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  1. On a balcony of Khadira's Temple Palace Complex, Muakhah and an older warrior priest D'uran D'uran await a very important visitor. While the cool evening breeze wafts the oil lamps' flames the two discuss recent events. "Bread and Circuses..." sighed Muakhah, " Bread and Circuses...That's what she comes up with. That's the best she can do? As if we do not know that feeding our people is our first responsibility? And these celebrations... Which of our Queen's mighty achievements are we celebrating?" "She is young, and has strange council from simple folk. I am sure she is unwilling to make misteps so early in her reign." Replied D'uran. "And celebration is not a bad thing." "I know, I know. And would be easier to celebrate the Queen's achievements if she had any. I recall it were the Mages of the Zotharith that ended the threat of Ravaage. And the four guilds fought his armies and allies to a standstill while the Queen snuck into Cedrica." "Tis true. Though we know little of the perils she faced to do so." "Indeed. But I like it not how she has turned completely from Nocturnus towards Varlyrio. And seems to favor that isle of malcontents greatly. I fear that Queen Ylspeth cares for Avalonia and Varlyrio at the expense of the guilds that suffered more in recent times." "As I said, she is young, and seems desirous of peace. With guidance her majesty could become a wise ruler." "Aye, but with whose guidance? There are always those that seek royal influence for personal gain." "Excuse me brothers," interjected an armed and armored Warrior Priest who was to be Muakhah's bodyguard for the evening. "But our guests await." "Ah!" Muakhah replied brightly. "Let us go to them then. The Dragon Queen has never been a patient lady!" "Is there anything I should know?" asked D'uran as they entered a tiled chamber decorated with scenes depicting the ongoing struggle twixt good and evil. "Oh, not really. The Dragon Queen is impatient, quick tempered and suffers no fool, but she is fundamentally sensible and decent. Though she tries to hide it." "Is she really a suitable ally in the great struggle against evil? I hear her methods are somewhat...extreme." "Oh yes. She has a ruthless streak. But considering the recent events in Nocturnus, is that so unusual? But if her power can be temperedby mercy and wisdom, then she will become a strong enemy of evil. As is said, I believe she is basically decent." "And if you are wrong?" Asked D'uran, raising an eyebrow? "I merely ask, just in case." "Then I will have learned much about how to do better in the future. For it would indeed be my own failure. I have managed to arrange the situation so that the Dragon Queen relies upon Khadira for much. Hopefully that will influence her better nature." Meanwhile, a masked assassin has climbed up to another balcony. Listening through the small windows the assassin hears his prey. Hours of stealthy movement and hours more of careful preparation have led him here. Soon the time for stealth will be over. The assassin frowns upon hearing multiple voices. This will make the task more difficult. However this trained killer's prefered method is to burst from concealment and deal a fatal blow before anyone can react. Then a speedy retreat through the carefully prepared route will leave nothing behind but confusion, panic, and death. "You should not be too concerned, D'uran." Contined Muakhah. "The fact that the Dragon Queen is here shows that her paranoia is ebbing. We will discuss how to strengthen the bonds between Khadira and the Lava Fort, and how to spread her area of control in Nocturnus under the guiding light of Mazadar." "Did she really call it the Lava Fort?" queried D'uran sceptically. "You should have heard the other names she tried." sighed Muakhah. Suddenly his face brightened. "Brothers in the Light, I am honored to introduce the Dragon Queen, Lady of the Lava Fort, Mu the Marvelle." "Hail Muakhah, how go things for Khadira?" The Dragon Queen spoke in pleasant tones. D'uran D'uran and the bodyguard felt confused. How could this pleasant and attractive lady be feared as a murderous tyrant, and a dragon to boot? Then they saw her bodyguards and a thrill of fear raced down their spines. "Khadira thrives, for we walk in the light. How fares your domain my Lady? I see you have a new breed of minions." "Oh yes, these are a cruder model. I believe the blood mixture is different. Or so Chen, my Sorceror, tells me. I brought them because they are a bit more intimidating than my other blood born minions. Don't you think so?" "Yes yes, quite intimidating. Are they safe in public? The festivities may be rather busy." "Don't worry, I've trained them well. They are like puppies as long as noone threatens their mummy." The Dragon Queen spoke affectionately as the snarling monstrosities flexed their wings. Their large draconic jaws gaped threateningly. "Uh...yes. Well then. You know I am dubious of Chen's motives, for all that he claims to have studied under Doctor Rod. I believe he has sinister motives for you. Having said that, I am most glad you could join us for the coming celebrations. The people of Khadira would love to see our ally from across the border and I feel this will..." Muakhah was cut off as the assassin lunged through the bead curtain to his left. His bodyguard rushed forward with shield and sword raised but before he could do anything there was a blur of movement, two roars not unlike tigers or lions, a sudden scream and a wrenching, tearing, wet sound. The assassin never knew what killed him. So swiftly did Mu's draconic gaurds tear him apart with their claws and fangs. Shaken the group reassembled closer to the murals of Mazadar and the Great Enemy. "Is that how the citizens of Khadira show their respect for their ally?" Snarled the Dragon Queen. "After all we have been through?" "I don't believe you were the target. I thought the assassin was striking for me." Muakhah spoke quickly but in a calming soothing manner. This couldn't be allowed to derail the plans for the future. "If your beasts had left him alive we might know his intentions, and origins..." "Oh I'm sorry!" Snapped Mu angrily. "In that case my beasts just saved your life! You're welcome!" Muakhah looked across at the bloody and gaping jaws and smiled nervously. "Of course, of course. My thanks to your protectors. However the fact remains that someone tried to kill one or both of us. We must learn exactly who so we may take precautions and strike back." Muakhah's eyes read the Dragon Queen's expression carefully. "I assume, that you would want to take action against such an affront to your person?" "Oh Muakhah, you always know what to say to make a girl happy. Who do you think sent him?" "Well, he was wearing battered old Ulandian armor...but that is easy to come by these days. It could be Ulandus sympathizers or High Council members attempting to sabotage further union under the Desert King. It is well known I am one of his most vocal supporters... He could be from a Nocturnian faction opposed to our alliance." "It is known that Khadira helps my forces. But I believe the factions I am facing are not organised enough to attempt this kind of brazen murder." Mused the Dragon Queen. "It could be this new Wolfpack I am hearing rumors of. They are said to be quite ambitious in their goals. Or even...could Queen Ylspeth want me dead?" "That reminds me." Said Mu, placing a hand atop Muakhah's outstretched one. "I sense the Cult of the Great Wyrm is present here in Khadira." "Sorry what now?" Asked Muakhah confused. "They are a cult worshipping B'deesh. They supported Ravaage in the wars but their main aim was always to free B'deesh, the Great Wyrm, a sort of Demonic Dragon God that seeks to consume all. Oh don't worry, they are far from that goal. But I thought you might want to know I sense they have a presence here in Khadira." "Interesting. I'll have to set Hassan to searching them out. Shall we adjourn to dinner and the details of our plans? And then, tomorrow, the festivities begin!" "I would like that." Smiled the Dragon Queen. "By the way...did you choose a golden dragon to be a symbol of your religion just to flatter me?" "Oh that? Merely happy coincidence."
  2. The four Guilds struggle to coordinate relief efforts and aid the lands that are still in need at the behest of the High Queen. However, the High Queen seems to have ignored the guild that is most in need. Nocturnus, the land that suffered the most from Ravaage, and whose mages ultimately defeated him, has been ignored by Queen Ylspeth. Nocturnus does not exist in her councils and seems absent from her thoughts. Not so in Khadira. The strong links between Khadira and the self-styled Dragon Queen remain. The Warrior Priests of Mazadar also seek to aid the Nocturnians whose plight is ignored by those in power. The Desert King's alliance with the Nocturnian Resistance that struggled so hard against evil will be honored. While Avalonia grows rich upon the sales of its grain. While Varlyrio recieves gifts and bribes from the new Queen. While Mitgardia complains of famine yet sends convoys of food south. While Kaliphlin Lords remain divided and squabble among themselves. All the while, Khadira sends aid to Nocturnus, and those who truly need the light, lest they be plagued once more by darkness and evil. Food is packed, ready to be transported across the border to Nocturnus. As well as food Khadira will send gold to invest in suitable enterprises that cn help to restore Nocturnus. Bread, Fish, Carrots, and Gold are prepared in a courtyard, while chickens await their turn to be crated up. Above the supplies flap bunting with the colors of Mazadar, Kaliphlin, and the Desert King. As the windows of the building on the left overlook one of the windows of the building on the right the owner erected a modesty screen. A scribe tallies the quantities and types of foodstuffs to be send to Nocturnus. The Warrior Priest of Mazadar will be responsible for guarding and investing the gold in ways that help rebuild Nocturnus and enable its citizens to turn to the light. He will also entreat others to do good, so that, like the spreading ripples caused by a single pebble, good deeds shall too spread across the world. Khadira hopes that its efforts to aid the Nocturnians will shame the Queen into taking action. After all, were it not for the sacrifices made by the Nocturnians...she would not be Queen.
  3. Inside the simple Temple of Mazadar a Warrior Priest addresses a group of potential converts to the cause. "Mazadar is pure goodness, the creator of all things right and true." Exclaimed the Priest of Mazadar. "Yet Mazadar is not alone in the Cosmos of Creation. At every turn Mazadar is opposed by the evil spirit of chaos and destruction. Seeking to cast down all that is good and replace it with evil, this destructive force seeks to confound Mazadar and goodness at every turn! Existing only to cause suffering and pain. Mazadar and the evil spirit have opposed each other since the dawn of creation and even now wage their battle over the souls of mortals. How can Mazadar ever hope to triumph against the equal and opposite evil spirit?" "Only by enlisting the figure upon the pedastal can Mazadar hope to win the Cosmic struggle and bring about a paradise in all realms and all lives. And that figure, is YOU. Only you can choose good over evil! Only you can make the difficult choices to do right in this life. Only you can help to build a paradise in all realms. Only you can tip the scales of good and evil. Your choices, your actions will make the difference in the Cosmic struggle. Mazadar needs you to choose good. Will you answer the call?" Meanwhile in the temple garden Muakhah fields the questions of two younger Khadirans. "When I get to paradise, will I see my grandma? ...and my cat?" Asked the short quiet girl. "Would it be paradise without them Mirah?" replied Muakhah. "So I will see them again?" The little girl persisted. "When we die Mirah, Mazadar judges our deeds, our intentions, our very soul. We either enter paradise or for want of a better word, hell. But fear not little one. Hell is temporary. There are no sins that could warrant eternal punishment! Every sinner will spend time in hell to account for their sins and recognise the consequences of their actions. It may take them a long time but eventually they will enter paradise, having atoned and understood their wrongs." "Does this mean that I might see someone evil in paradise? Like a Drow?" Asked the taller boy. "Why yes. You may even meet Revolword or Ravaage himself." "I don't want to meet Ravaage in paradise." Said the boy firmly. "Of course," said Muakhah gently. "But understand that the Ravaage you meet in paradise would not be the Ravaage who walked this earth. He would have paid the price for his crimes in hell, but not only that he would have come to understand and repent for them. The Ravaage you meet in paradise will be Ravaage as he could have been. Had he made the choice to do good and walk in the light." "Is this why we have to help the Nocturnans...even though they are evil?" The boy continued. "Look at the plant over by the gardener. See how it is not lush and green like this one to my left." The boy and girl nodded. "Is that plant evil?" "No!" laughed the children in unison. "This plant to my left is lush and green because this corner of the garden has good light, soil and warmth. The plant over there lacks these things and so its growth is more difficult. If both plants are to bloom then one of them needs help. Which one do you think?" "The one over there." said the girl. "And so it is with the Nocturnans. They are not evil. They simply come from a harsh land where it is not easy to do good. Where everything is a struggle. But with help they can walk in the light." "But some are evil?" The boy continued. "Some choose evil. But others do not. And do not forget that Kaliphlinites, Avalonians and Mitgardians may also choose evil. It is often the easier path. Doing the right thing is often the more difficult choice. Were it easy then there would be no evil." Additional Photos! I finished this build a little while ago and held off posting pictures because of the Sandstorm of freebuilds. As there seemed to be a lot of immersive shots I retweaked the posing a little to get immersive shots myself but it doesn't really work well as it wasn't designed for it. I know the story is pretty waffly but hopefully this is the beginning of an organisation that may grow to rival the knights of Aslan (fingers crossed) I feel that there is a curse going around the forum. When I set it up for photos it seemed that I had avoided light shining through cracks. But when the photos are on the comp there they are... Seems to be a common problm these days. I'm hoping that this is enough to count as a Temple for Khadira and also a freebuild for the great Guild of Kaliphlin! And yes...I'm still mixing all colors of minifigs...
  4. Muakhah

    Writing for Peace

    In his office Muakhah prepares to write letters to the many important figures across Kaliphlin. Hoping to ease the tensions between the Desert King and the High Council. A warrior priest of Mazadar, clad in the gold and white robes that mark him out as a warrior of the light, peruses the tomes. “Take one of the books with you on your travels as you spread the word down the Oil Road to Petraea. If you can then continue to Barqa as an emissary of Mazadar. My letters should have preceded you.” “I will, Holy One.” Said the Priest, turning to the wall. “Now to the task of writing.” To my Liege, Ark’Mora Raa, The Desert King, Undying Pharoah and Blessed of Mazadar. Grant us thy wisdom in this troubled time and let us know your plans and instructions for the future. Your realm is not yet settled but much can be achieved through peaceful methods. The people are weary of war and would be swayed by your wisdom and generosity. I would council you to make overtures to Lords Dugal Maclean of Eastgate and Gideon of Barqa. These men are renowned for their virtue. Win them to your side with demonstrations of your noble desire for peace. Similarly Peregrinus to the East of Kaliphlin might be brought into the fold with words rather than swords. Once my liege has demonstrated his quality and strengthened the realm, the enemies of Ark’Mora Raa, peace and Mazadar will be much diminished and to walk in the Light will be that much easier. Your Humble servant Muakhah of Khadira To Erudhalion, Lord of Peregrinus Greetings to the master of the eastern seas. We hope that Berigora thrives in these troubled times. I write to you as a servant of Ark’Mora Raa, to convince you of his generosity and kindness. Now that the wars are all but over the Desert King seeks to rebuild Kaliphlin to her prior greatness. His offer of clemency remains. All shall be forgiven and forgotten that we may rebuild together. Help the Desert King to restore trade, peace and prosperity to the Eastern Seaboard and be known for your wisdom. Your Friend, Muakhah of Khadira To Gideon, Lord of Famed Barqa All of Historica knows of your wisdom and temperance. Your nobility and compassion. The endless struggle to do what is right in an unrelenting world. Whether you acknowledge it or not you walk in the Light of Mazadar when you do good upon this world. Barqa, under your stewardship has become a beacon of all that the Desert King requires. A place where all can live and work in peace and safety. This is what Mazadar desires for the world. Our path to paradise lies in building a paradise in this life. I entreat with you to open communications with the Desert King, that you may see and know and understand his vision. Great days lie ahead of us, should we make them happen. May you continue in the light. May you tip the scales. Most sincerely Muakhah of Khadira To Lord Dugal Maclean of Eastgate Noble Lord Maclean, your courage and deeds in these times are famed throughout the land. You inspire the people and have struggled for peace and justice. I entreat you to struggle no more against the Desert King, who understands your desire to do what is right. Mazadar calls upon us to choose right action, and I believe that in your heart you know that with your help the Desert King can set Kaliphlin upon the right course. The Desert King respects quality and wishes not to crush the High Council like a tyrant but to bring you to his councils and hear your wisdom. Let the conflict pass by so that we may focus upon healing the scars of years of war. Share your thoughts with the Desert King and come to an accord, that we may live our days in peace. Most Humbly Muakhah of Khadira The letters were sent out. But would any listen or take note to the entreaties of an isolated place like Khadira? OOC: So this is where Muakhah works for now. Making the furniture was most fun in this small build. One of the kids I teach brought in this Lego Golden Dragon Master and I immediately thought this would be perfect for the Warrior Priests of Mazadar. I know White and Gold are Varylian colors. But they are so holy! On the wall is the symbol of Mazadar. The White and Gold Dragon of Light. I will try and feature it more in another build or two. Its a very simple build but I wanted to make something to establish the Warrior Priests of Mazadar and to get some story going between people. @SkaForHire @Gideon @Gabe I would love it if you guys made some response letter opening/reply as a kind of back and forth between characters. I think we are all waiting to see what kind of leader the Desert King will be and how other leading figures will react to him. @Maxim I I didn't include a letter to Mypa Stedor as in a post I think you hinted it had been destroyed or there had been some mystery. Of course once the truth is known I can make another build and write another letter! Cheers!
  5. When the wave of Nocturnan refugees crossed the border during the war against Ravaage, they brought with them new styles of clothing, food and entertainment. They also had an influence on the new buildings of Khadira. This business has a repaired stone lower story with a wooden and lacquer upper storey. The Red and Black are typical Nocturnan colors for this kind of construction. This building has become a massage parlor, or so the owners claim. With so many refugees in the city some turn to desperate sources of income. The authorities have turned a blind eye during the wars but now that there is a High Queen upon the throne they may seek to investigate the premises. Masseuses try to attract potential customers from the balcony. A potential customer? Or merely a curious onlooker? This being Kaliphlin, any patch of shade quickly gets snatched up by traders and market stalls. It remains to be seen whether businesses like this will be allowed to function, suffer regulations and inspections or simply be closed down as order reasserts itself across the land. OOC: So you can see why I will never criticise other's photography eh? In a different country with a different half of my collection. Had a look at what could be pulled off and thought that a Nocturnan inspired business would fit in. Thought about the general situation, My pieces and what could be represented with them and thought of this "Scarlet House". I may try photoshop in the future but I mainly want tot build and share. I will look into getting a better background than a dog diaper though... I hope to build a few small pieces and slowly work on Khadira. I guess for HSS this would count as Hospitality - Entertainers?
  6. Muakhah

    In the Halls of Power

    For Part 1 See: 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" "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.
  7. "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 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.
  8. Muakhah

    Khadiran Barracks

    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.
  9. Muakhah

    Flower Sellers

    The city of Khadira is full of a variety of industries and businesses. Here a flower seller displays a sample of his wares. The petals of the flowers are often distilled for scents and perfumes or used to manufacture dyes for Khadira's vigorous textile industry. As a beautiful profusion of flowers bloom across the mountains and hills to the West of Khadira it is relatively easy to collect and sell some to the dye makers or perfumers. Izal here acts as more of a middle-man, purchasing flowers from local farmers and more recently refugees needing to make a few coins. He then sorts the flowers by colour and quality before selling them on. The traditional flag of Kaliphlim flies next to the Desert King's colours. Where possible Hassan M'badwe has decreed that the flag of the Desert King be displayed prominently to assure the loyalty of Khadira. Some whisper this is because of Khadira's failure to contribute militarily to the civil war effort. Izal Sweeps a frog away from the flowers drying in the sun. One of the problems of purchasing from the refugees is the relatively lower standards and quality control. Often Izal has to sort pests from the plants which the more experienced farmers already remove. When his wares are displayed the usually dusty street becomes quite colourful. An overview of the build to show some bits a little better. I am really enjoying making the vignettes depicting small scenes. It is easy on my collection and allows me to try new things without taking on more than I can actually do. For example I tried to make a siege engine for Category B challenge but couldn't create the wider scene for it. I would like this to stand for a craftsman/merchant according to the establishing a settlement rules here This would mean that Khadira currently has Agriculture (irrigation ditches), Hospitality (street food) Laborors (adobe makers) and now a Merchant Speciality (Flower Seller) So I really need to make a Military one and a General Goods Craftsman otherwise Khadira isn't even a Hamlet...The shame! I am hoping to post my newest build soon and actually go into a bit of story with some characters. Is it possible to also use that as a Khadira location? If so then prepare to see a small Small Council chamber soon! Sorry for the recent quietness, the usual interruptions from work and family coming to visit...for a month! EDIT: Forgot to say when making the build my girlfriend took one look and said its very plain. That I think is the main problem for the floor and small building. I hope it helps to draw the eye to the colourful part of the picture and acts more as a background. We do the best we can with what we have but I am not happy with the lack of texture and colour in it.
  10. Two farm workers cross one of the many fertile gullies used to grow crops near Khadira. When the rain from the East hits the Rakarth mountains it carves gullies and channels through the rock and dirt. When the summer comes they remain relatively fertile compared to the dried out soil surrounding them. With a minimum of labor the water can be regulated to last the year allowing various crops to be grown in these channels. Anywhere where water can flow is somewhere the people of Khadira must grow. For the growing population needs food. Just another little build to develop the Town of Khadira. I hope this would be enough to claim agriculture or farming when it comes to putting the place on the map according to some guidelines I read before. I am really enjoying building these little scenes. I have one more to post but then will have to put them on hold for a bit while I finish up the Category B siege weapon.
  11. Adobe is a very cheap but effective construction material. Clay, mixed with straw and other materials and left to dry in the sun create basic bricks which can be used as is or fired in a kiln for harder bricks. Either way they are used for the basic construction of many buildings and then faced with plaster. They can be created anywhere the raw materials are found and so are often made on site. They help to fuel the construction boom in Khadira as the Town expands. Dozens of new bricks dry in the sun while another is in the mold. The wall in the background is in need of re-plastering and the old bricks are showing through. Another small scene from Khadira. Hopefully it is beginning to build up an image of a busy and growing town. This one I hope represents basic construction going on to meet the needs of the people. Now for a little break from Khadira to finish up the siege engine for the alliance.
  12. 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.
  13. Khadira is a once small town on the coast near the Nocturnus border. Having avoided much of the conflict in the Kaliphlim civil war and having accepted an influx of refugees from across Kaliphlim and Nocturnus the town has grown rapidly. While the center of the town undergoes redevelopment the outskirts remain a messy sprawl of buildings. Here people live their lives as best they can despite the unsettled nature of Kaliphlim and the growing threats from Ravaage. Udeen Magrebi runs his open air eatery in a patch of open space outside his small hut. He provides simple hot food to local workers and travelers on a budget. A Khadiran courier, acting as postal service, delivers a letter to a merchant. Just leaving home for the docks or markets the Merchant's home, while simple, is larger and more comfortable than Udeen's simple dwelling. The merchant's wife watches from the terrace upstairs. Dressed in the latest fashion inspired by the Desert King's court she may visit the souqs or coffee houses of Khadira later in the day. Apologies for the simplicity of the builds, the lack of details and textures. I am still waiting for some of my collection to arrive but I had to make something. I had this image in my mind for some time and even with my limited skill it comes across quite well. If I were to do it again I would use a wider variety of plates and tiles to give the ground more texture. I also would try and add more texture and different color to the houses. Also there are too many studs on show in general. I am hoping this will count towards developing my own town. I am using the rules in this post as guidelines so there is a lot of work to do. I would count this as Hospitality Food and Drink. The Courier I feel isn't enough alone to justify more. And Food and Drink isn't one of the required ones for a Hamlet so I better get building more.