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  1. Previously Book III - Challenge II Laesonar's Saga Episode 10 - Bread, Water and Drums The wheel squeaked loudly as Laesonar turned it to pull up the bucket. Armin was in awe looking at the plants all around the well. 'How does the vegetation grow back so quickly in this place, Mr. von Jeff?' 'It's the soil of great Avalonia, master Paladin, as you might've heard.' 'Well, I surely didn't expect such a quick growth! It hasn't been long that the water is back!' 'Speaking of which, my Lords, I don't think I've thanked you enough yet for bringing the water back to the lake.' Having quenched his thirst, Laesonar pulled his face out of the bucket and some water dripped on his neck as he replied to the old man. 'Actually, Mr. von Jeff, you have. Around a thousand times. And it wasn't even necessary, we're happy to help.' 'That's right. We're happy to see the natural balance restored. We should now look into the fish disappearance and...' 'My Lords!' A voice reached them suddenly. 'Sir Humborth, good day. Any news from Albion on this fine day?' 'I do bring news actually, my Lords. Through Albion, directly from Cedrica. The Queen wishes for every Lord in Historica to organise an occasion, with all kind of celebrations. She'll reduce taxes to all those who do while having Avalonian grain brought to all those in need. The costs for the latter covered by the royal treasure.' The unexpected news brought a moment of silence. Jeffrey was the first to break it. "Well, we don't have much to celebrate with. Nor that many people. We've barely just got the water back and Laelariel doesn't even have a lord at the moment!' Armin thought out loud. 'It sounds like a Bread and Circus strategy. It makes me wonder. What do you think, Laesonar?' The half-elf seemed dazed, his eyes closed. 'Laesonar, is everything all right?' 'Hhmmm... yes. I am... remembering something.' He paused. 'The Queen... the red haired, you mean?' Sir Humborth was taken aback by such question. 'Oh, er... yes. That would be her. How do you...' Laesonar lightened up. 'Right. I remember now. What charm! We definitely can't ignore the polite request of such charming lady! Let us get ready for the feast, Gentlemen!' Again, a moment of silence. Again, Jeffrey broke it first. 'Ahem... Master Half-elf, you met the Queen before?' 'I certainly did. Sir Humborth's words brought back memories. I cannot tell how I got there and why, but I definitely remember having a drink with her. She wasn't interested, unfortunately.' This time the moment of silence lasted longer, everyone speechlessly looking at Laesonar, while he plunged his face back into the bucket to drink more. An uncertain smile slowly appeared on Armin's face. 'Laesonar, you... chatted the Queen up?' 'As I said, my friend. But you know my memories aren't exactly.. well.. chronological. But let us not waste any more time, shall we? Mr. von Jeff, isn't a lake full of water a good enough reason to celebrate?' 'It certainly is, my Lord, but..' 'And Sir Humborth, when exactly is that grain to arrive?' 'Oh, er... a cargo from Albion with an escort from Cedrica should be here in two days, but..' Laesonar was walking fast towards the city centre. Everyone snapped out of their astonishment and followed him. 'Where are you going now, my Lord?' 'Back to the city hall. I'm pretty sure I spotted a drum there, the other day.' 'A drum, my Lord?' 'Yes, a drum. No drum, no party; am I not right? It'll be bread, water and drums.' TASK I – Bread 'Well it looks like we got this grain and bread into the right place at the right time, the city was really in need!' 'We did indeed. The Queen will be happy. But where's the captain? I haven't seen him for a while now...' TASK II – Water and Drums 'What's with the facial painting?!' 'I always do that when I drum. It gets me more into the rhythm, if you know what I mean.' 'Oh.. Sure, I guess.' TASK III – Plot? 'So, captain... Are you enjoying your new position?' 'Yes m'Lord. Thank you, m'Lord.' 'Now, let's see. You'll hand this one over to my man in Albion, while this one... This goes to you-know-who directly in Cedrica. Make no mistake.' 'No m'Lord, of course not.' 'You'll make sure not be seen.' 'm'Lord, I've never been, m'Lord.' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Yesssss! First time ever I manage to meet a deadline here on GoH! I'm glad So there are a couple of things I'm not satisfied with, I'll start with those. I hadn't planned those roofs from the beginning, they turned out to be much bigger than I wanted and almost exactly squared I chose dark tan for the 'beach' as I thought it'd go well with Rb, but it gives the lake a very murky aspect, which wasn't my intention. The water effect can't really be seen in the pic (there are actually 3 types of blue under the trans tiles), I guess I need something bigger for that. Finally, Rb legs aren't a good choice on a Rb terrain... With the rest I'm relatively satisfied with. I was interesting in seeing how I could go from cobblestone to dirt, the result is decent, I reckon. As for the photography, I got myself a soft-light set, which enabled me to take nice shots with a low ISO. Unfortunately it also created quite a lot of shadows, which I didn't know how to avoid and which I had to eliminate manually when editing (it can be seen with a zoom in on the main pic ). Yet I reckon it's been an improvement. In case you're wondering what that link is, Laesonar actually met the Queen It's offcial lore, as you can check here, in particular 'Part VII: At the Grand Griffon Tavern', pages 192-194. Credits to @Henjin_Quilones for the story and @TitusV for the full recap, as you probably already know. C&C most welcome as usual, thanks for reading ^^ NOTE TO THE JUDGES: the build for Task I is on a 18x22 base. The one for Task III is a 16x30. Both are separable from the bigger one, which is 64x64 minus the base of Task III (see extra pic below).
  2. Previously Laesonar's Saga Episode 9 - Much Needed Water Fine water particles tickled Laesonar's nose as he stared at the waterfall flowing down the abyss below him. The ground underneath the riverbed had opened, creating a gorge that was swallowing up all of the water from the river. To Laesonar's left, after the gorge, the former riverbed, now completely dried up. To his right, at his side, Armin was adjusting his cloak on his shoulders. He turned towards Laesonar as the half-elf spoke to him. "So, master Paladin, why are we looking at this?" Armin wasn't too sure whether that question was ironic. "We wanted to investigate why the river stopped flowing into the lake, remember?" "Oh right. Right." The paladin smiled and huddled up in his cloak, observing the waterfall. "This is weird enough, as they told us. It really doesn't seem the result of a normal earthquake and..." He gave a start, as the half-elf at his side suddenly screamed. "You can come out of those bushes, old man, we know you're there!" Armin turned around and looked where his mate was looking. An old man, indeed, with a weird gaze, came out of some bushes, on the other side of the riverbed. The man looked fixedly at Laesonar, who stared back at him. Armin was confused. "Laesonar, what..." They kept looking at each other's eyes, intensely. Armin noticed and fell silent. After a while, the old man moved his arms and the ground trembled. The earth shook violently and Armin struggled to keep his balance as new soil surfaced, completely filling up the gorge where the water was disappearing into. In the blink of an eye, the river started to flow back into its original riverbed. The old man then turned on his feet and peacefully walked away. Rather perplexed, the two warriors watched him disappearing into the bushes. Armin looked at the half-elf, longing for an explanation. "He is an earth-bender." "A... what?" "Well, some sort of wizard, he said." "He said? When?!" "I heard his voice in my mind." "......" Armin was speechless. He wanted to ask whether... "Well that was easy enough, master Paladin. Let us return to Laelariel, shall we?" Laesonar moved and turned back. Still a little confused, Armin smiled, then joined him on the way home. Full build ---> Next Episode -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello everyone ^^ I guess I went a bit ambitious here, as I wanted to portrait a very particular moment and I'm afraid one cannot quite get what's going on, unless they read the story.. Oh well, I wanted to build this for aaages! Let the water finally flow back to Laelariel and Lake Laendir! One thing I do regret, is that I wanted that river to be much bigger, to be consistent with the Avalonian map.. unfortunately that's the extent of my trans-clear 1x1 round as well as 1x2 plates.. I also wanted to try out this type of palette, which I initially chosed because I wanted to use light yellow in the river bed to simulate a sand - turned out, it didn't look that good on RB, so I took it off Finally, I wanted to try my hand for the first time at a snotted base, mixed with stud-up plates, on the right hand side - I'm kind of pleased with how it turned out, though I've got a long way to go. As for photography... oh well... No seriously, this is the first attempt at following @Basiliscus's advice, who is patiently baby-sitting me (luv ya mate!) - I started with lowering the ISO and found out I need better lamps, which will hopefully come in January. So that's the best I could get for now and it's still grainy when zooming in as well as a bit blurred here and there... BUT I promise I'm working on it! Actually, just to try and prove this to @Henjin_Quilones and for everyone else to have a laugh and/or go for a facepalm, I've decided to include a pic (spoiler below) of my upside-down room during the pics-taking phase All C&C most welcome as usual - thanks for reading!
  3. Previously Laesonar's Saga Episode 8 - Laelariel City Hall A veil of sadness crossed Jeffrey's mind as he started to climb up the cobblestone while listening to Sir Humborth's words. "… and after hearing of the unfortunate disappearance of the Lord of Laelariel as well as his heirs, I was sent here from Albion to investigate the possibility of nominating a new Lord for these lands. I've just arrived with a small escort. Unfortunately, the place isn't exactly swarming with life.. " Armin nodded "I understand, Sir Humborth. Which is why you need the last Lord's will and testament and those other documents." Jeffrey pointed to the building above them "Here. This used to be our city hall. We used to have messengers, ravens, horses and so many documents that we had started the plan to build a library... " He sighed "Now there's only my office inside. Not that I've had much to write lately... but we kept the whole building in order as well as all of the documents. You might be able to find what you need here, my Lords." Armin smiled satisfied "Thank you for allowing us too, Mr. Von Jeff. My order is sworn to preserve the natural order of things and it seems to me that this city wasn't meant to end like this, so I'd like to investigate a bit." "It's my pleasure, master Paladin. We shall accept any sort of help that we're offered." "Very well then, first things first: history. Why does the city have an elvish name, for example. Laesonar, aren't you curious?" ….. "Laesonar?" The half-elf was nearby, but... "Ahem... Yes, yes, master Paladin, you lead the way." Full build --> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Here, guys & gals, bigger build, shorter episode ^^ I've started this build before reading the HSS rules, by which a City Hall isn't required for a Hamlet.. oh well, I guess it'll count later on then Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result, though I'm afraid my horrible photography skills don't make it justice, especially the bigger roof.. I'm still messing up with the lighting and the editing, I've even forgot to crop it! I'm unsure of a few other things, yet my main focus here was the palette.. which I'm also still unsure about But I'll leave the C&C to you guys - thanks for looking! @mccoyed sorry about the central alignement again! I'm afraid I've come to like it.. @Basiliscus @TitusV More blue, as I promised Edit: next episode
  4. Ep. 6 Laesonar's Saga Episode 7 - Laelariel [Part 2] “My my! If that isn’t that ugly faun!” The little group had been descending the path along the empty lake while their noses were slowly getting used to the putrid stench coming out of it. Krisly reacted to Laesonar’s words: “Oh you mean Ogrik? Is he safe then?” “It surely looks that way. He even seems to have found a girlfriend.” “You mean a lady faun? That must be Marielle. What else can you see, Laesonar?” “I can spot an old man. He looks worried." "That must be Jeffrey." "The situation doesn’t look too good in town. They're discussing something with a couple of knights.” The word ‘knights’ awoke Armin’s interest: “Knights? Which colours do they wear? Do they have heraldry of any kind?” “They wear green and have a dragon on their shields.” “Avalonian soldiers? It must be something official then. Let’s hurry and get into town, this place is making me more and more curious!” The situation wasn’t good at all. They passed by dried up fields and abandoned fishing docks before getting into the once-was outer city, now just half-burnt ruins. Closer to the city walls one last house was still standing, right in front of the gateway to the inner city. Judging by its appearance, the city must have been a rich one, in a past not too far in time. The two fauns and the old man called Jeffrey spotted the little group approaching and after a few greetings and hugs, it was the time for introductions. Helga took the word. "Jeffrey, Marielle, please meet Laesonar half-elf and Armin Mainardus. They helped us to fight the bandits and together we managed to finally avenge my brother! And these are Marielle and..." "Jeffrey J. J. von Jeff! For centuries my family has had the honour of serving the Lords of Laelariel, one generation to the next, starting with my ancestor Geoffrey von Jeff, all the way to my father Geoff J. von Jeff! We heard of the defeat of the bandits and Digby the Lunatic's death - I'm glad to make your acquaintance. Please meet my nephew Stan and..." Laesonar, seemingly unaware of the conversation, was looking around. Noticing a dozen eyes staring at him, he turned around quickly. "It is my pleasure to meet you, Mr. von Jeff. I do have however a couple of questions about this place, if you don't mind." Everyone's face grew sad. Jeffrey glanced at the ruins and sighed. "I'll be glad to answer your questions, master half-elf." "So, what's with the blue moss?" Everyone was taken aback by such unexpected question, only Armin smiled. Jeffrey was initially hesitant, but then understood and played along. "It's called Agerat. It's typical of the whole area around Lake Laendir, it mainly grows on rocks and it's one of the symbols of the city of Laelariel. Despite being a moss, it doesn't suffer much from lack of water, as you can see. Some ascribe healing and even magical properties to the plant." "So how is the lake empty?" "There was a weird earthquake a while back. The earth moved only in a particular spot, North from here. A vast chasm opened up underneath the riverbed and the waters of the river now disappear into it before reaching the lake. Changing the course of the river would be very costly and we have barely had any resources ever since the disappearance of the Laendirians." "Laendirians?" "Laendirians are our fishes. Or at least they were. A particular type of fish which, not unlike other species, finds its way up river from the sea, finally stopping in the lake to reproduce. The latter was named after them. Fishing, salting, commerce - Laendirians are the reason why the city thrived in the first place. They mysteriously stopped coming and our explorers downriver never came back, so we do not know what happened. At that point the call to arms arrived, directly from Albion. The wars against the Drow as well as Raaavage took our warriors away, together with our Lord and his sons. They never made it back." He stopped and took a deep breath. "The city was attacked repeatedly, we managed to hold the inner part, the rest was destroyed. The earthquake did the rest, depriving our land of water. The survivors started leaving, now there isn't much left to fight for and..." His voice broke. "And yet, some of us are still here and will always be!" A high-pitched voice suddenly reached the group's ears. "Stop blaming it all on yourself, uncle Jeffrey! We'll never leave our city, even without water!" "Oh. Er... ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce my niece..." "Lola. My name is Lola." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello everyone ^^ As I mentioned, I've been building very slowly. That wall was actually ready last summer (2017) and I was trying to follow up on the wall style of some Avalonian fellows (HQ, Titus, Maestro) who were then cooperating for the Summer Joust. As you can see, I turned the sand green to medium blue and decided to make it a staple feature of Laelariel by adding some lore in the story. I do like that wall, though I feel it's a bit overtextured, so I'll probably try and find some sort of compromise next time. Not much to say about the house, apart from mentioning @TitusV once again (remember? ) for his 'classic' tudor. Though, a fellow castle builder here in Berlin called it 'neo-classic style', which could open an interesting discussion, I reckon So yes, hope you like it. C&C most welcome as usual ^^ Edit: Ep. 8
  5. Avalonia Task 1 - Laelarielian Army & Crest The Laelarielian army (or, rather, what's left of it) counts no less than one swordsman and two spearmen! The (self-proclaimed) shield-maiden Lola has lately joined the group, her fighting skills being better than the others', despite her young age. We see them here at the ruins of their former training site, which they still visit regularly. They briefly pay homage each time, quickly getting rid of some weeds and yet always making sure that the full Laelarielian banner is still standing and in good condition – they still proudly display the crest and colours of their city, together with those of their Guild. Hello everyone ^^ Those of you who follow the story will know that Laesonar has only just met Lola.. so I guess you can take it as a small flashforward One question: @Henjin_Quilones's post detailing Avalonian tasks is from 1st August. As I'm just back, I've been looking for posts by fellow Avalonians who completed the task, but couldn't find any - am I the 1st one completing it or has anyone else already? If so, could I please get linked to that/those post/s? Also, not sure if such vignettes can count as freebuild for the Guild? Hope you guys like it, C&C most welcome ^^
  6. Ep. 5 Laesonar Episode 6 Laelariel [Part 1] " … I've been looking for an order of knights of which I used to be... well... a member of and from which I got... well... separated. This bear heraldry is unmistakably theirs. Their major temple was empty when I got there and I later found out that those bandits had stolen everything from it. I gave in to rage and attacked them mindlessly. Pretty much as you did, Laesonar. Only, my adventure didn't end so well." Laesonar seemed distracted. The trees around were slowly turning smaller and the undergrowth younger. "… Laesonar?" "Yes. Sorry, Armin. I've been listening." "Is everything ok? You've been quiet for a while." "Sorry. I was initially focusing on this guy who's following us, but now I can smell something..." Krisly gave a start: "What? We're being followed?! Why didn't you tell us? How many are there?" She grabbed her bow, quickly reaching for an arrow. "You don't have to worry about it, it's just a kid." Armin was surprised: "What? Where? I haven't heard anything at all! And how can you tell it's just a boy?" "I can hear him clearly. He knows his steps, so he must be a local, yet he still has much to learn about the art of stealth. He's very young and keeps his distance – I say he's no threat." "Wow... Ok well, so why are you so concerned, master half-elf?" "I can smell something. Something... bad." Helga reached for her axe while approaching Armin. "What is it, Laesonar? Armin, can you smell anything?" "Actually, now that he mentions it, there is something of a stuffiness in the air..." "It's not just stuffiness, master paladin. Something is foul here. It's like something has been rotting for a while, something big." Elysande was worried now. "Wh... what? You mean like a dead beast or something?" "I'm afraid not, Ely, it's much bigger than that. I fear something really wrong has been going on here. Something really unnatural." That last word echoed in everyone's mind, placing a dark cloud over the once-happy little crowd. Laesonar noticed. "At least we're soon going to find out. The smell gets stronger at every step." Armin was impressed and confused at the same time "This man... How can his senses be so sharp? How many other things am I going to find out about him?" "… You're quite the unusual one, Laesonar, do you know that?" "As a matter of fact, I do. But I can never say that, else everyone thinks that I'm vain." Everyone smiled slightly. "If anything, I've managed to defuse the situation a bit.." thought Armin, while striding through the undergrowth. The forest was thinning out and the trees were slowly giving place to bushes when the little group could glimpse the border of the forest. Now they could all clearly detect that smell, getting stronger at every step, together with their anxiety. Unable to wait any longer, they all ran to get beyond the last trees, where a meadow opened up in front of them – in the distance, a small city rising up right next to... a huge hole in the ground. Gobsmacked, they all stared down the hill. Unsure at first, they started to understand. Helga dropped her axe, Krisly fell to her knees, unable to believe her eyes: "That... that's Laelariel! How is this possible?!" A shiver went down Armin's back. Laesonar's words echoed in his head "Something wrong and really unnatural". He swallowed heavily, then finally spoke up: "Holy Emptiness! What on earth happened to this lake??!" ---------------------------------- What can I say, guys? I'm not quite sure whether I'm happy with the result, actually. I guess the Summer Joust made me go a bit ambitious The perspective has been my worst enemy here, this was a great challenge. The lack of pieces didn't help, in particular I ran out of green cheese for the trees. This again made me fight with the perspective as the trees at the left were supposed to be closer and hence bigger than the ones at the back.. As for photography, I've taken a million shots and was never happy. At the end I surrendered to this one. I've got only this one, as the MOC was literally built around it and it was hence impossible to go for another angle - only a centimeter off and the scene wouldn't have been 'immersive' anymore. There had been another, slightly bigger, shot possible, hadn't I run out of medium blue too.. Anyway, I've enjoyed tried my hand at this kind of macro-micro-scale. I already had the idea of the empty lake and the Summer Joust provided the right occasion, at the right time, with the 'immersive scene' category. There are more critiques to make - I'll leave them to you guys I'm open to suggestion on how to improve the perspective. Hope you enjoy the finally-short episode too Thanks for reading ^^ Ep.7
  7. 'We've been deprived of everything; only few houses are still standing. We tried our best to contribute to the war against Raavage, but.. ' - A villager in Laelariel I'm sorry guys, life got in between and I missed the deadline. When realising I wouldn't make it, I decided to also go over the size restriction, so this cannot be an entry at all. However, I'm pretty satisfied with the result, so I'm posting it anyways. Sorry, I have only this one pic due to the same time constraints. It's my first attempt at a half-timbered Tudor style house, for which I'd like UoP credits - will definitely build more of this, so if you reckon this one isn't quite enough for the Credits, no worries and just say ^ The Tudor is, after all, a bit irregular, as you can see [there was a reason for this but I've quite forgotten by now..]. Special thanks must go to @TitusV for the much inspiration provided recently [I was honest, see? ] as well as @ZCerberus for the same inspiration, in particular thanks to his Beggar's Inn. Other random facts: The roof - I'd never expected to like the classic sloped roofing so much; it might be disappointing for some, but I reckon I'll stick with it for a while One part I didn't manage well is the rake, as it doesn't completely cover the black of the roof-slopes. The colours - needless to say, blue and its shades are the new addition to my palette, I really like them [yes, random dark turquoise just to see how it looks ]. I'm also looking for a smoother transition between rb and normal green - sand green helps, but I'm open to suggestions [I don't reckon dark brown would do..]. Overall, some classic techniques that I've finally tried out. C&C most welcome as usual - thanks for looking! ^^
  8. As the name implies, the lodge provides shelter for the local hunters, in the middle of the Avalonian forests. While the original building was, indeed, camouflaged with the trees around, to allow the hunters to conceal themselves, recent events have made the young Sten the only regular visitor in a while, causing the lodge to look slightly run-down. ------------------------------------- Hey guys, I've been pretty busy lately - a quick post for a quick entry to CCC, an Avalonian freebuild. I’m pretty sure I’ve made a mess with the [rushed] resizing, cropping etc. If anyone has any suggestions [for example, how to avoid having to cut off parts of the actual pic] for the next time, please feel free to drop a line. C&C most welcome as usual! ^^ P.S. With hindsight, I should’ve probably underlined the separation between the trunk of the small tree at the front left and the human-made structure somehow (most likely with colours)…