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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. 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
  6. Ep. 4 Laesonar Episode 5 Healing Wounds The sunset was approaching as the fresh air of the forest turned chilly on Laesonar’s face, while the half-orc’s body on his back started to become heavy after the long march. He looked up towards the top of the steep hill they were climbing; Armin wasn’t exactly having such a great time either carrying his load. “You do have a thing for shields, don’t you, master paladin?” “For these shields in particular, I most certainly do.” He replied smiling, keeping his secret. “Say, do you always dress purple or is it a special occasion?” “Do I have to gather that you don’t like such colour?” “On the contrary, it happens to be my favourite. I just wouldn’t wear it myself.” “I see.” He looked for the words in his head. “The peaceful stability of the blue and the restless passion of the red merge together and turn into purple – a splendid example of balance between opposites.” Laesonar smiled “This guy is just the best” he thought, right before Helga’s voice reached his ears: “We’re here!” The top of the hill was flat, with a small clearing between rocks and trees. “You’ve been here recently, haven’t you, ladies?” “We have. From this height we can easily keep the surroundings under control, while the forest is dense enough to start a fire without worrying about being spotted.” “It’s unlikely that they will follow us tonight.” Said Armin while approaching the fainted half-orc. “Laesonar, can you please help me here? I want to check her wounds. Hmm. Not too bad after all, she should be better soon. Now, all I have to do is concentrating on her wounds and on my will to heal them, draw energy upon…” Armin’s words faded away in Laesonar’s head. What was happening? He knew those words. He had heard them before and he could hear them again right now in his head, as everything around him became silent. He could see Armin moving his lips, but no, that wasn’t his voice. It was a soothing, beloved voice. “What is this? Is it some kind of memory?” Dazed, he approached Armin, who was moving his hands above the half-orc’s body. Suddenly, an image in his head – skinny hands, feminine lips – right before Armin’s voice could reach him again: “… until the energy is finally released.” A pale blue light glowed under the half-orc’s body. Armin took a deep breath. “Armin… I… I…” “What is it, Laesonar?” He didn’t answer. Instead, he recalled those instructions in his head, concentrating, moving his hands as Armin had just done. Finally, the same blue light glowed again. It followed a moment of silence. Everyone was astonished. Krisly broke the silence first: “Laesonar… Can… Can you heal wounds?!” “It looks like I can… I guess I had just forgotten about it…” Armin was bowled over. “How… Where did you learn that?” “I have no idea… You must’ve triggered something, perhaps a memory. I heard a voice in my head and…” The half-orc was recovering her senses, flinching, coughing loudly, trying to stand up. Armin and Laesonar pushed her back down on the floor. “Let me go you b#######! I won’t tell you anything at all!”** [**translated from Orcish] “It’s ok, it’s ok! We’re going to help you. Wait, don’t move! You’re wounded…!”** “Let me go! I’m gonna…”** She opened her eyes. Realising the situation, she stopped for a moment, then started to struggle again. “Who are you? Let me go!”** “It’s ok, we’re friends, we’re going to help you. Now calm down beautiful, you’re hurt!”** Surprised to hear her language, she stopped moving. Gasping, she stared at Laesonar. “Yes, good. I’m going to get you some water. Do you speak the Common language?”** Armin helped her to sit up. She grunted and held her belly, looking around. “Who are you people?” “My name is Laesonar. It’s nice to see that you feel better. These are Armin, Helga, Krisly, Elysande and… Yes, come to think of it, what’s your name, old man?” The old man came closer, approaching the half-orc. “Hello, Gruusha.” The half-orc grunted “Daniau? Where are we? What happened? Who are these people?” “Long story short, the bandits under Digby put us in chains. These people killed them all and freed us. As for why they did it, we shall have to ask them.” Helga picked up some wood “We could all do with a bit of rest, some food and some water. As for us, the chieftain’s personal guard was the man who killed my brother. I wanted revenge and Laesonar here accepted to help me, that’s why we attacked those bandits.” The old man sat down “The chieftain, uh? You must be referring to Digby the Lunatic. That piece of s###!” The half-orc grunted in unison. Armin seemed interested to know more: “Did you know him, old man?” “I did. My name is Daniau Guernon. I’m the head of the merchants’ guild in Weastioven, as well as one of the members of the city’s High Council. Digby was the chieftain of his group, but the rumours had him working under someone else. What I know is that he definitely got some help when taking over my city. I opposed him and they made me a prisoner.” “Which kind of help did he get?” “Troops, especially archers. But also goblin and orc soldiers.” At these words the half-orc grunted angrily and then moaned with pain, still holding her belly. Armin approached her, checking her wounds: “Take it easy, my lady. You haven’t fully recovered yet. Your name is Gruusha, right? Do you know those orc soldiers?” She shook her head “No. My people don’t normally have much to do with Orcs as they always try and make us slaves, so we’re always on the lookout. The bandits probably had the same intention so they caught me and wanted me to tell them where my people are. I didn’t spit a single word! That’s also why I was in Weastioven. I was sent by my chieftain to find out more about these rumours while looking for a commercial agreement with the merchants there. Now that Laelariel is out of the game, my people need new partners to exchange our goods with.” Krisly gave a start “What do you mean with ‘Laelariel is out of the game’? I have friends there!” Daniau spoke up first: “Laelariel thrived thanks to the fish trade. We, in Weastioven, were one of its best partners, buying fish and selling our salt, which they used to preserve the fish. Unfortunately, these half-orcs don’t seem to get the importance of such a product.” Gruusha grunted loudly “I’ve already told you, Daniau, we won’t exchange our stuff for salt! We don’t need salt!” Krisly pressed Daniau “Hang on! What happened to Laelariel then?” “I do not know. The trade simply stopped. Because of the civil wars, drows, bandits and so on, we haven’t been able to go and verify in person yet.” “Then we should all go there first thing in the morning!” Krisly’s suggestion took everyone by surprise. Gruusha broke the silence first, followed by Daniau “No. I have to go back to my people.” “Same here, now that Digby and few of his best men have died, it shouldn’t be hard for us to take the city back. I need to be there as soon as possible.” “Then what about you, Laesonar? What are your plans now?” The half-elf had remained silent so far, being more interested in the food. “So, you ladies want to go and check out this Laelariel place, uh? – Gnam gnam – You said there’s fish, but no salt, so I gather there must be a river or something?” “Yes, there’s also a big lake.” “Well I don’t see why not. I like fish. And after all, I haven’t found out how I got into this forest yet.” Armin was surprised at these words. Elysande noticed: “Laesonar has lost some of his memories. Apparently, he appeared in this forest few days ago, but doesn’t know how, nor why.” Armin watched Laesonar eating for a moment, thinking about what little he knew about him. He recalled in his mind Laesonar’s jump during the battle, his approval of his words, his newly rediscovered ability to heal wounds. He smiled slightly “Well, master half-elf, it looks like you’re full of surprises.” “Am I?” “You’re quite the warrior, you can heal wounds but you say you don’t know how you learned and now your memory… Oh, and you can speak Orcish?” “Ah, right. Well, not as much as I’d like to, actually. But what about you, master paladin? You haven’t told us about those shields yet.” “That’s true. Well, I’d be honoured to join you and the ladies for this Laelariel mission, if you’d allow me?” “It would be my pleasure, indeed. What do you ladies think?” Helga got visibly excited “It would be awesome!” “Very well. So we shall go and see this lake. In this case, I’m going to have time to tell you about those shields during the march, am I not?” ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Full MOC:
  7. Ep. 3 Laesonar Episode 4 The Paladin of Emptiness Laesonar checked the situation from his hidden position. “So, they took up residence in that building, or?” Helga frowned and her face darkened. “Not quite. This used to be a sort of guarded inn on the trading route between Weastioven and Laelariel. They’ve been using it to make their prisoners rot before executing them in Weastioven. When the moment arrives, they come and pick them up. It seems today is one of those days; the chieftain in person is here with his lieutenants and captains. Can you see the chieftain’s personal guard? He’s the man who killed my brother!” Krisly almost stood up, trying to get a better look. “So they must be important prisoners. Who are they? Is that guy an orc? I can spot a lot of blood!” Laesonar answered promptly: “SHE is a HALF-orc, and yes, she must’ve been tortured. The old man looks like a merchant. As for the third, we should set him free. I can sense there’s definitely something interesting about him.” Elysande, silent so far, finally spoke up: “But, Laesonar, they are so many! We need a good plan.” “Sure, sure. Helga, the bodyguard is all yours. And Krisly, I’d like your first arrow directly on the chieftain, can you do that?” Krisly was right about to express her concern, when Laesonar suddenly sprang out of the bushes, katanas in hand, reaching quickly for the first guard. The surprise effect played against the latter, whose head dropped down in a matter of seconds. However, the clang of the helmet hitting a stone attracted everyone’s attention. Laesonar’s path got blocked by two bandits, his katana clanged on the shield of the first one. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an arrow flying up and landing at the chieftain’s feet, missing its target. But he also saw a second arrow plunging right into the chieftain’s throat immediately after. He was taken aback. “That arrow came from a different direction, it cannot have been Krisly’s… ?!” Helga took her chance. With a shout, she ran towards the chieftain’s personal guard, who was checking on his dead master. Wisely enough, she didn’t wait for the man to confront her. Instead, she threw her axe from a distance, ripping up the man’s leg, who shouted in pain. A war horn echoed loud in the air while she quickly reached her target, landing him the fatal blow. “This is for you, my beloved brother! May you rest in peace!” Still busy with his fight, Laesonar checked the situation around. The sound of the horn had summoned more bandits who were now pouring into the courtyard from the inside of the building as well as the back of it. “Well done, Helga! Now get the keys. Set that prisoner free!” Elysande suddenly appeared at the back of one of his opponents, cutting his throat with her short sword. The prisoner was freed from his chains. He stood up, picked up a long sword and finally spoke up with a calm, soothing voice: “I am very much in debt for your assistance, Ladies and Gentlemen. But please, the man with the horn is mine! Now let’s get done with this!” He pointed his sword towards the sky, reciting mysterious words and performing a circular gesture with his left hand. Before long, the effect of the spell was in place. All of the bandits looked confused, one of them even fell on his knees. Laesonar took advantage of the confusion and got rid of his heavy armoured opponent with a precise hit. Elysande felt weird. “Wh… What’s going on? I feel so good!” Laesonar felt like never before. A powerful energy quickly filled up his entire body, renovating his strength, sharpening his intellect, nourishing his vital spirit. He decided not to control it and instead let go. With a shout, he literally jumped above and into a group of enemies. “YYiiii-hhaaaaaaa!” The freed prisoner was astonished, then grinned. “Whoa! Your friend has got quite the agility! Let’s get at it, everyone, it won’t last for long!” Arrows started raining down from Krisly’s direction, while everyone got into the fight. The battle that had initially looked so tough was actually over in a matter of minutes. Helga looked at the ex-prisoner while catching her breath. “So what did you do? Which kind of spell was that? Are you a wizard?” Laesonar was piercing the corpses of the bandits to make sure they were dead while picking up any gold he could find on them. “He’s a paladin. And he’s just casted the most powerful and enjoyable Bless I’ve ever experienced.” The man smiled proudly: “Your friend is correct, my lady. I am Armin Mainardus. At your service.” Helga was pleasantly surprised. “A paladin?! Which sort of? Which God do you worship?” Armin frowned and turned serious. “My lady, in the path of Mother Nature I could find no God to worship, as the supreme forces of Love and Death fight an endless battle bound to have no winner. My devotion have I found by looking beyond that battle, where those forces merge and are one, in balance. It is contact, it is paradox, it is supreme Emptiness born from the All coming together. It is sheer, untouched vital spirit.” A moment of silence followed. Laesonar grinned, the three girls were perplexed. Elysande broke the silence first: “Oh my! You do sound exactly like Laesonar!” “And who would this Laesonar be?” “That would be me. I must confess, master paladin, I had lost hope of hearing such wise words in this crazy world. It is nice to meet you. And say, where is your shield?” Armin was surprised and quite intrigued. He looked at Laesonar coming towards him, then smiled deeply and shook his hand. “Well met, Laesonar. As for my shield, it must be inside with my other things.” A raspy voice joined the conversation from the middle of the courtyard. “I wouldn’t want to interrupt, but my wrists would be grateful if you could free them from their chains too. I’d also respectfully suggest to leave the presentations for later and get away from here as quickly as possible. Finally, if master paladin can also heal wounds, I reckon the ‘lady’ here could do with some help.” Armin looked at the half-orc in her paddle of blood. “I might have enough power to stop the bleeding, but then I’ll need to recover. Do you know any safe place nearby? We could all do with a bit of rest.” Krisly pointed at the forest. “We know the woods around here pretty well, we could camp somewhere for the night.” Armin checked on the half-orc. “She isn’t bleeding anymore. I need to collect my things inside. Oh and those shields with the bear heraldry, we should take them with us. I’ll explain later.” Laesonar was quick to answer. “I’ll take care of that. Everyone else, please go with Armin and check the inside of the building for any food we can take with us.” Finally alone, he approached the chieftain’s corpse to inspect the arrow that killed him. He recalled the scene in his mind: “No one seems to have noticed. Could I have been the only one seeing that second arrow? Or was it just my imagination? Here, I was right. This one is different from Krisly’s.” Had his memory not failed once more, he could’ve recognised the mysterious arrow. “Damn my memory! I’m sure I’ve seen this craft-work before… !” He hid it under the chieftain’s corpse as he heard the others coming back. Elysande’s voice reached him: “We’ve found bread and dry meat, as well as everyone’s possessions!” “All right then. Let’s get out of here.” ------------------------------------ Dear diary, Laesonar is as reckless as ever. Today he literally charged into a bunch of armoured men! What is worse, I had to help and he definitely noticed something! How I wish he would think about his actions in advance for once! Love, L. Extra shots: whole MOC before story events (the right corner is cut, I know, I couldn't do any better ) whole MOC after story events: figs - check Flickr for short description: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Hey everyone, sorry for the wait! I do have a million comments and details, but I reckon you guys have already read enough so far so, just quickly: I got half my collection (greys, greens, yellows, ...) back over Christmas and couldn't wait to go for a grey wall , which, by the way, I'm not totally satisfied with. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised by how well normal green and sand green go together. My main problem this time was photography - given the MOC's size, lightning ect. but even just framing were a real hassle! I have hence went for a first attempt at editing (main pics only), which I think improved things, though the final main pic is still missing a corner and it's a tad too bright, probably? As for the story, it's still too long, but I think it flows a bit better now that I've followed @Exetrius's example and implemented @MassEditor's advice (cutting off the speakers' names) - thanks for that, guys Any other comment I'll leave for now. C&C most welcome as usual. Thanks for reading/watching! ^^ Ep. 5
  8. Ep. 2 Laesonar Episode 3 Unexpected Encounters – Part 3 Helga chuckled: “As for your questions, Laesonar, there are many houses like this in the forest. They used to serve as shelters for the rangers who used to watch over the area. That was before they got killed defending against the drow occupation. Now they’re just abandoned houses, but you need to be careful as you might find bandits inside – you were lucky to find us instead.” Laesonar smiled and winked at Krisly: “Was I?” She blushed slightly and got back to her activity. Helga: “As for us, we’ve been living in the forest after losing our families in the war. We move from one house to another as the rangers used to do. We collect edible fruit and plants and we hunt small animals. We cut down sick trees and sometimes go back to the closest village to exchange some timber for what we need. That’s how we met Ogrik: though he was often coming and going from some villages he knows, we all made the same life choice and were living relatively happily.” She frowned and turned serious: “At least until a while back.” Krisly and Elysande heard her words and approached. Helga continued: “A sad day, a band of brigands came to the village where my brother was living. He never wanted to leave because of his fiancé and her family. The brigands raided the village while their chief demanded payments from the people, proclaiming himself owner of the land.” She paused, starting to get visibly upset. “Our fate wanted us to arrive at the village exactly while my brother was trying to oppose them and was getting beaten up. We started throwing arrows at them from the forest and managed to kill a few, but were quickly located and outnumbered. We could only run back into the forest while my brother was shouting my name…” Her jaw clenched and tears appeared at the bottom of her eyes. Laesonar took another salami from the bag: “Let me guess” He said peacefully “They wanted to know who you were so they tortured your brother, uh?” He kept chewing. The girls were surprised by his calmness and all looked at him in silence. He continued: “He didn’t give up so they killed him, didn’t they? That’s how he died and you feel guilty about it, am I right?” He kept chewing. Helga was taken aback by such direct comments and turned her head, while Elysande got fired up: “How can you be so insensitive?!” She shouted “Don’t you see she’s suffering?!” Laesonar frowned: “I do not take pleasure in seeing someone suffer, but death is just part of life.” He swallowed a big chunk of salami “And so is pain. And this world, in particular, is full of both and a million other nasty things. So I’m not impressed.” A moment of silence followed. Elysande thought that it really wasn’t the moment for such philosophy, yet she found some truth in those words, so she kept on uncertainly: “But... this was... an injustice. It was... simply bad. Are you just going to accept such things?” Laesonar: “In the path of life that Mother Nature has prepared for us, good and bad merge together everywhere around us, at any given time. We can’t but follow such a path. What we can do, is make our choice in front of the events that unfold in front of us. We shall decide whether to take action or not, whether to forgive or seek revenge, depending on what each of us deems fair and just or simply on what we choose to care about.” He picked another salami from the bag and kept eating. The three girls were incredulous. What was more surprising? The meaning of those words, the moment he picked to pronounce them or the calm he pronounced them with? Krisly broke the silence first: “Well then, Helga has made her choice and will seek revenge and we will be at her side, indeed. Yet we already know that we have no chance of winning this battle. So tell me, Laesonar, would you help us fight those brigands? Would you deem it fair?” Laesonar kept quiet for a moment, chewing. Then replied: “Well I am no mercenary, ya’know. And my experience has taught me not to put my nose in other people’s business. However, these brigands just seem to be overbearing boors and they’re certainly disrupting the natural flow of life here. In addition, I do feel compelled to consider the cute faces of those who have asked me such favour. And finally... Well...” He turned the bag upside-down and shook it gently, showing it was empty “Well, I do owe you one for the sausages, so yes, I’ll help you” He smiled. The girls were relieved and started to smile as well, then he added: “But at one condition.” He paused, everyone waiting for his request. “You let me stew those two rabbits for everyone to have dinner tonight.” He grinned. “Oh and that’s only if Helga actually wants my help, that is.” While the other two smiled at each other, Helga passed a hand on her face as to snap out of confusion: “You’re the strange type, Laesonar. But for some reason I feel like I can trust you. I accept your help. Thank you for that.” She smiled, and so did everyone else. Despite the lack of salt, the stew turned out pretty well. They spent the evening eating, chatting, telling stories, laughing. It was already late in the night when Krisly and Elysande whispered into each other’s ears, getting close to the house door. Elysande: “Well, have you seen, Laesonar? Apart from the cooking we aren’t such modern girls after all, right?” Laesonar: “What do you mean?” Krisly winked at him: “We have had the stewed meat. Now just let us demonstrate something.” She indicated the house with her head. They all smiled, Laesonar grinned even more than usual. The four of them got into the house. Whole MOC: So, my comments about the house are in Chap. 2, what else can I add? I’m pretty satisfied with the big tree. As for the fir, I followed LJ’s advice and it does look better now, can still be better, I reckon. As for the weeping willow, I reckon everyone here knows where the design comes from It proved to be much more difficult than I thought (and it fell down at least three times..) – I think it can turn out better, I’m going to have to try again ^^ As for the water, I wanted to try something different from the (only) other time. Not sure yet, but I reckon I prefer this one. As for the photography, it looks like the sun has abandoned Berlin for a while, so this proved to be very difficult! I think I’ve entered a new (philosophical?) sphere when trying to add light without creating shadows… More Pics! All C&C are most welcome! Thanks for reading/watching! ^^ Ep. 4
  9. Ep. 1 Laesonar - Episode 2 Unexpected Encounters – Part 2 Laesonar found the river easily, just as Ogrik said. “It must be passed midday” he thought, trying to spot the sun above the dense foliage of the tree tops. He then focused on the water, drinking and washing his face. “ This water smells of... something. Let me see if... ???” His thought was interrupted. Something was wrong. He looked at a big rock outcrop behind him, at a distance of around a hundred meters. He looked and listened hard: nothing. He wielded his katanas, ran quickly towards the rocks and up to the top, then jumped down to the other side: nothing. “Well, this is strange. I’m sure I felt a noise right here... Pity, I was hoping it was some sort of meat…” He started to go back to the river. “Hang on, ‘felt’ a noise? How exactly can you ‘feel’ a noise? Yet it was undoubtedly a noise, like a rustle. And I didn’t hear it, I ‘felt’ it.. …?” He was surprised and somewhat confused. He stood still for a while, trying to understand this new sensation, but his thought was interrupted again. This time, by the rumble of his stomach. “Eh, skipping breakfast really IS bad. So let me see this water, it smells of... Of...” He started sniffing all over the bank and the water, a bit up river, where a small stream was flowing into the bigger one. “Ah, here the smell is stronger. It smells of... Hmm Sniff Sniff... It comes from this little creek here. Hmm It smells of... Sniff Sniff Sniff... … Sausage!” He stood tall, looking at the stream, smiling and glowing with happiness for having found the way to some easy food. He started following the stream up at a fast pace. He didn’t have to walk long before he could hear something: “I should’ve known, no sausage grows on plants, unfortunately.” He sighed and listened harder: “There’s three of them. And one is... punching a tree?? Man, this forest is really… Oh my! They are ladies!!” Grinning, he cleared his throat and passed a hand into his hair. After reaching the top of a hill, he could now glimpse the shape of a house through the vegetation. He stopped behind some bushes to check the situation. Three girls seemed to be the inhabitants of a semi-abandoned wooden house, the vegetation overgrowing all over and around it. One of them was chopping some wood with a big axe; she was big herself, with a bit of a masculine look. Another one was busy moving sacks and boxes around, a quiver with arrows attached to her back. The third was dressed in black and was, indeed, eating sausages. “My my, they all look fantastic!” he thought “And so do the sausages! I need to play this one well!” He suddenly got out of the bushes right in front of the three, with a radiant smile: “Good afternoon, nice ladies. I was wondering if you could lend me some clothes for the coming night, if you don’t mind?” The three girls were startled by the sudden appearance and rushed to reach their weapons. The black-dressed girl, pointing his short sword at Laesonar: “Now, don’t take another step! Who are you and what do you want?!” “But of course. Why do I always assume that ladies are nicer than other people?” He thought, sighing in disappointment. Then replied: “My name is Laesonar, I happened to pass by and..” The black-dressed girl: “Yes, ‘passing by’ in the middle of the forest, uh? You must be a bandit!” Laesonar frowned: “A bandit? Do I look like one?” The ‘archer’ girl, with an arrow ready at him: “I must admit, you look pretty good for a bandit…” The black-dressed girl: “Are you a spy? Can you prove you’re not a spy?” Laesonar raised his voice a bit: “Hey! How am I supposed to prove such a thing?” A moment of silence followed, as everyone pondered the last point. The big girl approached slowly with heavy steps, wielding her axe: “Now now, girls, let’s not forget our good manners, shall we? The gentleman simply asked for something. And politely enough.” The black-dressed girl: “What are you talking about, Helga? Are you going to parley with a..” She looked at Laesonar for a moment “... a random... armed... half-naked half-elf??” “Helga, uh?” He thought, looking at the big girl and checking out her facial painting “What luck! Now let’s get some... sausages!” Helga: “Well, the half-elf asked for clothes as he is, indeed, half-naked in the middle of the forest! He doesn’t have an aggressive pose and by the look of it, I say he could’ve taken the three of us down already, if he wanted to. Am I not right, Mr. Laesonar?” She said with a subtle smile. Laesonar: “Absolutely, Ma’am.” He replied proudly. “No harm meant here. And say, you’re called Helga, right? I might be able to prove that I’m not a spy after all: I’ve got a message for you from Ogrik.” The ‘archer’ girl lowered her bow: “You’re the faun’s friend? So you’re an ally! Are you here to help us?” Laesonar frowned. Helga smiled: “Now, Krisly, one thing at a time. So, what’s this message?” Laesonar: “He thought that I might meet a girl with facial paintings called Helga in the forest. He asked me to tell you that he’s sorry about your brother. He’s going to Laelariel to take care of some business and then stay there as he believes this forest is not safe anymore. He would like you to join him there.’ Helga frowned and looked at the ground: “I see. When did you meet him?” Laesonar: “A few hours ago, just uphill from here. We slayed a couple of boors together.” Helga: “What? What happened?” Laesonar: “Well these guys appeared and shouted something about surrendering and becoming their slaves, so we killed them. Ogrik said they were some of the bandits that proclaimed themselves owners of this area after the Avalonian Civil War.” Helga: “Ah! Good that you’ve killed them! I thank you for your message, Laesonar. And for having taken some of those b******* down! Thanks to you, there’s going to be less of them when the moment comes. I think we can trust you.” She smiled. The black-dressed girl: “You still want to go? Let’s just meet Ogrik instead and...” Helga: “I’ve made up my mind, Elysande. I shall have my revenge.” She turned towards Laesonar: “So, which clothes do you normally wear?” She stressed the word, looking at the other girls, who seemed to remember something. Laesonar: “Normally, brown trousers, a green coat and a very light chain mail. Then a light armour and a green cape.” Helga smiled while the other two looked surprised. Krisly: “If we happened to have something like this, how could we be sure that they’re yours?” Laesonar: “My armour has got a small ‘L’ carved in the inside. As for the clothes... Well...” He grinned “You’re going to have to smell me.” Elysande: “How could you think that we...” Helga interrupted quickly: “Come on now, Ely, you can see he means no harm.” She winked. Elysande blushed slightly: “Oh, whatever! Let’s just give them to him.” She quickly got into the house. Laesonar grinned. Helga chuckled and got back to her wood-chopping, while Krisly smiled and put her bow away. Elysande: “Here. Are these the clothes you mean?” Laesonar: “Hey! Those ARE my clothes! And all of my stuff! How do you have them?” Krisly: “They seem to have appeared overnight. We found them this morning, right here in front of the house.” Laesonar: “Oh that makes sense.” Krisly: “It does??” Laesonar: “Well, I seem to have appeared around here this morning too, so...” Elysande: “What are you talking about?” Laesonar: “I just woke up in this forest this morning. I don’t know why or how. I guess the wizard might have something to do with it, but I forgot his name...” He picked up the sausages that Elysande had dropped: “You’re not going to have these anymore, are you?” He bit one and started chewing greedily. The girls looked perplexed and amused at the same time. Krisly: “And how did you find us?” Laesonar: “Oh that was easy, I followed the smell.” The three girls were startled: “What smell?!” They all shouted together. Laesonar “The smell of the sausages, of course. I assume you have washed your dishes in the creek or so?” The girls seemed relieved. Elysande: “Actually, Krisly dropped few of them in the stream...” Krisly: “I’ve already said I’m sorry.” Laesonar, chewing: “Well, my turn with the questions, if you don’t mind. This house is obviously abandoned, what are you doing here? And how do you know the faun? Oh and... you don’t happen to have more sausages to spare, do you?” Elysande smiled and went into the house, coming back with a bag full of salami: “Only these at the moment. And two rabbits that we’ve caught, but we haven’t roasted them yet.” Laesonar bit a whole salami: “They’ll do just great, thank you very much! Oh, and rabbits are best stewed with some herbs and vegetables.” Krisly looked surprised: “Can you cook?” Laesonar: “But of course. Why? Can’t you?” Krisly blushed slightly, looking at the ground: “Well, none of us can, actually.” Laesonar sighed loudly: “Ehh. Modern girls. Not the good old times anymore, uh? No more good old-style girls, all meat-stewing and sex...” Elysande got fired up: “Hey you don’t know that! You should see…” She realised the mistake and stopped. Laesonar raised his eyebrows, smiling: “Yes?” Elysande threw the bag of salami at him, watched him catching it and then looked into his eyes for a moment, pointing at him with her index finger, smiling slightly. She then turned around and disappeared into the house. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Diary, Today I’ve taken a bit of a risk: Laesonar almost caught me! I’m sure I made no noise, so he must’ve felt my presence or so. How did he do that? What’s wrong with that guy?? I need to be more careful from now on. Love, L --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ep. 3 So, ladies&gents, the MOC was ready almost a month ago but I couldn’t find the time for the story. When I found it, I realised that it was too long for only one chapter (sorry, I didn’t keep the promise ), so I’ve decided to split it into two. What we have right here: The house: my very first attempt! [LJ managed to have me going for timber, after all ]. You’ll notice SK’s offset wall and windows [thanks for the tutorial, SK, I really like how it works!]. I do have a question: how do you guys normally keep the two parts of the roof together? I seem to have found a way by using 1x2 hinge bricks, but it was just a coincidence if it turned out with the right angle for the support, hence my question. Also, you’ll see that it doesn’t fit perfectly on the left-hand side right above the door – this is due to the small canopy that I stupidly added at the end. Speaking about the roof: UoP credits: I’d like to claim credits for 1/3 roofing technique (weathered shingled here). I know it’ll look ‘basic’ to you guys, but for me it was the first time… Blush Also, if I understand correctly, the point of the University is for me to show mastery of a technique, rather than creating a new one, just as many people here did around 2 years ago [I did check - please do correct me if I’m wrong!]. As for the story… well, I hope you enjoy it Though there were reasons here, I do need to try and cut down on dialogues, I reckon? No worries, next part is definitely shorter! More Pics [the house too] All C&C more than welcome! Thanks for reading/watching! ^^
  10. Well then guys, the wait was long enough, but here we go! Please allow me to present my very first build for GoH as well as the first chapter of Laesonar’s * adventures: Unexpected Encounters [Part 1]. * For those who don’t know: this is my 5th MOC ever --> all C&C are most welcome! ^^ As for the MOC: I’m obviously working on landscape, especially terrain and trees. See more pics in my Flickr album: Encounters 1 UoP credits: I feel like I can claim credits for the ‘classical’ trees [the big ones with brown and tan trunk - Landscaping, Trees, only one type out of the 3 required]. On the other hand, I’m not satisfied with the design of those ‘fir’ trees, so any suggestions on how to improve them is encouraged. As for the photography/editing: it’s my first attempt at doing something more than just ‘taking a pic’. Comments will be most useful for me to learn (I’ve got no camera, just a Lumia phone) – if you feel like giving advice, do check all pics on Flickr, I’ve posted few questions there As for the story: again, it’s my first attempt and, being the first chapter, is a bit lengthy – I hope you enjoy anyways and I promise: next time it’ll be shorter Thanks for reading/watching! ^^ Laesonar - Episode 1 Unexpected Encounters – Part 1 “Nice and fresh, yes. Hmm, such nice and fresh air.. Really fresh.. How is it so fresh? I did close the window last night. What is.. ?!” Laesonar opened his eyes. He was laying down, supine. He could now see the green tree tops far above. Under his body, something vaguely soft, yet definitely not his bed. Some rustles, birds singing, the fresh air of a forest. “Where am I??” He sat up, looking around. Only few rays of sunlight were reaching down to the humid soil, cutting through the dense foliage of the tree tops. Up there, leaves and branches were fluttering gently in the morning breeze, while the air of the deep forest underneath was rather still, yet rather nice and fresh, indeed... “My, my.. Now what has happened this time? I remember going to bed last night in the tree house.. The wizard was smoking his pipe and I said Good Night..” He was worried: he looked around and listened harder. “Only my sleeping trousers. This confirms I was in bed after all.. But wait, my katanas are here? What on earth.. ??” He stood up, picked up the katanas and whirled them with a quick movement of the wrist – they were undoubtedly his own. Incredulous, he looked into the forest and felt lost. The sensation made him feel childish, to which he quickly reacted: “Well then, let me see. I have no idea where I am and no idea how I got here. Has my memory just got even worse? I do remember my training with the wizard, as well as the tree house with the garden, right in the middle of.. ? Oh great!” He couldn’t remember the name. He felt angry, becoming then resolute. “Very well then, not much I can do about it. So, this looks like a path, the moss indicates the North.. Hmm, I do feel a bit thirsty so first things first: let’s find a river or.. Hang on. Something is coming. Hmm.. two ‘something’, from two different directions. What could it be? A nymph perhaps? A nice forest maiden?” He smiled, passing a hand through his hair. He cleared his throat and listened harder: “Hmm, no ladies, I’m afraid. Three men instead, one is heavier than the other two. And what do we have this way? It’s faster, so it’s going to be here first. Oh my, horse hoofs, yet lighter than a horse.. could it be.. a goat?! Hang on, a goat.. on two legs?!” The thought amused him and his sense of adventure suddenly spiked – he felt serene now. He shook some leaves off himself, wielded his katanas and waited. He could see him now: a middle-aged faun armed with a tomahawk was walking quickly uphill towards him. Noticing Laesonar, the faun stopped for a moment and looked around quickly, then stared at him. He frowned, then smiled sarcastically, whirling his weapon and carrying on walking, just a little slower than before. Laesonar: “Smiling, uh? That’s the spirit! I mean, after all he’s just seen an armed half-naked half-elf all alone in the middle of a forest!” Again, he felt amused. “So, let’s see: an experienced fighter, quick and rather strong. I might even like the guy! Only.. Oh man he’s ugly.. !” Laesonar: “Good morning, good sir. I was wondering if you could please point me in the direction of a river, if it isn’t too much trouble.” The faun, smiling, nodding once in agreement: “Good morning to you. I happen to come exactly from a small river. Just follow the path. But please allow me a question: how do you happen to be in this area, this early in the morning?” Laesonar, nodding: “Now, THAT, good sir, is something I’d really like to know myself.” He replied, raising his eyebrow. The faun’s sarcastic smile turned into a sarcastic grin, to which Laesonar reacted by grinning in the same way, in amusement: “Yes, the guy definitely has the spirit!” However, he focused on the other approaching steps: he could now hear a light clang. Thus, he became serious. Laesonar: “Say, do you happen to know this area? Do you know whether small groups of armed men are in the habit of passing by?” The faun turned serious as well and frowned: “They do, actually. And to my knowledge, there’s none that I particularly like, I’m afraid.” They waited shortly: three armed men, displaying unknown heraldry, popped out right in the middle of the two from behind a big rock formation. They were all startled, and immediately unsheathed their weapons, bearing their teeth. Laesonar: “So, the big one is kind of strong, yet slow. The swordsman just average. As for the archer, he’s getting too close: he doesn’t have a clue.” The big man shouted: “Both of you, drop your weapons now and surrender!” Laesonar, looking up to the sky: “Surrender to what? And why? And who are you?” The big man shouted: “You lower creatures have no right to question anything at all! Drop your weapons now and none will be hurt!” Laesonar, getting irritated: “Lower creatures?! Someone is lacking respect here, which does not bode well for..” The big man interrupted him, still shouting: “You think you’re allowed to an opinion?? A half-goat and a bastard elf! Haha! What a joke! You will just serve as slaves.. ?” He couldn’t finish as Laesonar didn’t think about it twice. The archer had got too close - he jumped and slayed him with a single hit. He then jumped towards the swordsman, who tried to hit, but he dodged easily and beheaded him. The big man screamed and attacked with his heavy mace: Laesonar was right on time to use both katanas to block the hit right over his head, shaking slightly. Laesonar: “Well, he has strength after all.. Now let’s see if I can..” He saw something flying towards the man’s back, who screamed in pain and dropped dead. Laesonar managed to step aside right before the blood overflowing from the man’s mouth could touch him. The unidentified flying object was, indeed, the faun’s tomahawk – he was still standing in the same position. They looked at each other and smiled slightly. Laesonar: “Well, I didn’t think you’d do that.” The faun: “I could say the same.” Laesonar: “Eh, what can I say, I hate people when they’re not polite!” They grinned again at each other, in agreement. The faun approached and picked up his weapon. The faun: “I must say, your agility is rather impressive” He gave his hand to Laesonar: “My name is Ogrik.” Laesonar, shaking the faun’s hand: “Ogrik? Really? But you are no ogre.” Ogrik, chuckling: “Hehe, what can I say.. And you are.. ?” Laesonar: “Oh, how rude of me! My name’s Laesonar.” Ogrik, smiling: “Laesonar? Why? I mean, your enemies do have lesions after meeting you, I can tell. But you have no idea where we are, do you? So isn’t it rather you having a lesion? No offence meant..” Laesonar, smiling back: “None taken. And well, both, I suppose.” Ep. 2