meetings of import between important Guild Leaders... Supano Amancio and Elon Chorian make no effort to hide who they are, nor what they discuss. For now, this is a chance meeting (or meant to seem like one) which, for anyone who doesn't know Chorian, might explain why he has no guards. Amancio is flanked by two members of other Varlyrian Houses, periodically drafted as ceremonial guards to promote cooperation among the Houses and giving a Rego a chance to get to know rising stars. It seems obvious that these two may meet again. Perhaps with the High Queen. Perhaps not. What might come out of that meeting, however, is anyone's guess... -- Thanks for looking! Builder's Notes:
  4. Location: Illaryian Fufills: Task 1D (home/residence) The rower navigated Captain Mesabi to the dock. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr "We're here." Said the rower, raising his oars. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr "Payment is in the briefcase. As always, thank you for your discretion." Homecoming by North White, on Flickr The Captain walked up the dock and towards his house. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr Inside, his wife, Agnes greeted him. "The 'shipment' is in the basement." She said with a smile. "Thanks, hon." Said the Captain. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr The Captain walked upstairs and through the study. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr He crossed the bridge between the Mesabi Mansion, and the commercial building next door. We really need a tunnel. he thought. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr He arrived in the basement, where a Kolgari lay chained to a murderslab. McCoy, one of his staff, stood guard. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr "Evening, McCoy," Said Mesabi, "I've got the serum." "Good to hear, torture takes so damn long." Said McCoy. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr Mesabi took a dropper from the bottle, and brought it to the Kolgari. He dropped a single drop into the Elf's mouth. Homecoming by North White, on Flickr "Now, where is the Sunken City?" asked Captain Mesabi. "I don't want to tell you. " Said the Elf "WHERE IS THE SUNKEN CITY!?!?" Yelled the Count. "It's, It's, I don't know." He said. "Why don't you know?" Asked the Captain, visibly frustrated. "They took my memories when they cast me out." Said the elf in a monotone. "Why'd they take your memory?" Asked the Captain "So I could never return. I violated there laws. I killed another Kolgari. They cast me out." He continued in monotone. "Do you have anything useful to tell us?" Asked the Captain. "I know a recipe for soup that..." The Captain cut him off. "McCoy? you know what to do." Homecoming by North White, on Flickr "And remember, try not to waste too much of the blood. We do have quotas to meet." Said the Captain. "Understood, Sir." Homecoming by North White, on Flickr Later, the Captain stood in the rooftop garden of his mansion. His wife, Agnes, joined him. "I wonder if we'll ever get them back." Said the Captain. "Of course we will." Said Agnes. "You and me together." "I do hope so..." Said the Captain. FIN Thanks for viewing my introduction to GoH. Please let me know what you think of my builds, and my story. As with BoBS, I plan to continue my usual style of Chaos.