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For Part 1 See: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/152056-the-small-council-chamber-of-khadira/ 1: In the Halls of Governance "What's this?" asked Hassan. "A gift from the Desert King for the war effort High Judge. Gems and three of the enchanted blades his immortal legions use." replied the Guard. "We have weapons, we need armor." "None of that, High Judge." "Very well, we'll find a use for them. We desperately need more armor, Ibrahim, can you find the funds for some initiatives? "I will see what can be done. What were you thinking of?" "Priority given to armor production in our own forges. A trade delegation to Mya Stedor and Barqa to source armor suppliers and a fund to encourage renegade High Council and Ulandus soldiers to surrender their arms and armor in return for amnesty and a small reward. Something along those lines." "We already have agents sourcing armor in Mya Stedor but it is difficult to get good deals given the situation there. Barqa is more likely to give us better trade deals against the Spire but availability will be low as they are wary of the Desert King's future intentions." "Ark Mora Raa knows the true enemy is in the east at the Spire." "Even so he will not be pleased that Khadira rewards his enemies and trades with them." "Ex-enemies. The amnesty will turn foes into friends. Now is the time to demonstrate mercy and that the Desert King is the true ruler of all Kaliphlim and not merely the ones who fought for him." "Is that advice from the Codex Imperium? Should I read it?" "Hah!" Hassan let out a quick sharp laugh. "Don't waste your time. That Varylian treatise on leadership and governance is merely full of common sense generalisations. Every "lesson" it contains is so general as to be useless in any given situation or comes with so many exceptions that it is non-advice. You should rely on your own good sense." "I will High Judge." "My man here, Abid, will help you with the paperwork and details but do you think think we can come up with a few thousand gold to spend on armor for our troops?" "I can confidently start with a thousand. More will require negotiations with important figures and merchants." "Do what you can. There is one other item. Abid has the details but I need you to provision twenty riders for a month. The Dragon Queen has been complaining that we are not doing enough to actively oppose the Spire and we aren't. I want to sent twenty experienced fighters north. Skilled with bow and horse they should fill a battlefield role she lacks. Abid has the specifics and I choose from the volunteers later today but they need to be ready to leave in three days. Is that possible?" "I will make it so." Nodded Ibrahim. 2: The Avalonian Bunny Club Tothmet stretched out on his chair and grinned. "Now this is better than those hard council chairs, don't you agree?" "Indeed, and the refreshment here is more conducise to good conversation." "True, now we can talk freely." "But what about our hostesses?" Asked Matthew Narciss, raising an eyebrow. "Oh don't worry about them, chosen for their beauty rather than intelligence I'd say." Tothmet waved a hand dismissively. "I wouldn't be so sure myself." Muttered Matthew. "What is with the costume though?" "Oh it is based on a rabbit, similar to the desert hare. I believe they are common across Avalonia and near Cedrica." "I understand that but why dress an otherwise attractive woman as an animal?" "The animal is said to represent desires of the flesh, reproducing rapidly. I believe the costume is to arouse similar thoughts in customers." "Makes sense I suppose..." Tothmet brushed crumbs idly from his stomach. "Anyway, the Desert King appreciates the efforts of the Dragon Queen on his behalf and is grateful for her struggle against the Spire." "She struggles against the Spire regardless of his gratitude." "Yes well his Majesty's forces are stretched thin at present. There are malcontent elements in Kaliphlim. However he values his true friends." Tothmet squirmed for a moment." "Of course...but remember my Queen has aligned with Khadira due to the earnest promises of Muakhah. That and the fact that Ravaage demands that she submit to his rule." "But the Resistance and his Glorious Majesty are close allies." Countered Tothmet. "Allies yes, but hardly close. Only a fool would not unite against Ravaage." Matthew took a pull of his shisha pipe and let it out slowly. "My Queen merely wishes to rule her territory without undue interference from others. Say what you will about the old snake but Lord Ssilyrrlith never meddled too deeply in local affairs." "But the world changes. We must work to strengthen the bonds between Kaliphlim and Nocturnus!" "True...but my Queen does not have a trusting nature. Muakhah had to work long and hard to convince her to form an agreement." "Hmmm... I hear a lot about this Muakhah." "Yes, well I do not know him well. I witnessed his first meeting with my Queen but I could not say what his secret is. He seems to have a deep understanding of people though." "Well he has laid the groundwork for a strong alliance." "It is still tenuous." Warned Matthew. "My Queen forbids her followers from raiding across the border and Khadira is given primary trade rights in return for regular shipments of aid for the war effort. And, might I add, the promise of Khadiran military aid which is yet to be seen." "The Desert King will send aid." "To the Lords of Nocturnus who aided him in his war I am sure." "Well of course they take priority." "Khadira places a high priority on the Alliance. That is enough." "Well it seems that will be the foundation of a firm friendship!" "I will at least drink to that!" 3: The Tower of Sorcery "Thanks for getting me out of my laboratory!" said Falila Mehrmani as she walked down the corridor. "Well I thought you needed a break from overseeing your apprentices weave magic carpets." Countered Zahrnman Akkad jovially. "It doesn't interest me like a new challenge its true. Where is the device?" "It's just in my workshop on the wall." "What do you need my help for again?" "I have laid the spells and enchantments on it and the device works for me but I need your experience with enchantments to ensure it is suitable for anyone to use. You may see design flaws in it that I cannot." "Like it being clumsy and too ehavy for one man to carry?" "Well yes...but so is a ballista." "Well from what you described a tripod or stand would help and perhaps some sort of wheeled carriage." Falila gestured in the air as if sketching a design. "I also need help with suitable devices and failsafes to insure that even the most incompetent mundane can't have an accident." "And you say you got the inspiration from a siege weapon the Dragon Queen was building?" "Yes I teased some of the details out from Matthew and extrapolated the rest. Her project seems to be on a larger scale though. I think it is better to prove the concept at a smaller scale though..." "Cheaper too!" "Well yes, that reminds me. Please take a look at the crystal I am using as a mana recipient. I am unsure whther a different gem or cut would be better." "A Zotharith mana crystal perhaps?" "I tried to acquire one but..." "What with the war and their dislike of the Desert King it is hard to pry one out of their hands." Cut in Falila. "They do guard them jealously." Sighed Zahrman. "There is a little news though. Rumor is Ravaage sent an ultimatum to them to commit to a side." "Really? I don't want to face their techno-magic. All those numbers applied to magic! I don't understand it!" "Me neither but imagine what they could create to help fight Ravaage. I heard they had a flying knight!" "And you mass produce flying carpets...so..." "Well true but still their mana crystals are an incredibly pure source of energy." "I am sure we will manage without them." 4: The Halls of Aslan "Lord Commander. We didn't expect you back so soon." Jakob Arnulf, Sworn Brother of the order of Aslan straightened as the Lord Commander of the Khadira Chapter entered. "Grace of Aslan, neither did I." Replied Rothgar Magnusson, stern leader of the small enclave in Khadira. "Todays meeting was short and seemingly pointless. A mere review of things known and I am told there will be no more for three weeks." "Do you believe that, Lord Commander?" "Who am I to decide what label a gathering has Jakob. Prepare a troop. Yourself and three sworn brothers and five initiates. We will patrol." "Aye Lord Commander. Provisions for which direction and duration?" "Provisions for three weeks on rations. We will supplement them off the land. Horses for all, no remounts, we can't spare them. Leaving from the west gate. Patrol three days West, then North to the border. A week or so patrolling then three days East, then South and returning to Khadira from the East." "Will we venture south of the river?" "No just to the North." "Standard patrol?" "Yes patrolling for bandits, pilgrims, refugees and the like. But the real prize will be on the north road. The Nocturnan scum of the Dragon Queen will depart Khadira with a shipment of food and materials for the war effort. We will ambush it on the road before it crosses the border." "Permission to speak freely Lord Commander?" "Granted brother." "Is that wise in the current situation? The alliance..." "Is a travesty." Cut in Rothgar sternly. "Nocturnus can't be trusted. That the Desert King would ally with them is beyond the pale!" "But Ravaage and the Spire?" "Of course they must be stopped. But Kaliphlim has suffered enough. Let the Nocturnans bleed each other a while. We will take the materials and put them to better use in the name of Aslan." "Aye Lord Commander. What news from Gorr?" "Gorr remains silent." Rothgar spoke wearily now. "The Grand Master of our order has withdrawn to his fortress. There is wild speculation about his intentions." "And the Bishops of the other cities?" "Hard to tell. Some still oppose the Desert King, others have put away the sword to tend to the suffering of this war." "So the civil war is over?" Asked Jakob, a puzzled look on his brow. "I doubt it!" Said Rothgar with passion. " Damn the Desert King! The Council and Ulandus could have brokered a deal. The Knights of Aslan could have ushered in a new era. Now we are an Order in chaos." "As long as we follow the light of Aslan." Said Jakob piously. "Well spoken brother. First let us defend our flock in Khadira, then we will contact the wider Order and see what can be done." Thank You! Thanks for reading through that info dump! The photography for some of these was quite bad. The idea was to do a scene that could be viewed from different angles but there were many problems. I used my entire tan brick collection. I ran out of tiles and bits so one section is very bare and studded. I had to put in on a base tray to make it stable enought to take bad pictures. etc etc. I am most pleased with the club section and the wizard corridor. The idea for having part of another room visible worked quite well but it made other sections look bare by comparison. Here is an overview and I hope you found the conversations interesting.
"So good of you to wait for me." the newcomer to the room whined in affected aristocratic tones. "I see that Khadira believes it does not need oversight from those trusted by the Desert King." "Be seated Tothmet. As you can clearly see we have yet to begin as I am yet to sit as well. We have waited for you while you delayed. It seems that you deem refreshment more important than good governance." "Refreshment is necessary when hard labours are expected, and the wines provided me so far have been barely satisfactory." sniffed the Desert King's Emissary as he sat down. Other members of the council rolled their eyes disdainfully as this important fool made himself comfortable. "We are not here to discuss wines but to allocate responsibilites for the city. As such allow me to introduce you to your fellows." Hassan M'badwe gazed sternly at Tothmet until he waved a hand in assent. "But of course." "Gentlemen, Lady, some of you have the pleasure of knowing Tothmet Smenkhare. Emissary from the Desert King's court. He will keep us appraised of the great King's wishes and report on our progress to his Majesty." The men and woman seated nodded respectfully. "To Tothmet's right may I introduce Matthew Narciss. He is an ambassador from the stronghold of the Dragon Queen across the Nocturnus border. As you know it was Muakhah's wish that we continue to build strong cross border trade and cooperation to help counter Ravaage's influence in the area. Matthew will identify ways to develop our alliance." The handsome man smiled in the face of the council's attention. "Seated to my left is Zahrman Akkad, High Astromancer of Khadira. To him falls the reponsibility of developing and training mage users whose talents lie in warlike magics. This will be important for the coming struggles. To Zahrman's left is Falila Mehrmani. I believe that you refer to yourself as a Transmutationalist. Your responsibility lies with the creation of magical items and solutions to the many problems facing Khadira." The pale lady nodded. "Finally I come to Ibrahim Badishah. It was Muakhah's wish that you be elevated to the small council in order to manage the finances of Khadira while we cope with the influx of refugees, regional development and the costs of prosecuting the war against Ravaage." The man in the Black Turban looked shocked and pale. "But I am not a wealthy merchant. I don't think I have the experience to manage the city..." "On the contrary! Muakhah specifically requested you. He wrote many good things about you. Apparently you have never cheated either customer or worker. You treat those in your emply well and conduct your dealing with principles. You seek not to enrich solely yourself but also your partners and workers. All praise you as a man of integrity, hard work and modesty. Is this untrue?" "No but ..." "There are no buts! You have been chosen because your decency and fairness in business practices are what the city needs now in order to help the many in need that must eat and work in fact..." Hassan M'badwe broke off suddenly. "I hope I am not intruding assembled members...but I was invited to this gathering." Heads turned as Rothgar Magnusson Lord Commander of the Khadira chapter of the Knights of Aslan entered the room. His stern face and grey hair did not hide the posture of a warrior and still, despite the heat and his age he wore a breastplate with an image of the Golden Lion wrought upon it. "What is this ...traitor of Ulandus doing here Hassan?" Asked Tothmet. "Surely he and his kind are not allowed to work their evil in Khadira?" "Lord Commander Rothgar and his men are pledged to peace. We were able to avoid hostilities during the civil war and the Aslanic chapter here took up no arms against his majesty. Since the civil war has died down the Aslanic Order has been in chaos and variour Chapters have chosen peace over continued hostilities. Lord Rothgar and his men have helped protect the refugees and help the victims of this war." Hassan said as he stood. "Hmpf...that may be so but you can never be sure where a Ulandan sympathizer's loyalties truly lie." "My loyalties lie with the people of Khadira, and theirs with the Desert King, so my loyalty is with him also." Broke in Rothgar. As Tothmet sulkily pondered his glass. "But I am here because your beloved Muakhah offered me a place upon the council to help build this new Khadira he spoke of so much." "You presume too much Lord Commander. I was there when you struck the pact. You have no seat nor authority in the council but have been granted observer status. You may sit and watch and we might ask for your wisdom. But do not expect us to listen." Hassan faced Rothgar but noticed a thin smile appear on Tothmet's face. "Then I will sit now, and listen as the lords of Khadira do as they will." retorted Rothgar angrily. "That you may, but not today! Today is not an official council meeting but merely a setting of the table, an appointing of roles so that we know who is responsible and for what. I will send for you in three days when we will have a council meeting of substance and things of import that might require your wisdom. We would not want to waste your time on trivialities." "You cannot do this! I have a right to be here!" Retorted Rothgar. "Right? You speak to me of right? I who have been appointed Steward and High Judge in Muakhah's absence? I who interpret and lay down justice for those in need of it. If you truly think that you are just and right in this matter then I remind you who is bearer of the Mace of Watombe. Who survived its trials to become the conduit of its power? If you think you have better claim to the power of Justice then reach out and take the Mace from the wall." He gestured to the end of the room where the mace hung behind Igrahim's head. "Let it judge whether you can act in accordance with right, but if you fail. If there is injustice within you then it will surely destroy you. Hear my word, hear my bond and be content. You will be at the council meeting in three days. And I will be sure to ask your opinions. But now I ask you to leave and be contented. See to your men. See to the Pilgrim Roads." Lord Commander Rothgar glanced at the Mace of Watombe and stiffened. Raising his head proudly he addressed the room. "My Lords, Milady. Good Grace in the sight of Aslan to you. Till we meet in three days." Having spoken he turned and left. Hassan let out a sigh and sat heavily. Tothmet smiled at him and with a gleam in his eye, spoke. "Well done High Judge, I am pleased you put that ruffian in his place." "Be not so pleased emissary. He speaks truly. As part of the agreement that war would not break out between Khadirans he was given a role in the aftermath. He has been true to his word and has kept his men in check and now we must give him what he is owed." Tothmet's expression changed to having swallowed a rotten olive. "To other matters." Said Hassan firmly. "We need homes, so we must build. We need food, so we must harvest. We need money, so we must trade. We need peace, so we must prepare for war." Extra Overall Build More pics at https://www.flickr.com/photos/151417006@N07/albums/72157682653689114 Thanks for reading a bit of story for Khadira. I hope it makes you interested for more. I wanted to try and introduce a few factions that might end up in opposition to each other that would lead to future drama. The build itself was completed a while ago and it is ok but a bit simple. The room is crowded, bare and with an ugly floor as I ran out of tan tiles. People may love or hate the mixing of minifigs but I like it as is. Yep it is the floor that bugs me the most... I hope this will also count as a government building, cant remember the categories at the moment but something else to get Khadira up from a hamlet. Anyways hope people enjoyed the read and I will see about continuing some story stuff soon.
With the escalation of the war with The Spire and Ravaage's forces striking at various targets Khadira went on a recruitment drive. The influx of refugees meant that there was no shortage of recruits and extra rations were offered to those willing to defend Khadira from evil. Khadira has plenty of troops and weapons but there is a shortage of heavy armour. In order to offset this against the heavily armored shock troops of the Spire the city has instituted a strict training regimen to ensure that the soldiers are skilled and motivated on the battlefield. With training they can work together to defeat better equipped foes. At least that is the plan. The barracks building on the left has a small area cleared in front of it for drilling. Low walls separate it from the rest of the city and it has its own pathways where you can see two servants pass by with ingredients for dinner. One of the Elite Holy Guards of Khadira has been assigned mastery of this small barracks. It will be his responsibility to ensure that the men here are fit and prepared for the fight. His Goldsteel sword and armour are likely enchanted, a mark of his elite status. In the foreground is the bench and table so that an instructor may observe and take notes while the troops train. Behind the Holy Guardsman an Askar casts a watchful eye over the recruits. These professional soldiers invest in their own equipment, in this case lamellar armour. They are often recruited in Khadira as more heavily armored soldiers, though they still lack the full plate of an Avalonian or a Knight of Aslan. This experienced veteran will help train the recruits. Speaking of the recruits, here they are. All are welcome to join the Khadiran Forces, though some may find themselves allocated to less glorious roles depending on their skills. At present they will train with spear and in general drill. Then perhaps in swordsmanship and the use of a shield. Those with an aptitude will practice archery. They have been given mass produced clothing of red and orange. Perhaps if Khadira can produce more armour in the future some of them may be lucky enough to wear it. At present though they will train to be light infantry and to avoid fights they cannot hope to win. They are all wearing face cloths as when they train it kicks up lots of dust in the yard. Another veteran from fighting near the Nocturnan border. He carries a halberd of a style common in Khadira but the Nocturnan influence is clear to see due to the Darkiron blade and helmet. This experienced soldier has also managed to come by a light breastplate. It is clear that there is work to be done before Khadira's army can make these different elements into a truly effective fighting force. Another build to flesh out the city of Khadira and show more of this city. I hope it gives the impression of a living breathing city. My girlfriend encouraged me to build something a little larger but I had various difficulties. I wish I was able to put a border around it. I also feel there are some bits that could have been tweaked with a little more variety and texture. The photos don't show off the multi-ethnic nature of the army very well. There is an orc and a pale sickly faced guy in the second rank. Also mixing yellows and fleshies! Suck it everyone! I hope in the future I can make a few more bits to show the military of Khadira more. But I want to try and get some more story builds done too. Cheers all.
Hassan M'badwe, High Judge of Khadira and bearer of the Mace of Watombe, current master of Khadira while Muakhah is off conducting delicate negotiations, personally hands a letter written by Muakhah to the Khadiran courier who will ride to Kaligem and the Desert King. The colors of the Desert King and Kaliphlim flutter in the breeze. The courier has a second steed with saddle bags and supplies for the long journey. Once the saddle bags are less weighty he will alternate mounts to avoid tiring one steed more. A groom feeds to horses a special oatcake prepared for horses with long distance journeys ahead of them. A selection of Khadiran soldiers are also present as Khadira girds itself for the coming struggle. The Khadiran Couriers are swift and skilled riders, trained to destroy their messages rather than let them fall into enemy hands. However, should this letter be captured you might read the following. To his Majesty, Ark,Mora Raa, Lord of the Desert and Master of Kaliphlim, Blessed of Mazadar and Great Hope of the Light. No doubt you know of the news sweeping the land, the Heir of Cedrica is found. This could mean that Historica has one King again. Perhaps this heir will prove worthy and we shall be honored to bend the knee, and perhaps not. Know now that as long as his Majesty Ark,Mora Raa holds true to his principles of Benevolence and Humility tempering Power and Strength and acts as a force for good in the eternal struggle with evil. Then Khadira shall hold its allegiance first and foremost to the true Lord of Kaliphlim, and perhaps in time, Historica. May you be a source of good deeds. May you tip the scales against evil. Your Humble Servant Muakhah of Khadira This was my first snotwork piece and I am pleased with how it came out. I will certainly try more in the future and have a few ideas. I will try and use Hassan M'badwe as a stand in sigfig until I get Muakhah back. Muakhah's character is a bit of a philosopher/prophet/ruler inspired by Zoroaster. Let me know what you think and any comments or criticisms. I think it is a bit flat thought the flags and weapons help slightly.