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Found 23 results

  1. Exetrius Saga Chapter 1-15: 16: I found something! Episode 17: Grave Discovery Somewhere in the south of the Desert lands, sometime in between the Kaliphlinian Civil war and the recent Civil war of Nocturnus... Some fifty meters from the mana pool, there was a stack of three stone blocks. Upon closer investigation, there was nothing special to them. It did not seem to be part of a ruin, either. Stenran suggested it could be a benchmark, which made perfect sense, given how their guide warned them for the thick fog that may appear every once in a while. The four travelers headed in the direction of the stones. More benchmarks followed. They found a water well, the remains of a cultivated field and a collection of ruined houses, burnt pieces of wood and pottery shards that lay scattered around the place. Plunderings. They discovered something remarkable on the cemetery: aside from the variety of gravestones, twenty-two stacks of stones, consisting of three each, seemed to have been added last. Next to that last stack, the sand grinded a bit, as if there was a hard surface underneath. Sirius "There is something here, I can feel it." He unearthed a heavy tombstone. "I'm going to shatter it with an arcane shock, gentlemen, take cover!" The stone crumbled and revealed a stairway underneath. Sirius told the others to stay outside until the coast was clear. He descended. There was a short hallway that lead up to a single room. He cast a light spell and entered cautiously. He looked around. For a tomb of these proportions, the possessions to be taken to the hereafter looked rather modest. However, above the grave in the back, he saw something that gave him goosebumps. This tomb didn't belong to an ordinary person! Sirius "Could this be...?" While he came closer to the artifact he stepped on a tile and felt a slight shock. "Dang it!" Water gushed out of a barrel and engulfed his head. Scooping away the water with his hands didn't work. The tried to scream, but his words didn't leave the bubble. He wanted to go to the exit, but he could hardly see where he was. He was about to drown, in the desert, by flying water... this wizard had a sense of humour, darn him! Kestero (Samurai guard) "... Sirius, are you there? Sirius Centario!" In a flash, the samurai froze the jet of water and the water bubble with his enchanted katana. Sirius "Buhugh hugh! ... I am grateful for that, Kestero, I owe you." Kestero "It is my duty, Sir. Let it be a lesson." After that, Sirius disabled the trap spell and reached for what he had been after.. .. the lost water runes of Kaliphlin! Sirius "Father, I have not failed you! I will bring you water magic, for the glory of Zotharith! Let us head home!" To be continued.... Hi guys! Third time's a charm: Sirius Centario, the mystery man, has been fully revealed! I hope you enjoyed the read and the scenes! C&C appreciated!
  2. Exetrius Saga Chapter 1-15: Episode 16: I found something! Somewhere in the southwest of the Desert lands, sometime in between the Kaliphlinian Civil war and the recent Civil war of Nocturnus... The village where they had arrived a few days ago was, fortunately, home to a navigator who was willing to guide the Zotharian travelers. In a day's time, he led them towards a region of the desert that was said to harbor ruins of mining activities. Being frank with his clients however, he admitted that he had never seen the ruins on a reliable map or in a trustworthy travel journal. Nevertheless, the navigator was of great help and the desert they found themselves in looked like it had the potential to hide something they were searching for. At the break of day, their guide returned to his village. Not long after they had resumed their exploration, Stenran spotted the remnants of a road, but it didn't seem to go beyond the foothill in front of him. He went ahead of the others to check. As he walked up the slope, a tiny structure emerged from behind the edge. On top, Stenran gazed into the shallow pit... Stenran "Master Sirius! I found something!" Sirius "It better not be another one of those so-called 'rare' cactus species of yours, because I've seen enough of those..." Stenran "What, Sir?" Sirius "Nevermind. I'm coming! What have you found, let me see?" Sirius "Ah, look at that! Not as big of a discovery as I had hoped, but this is quite impressive, Stenran. Judging by the surroundings, this mana pool must have been here for a long time." Stenran "Any chance that we could break out the crystal?" Sirius "Of course not, haven't you noticed how well-maintained this one is? There must be some mage around who is depending on it. Take a step back, I'm going to test if it is functional." To be continued.... in the next episode: Grave Discovery Hello guildies! Sorry that it took so long, I hope you like it! The build for the next episode is already done and photographed, so it won't take another few months. Comments & criticism appreciated!
  3. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) 11: Festival of the Ranks (part 3) 12: The ranks are out! 13: Taking a stand, for Nocturnus! 14: Ride through Nocturnus Episode 15: Refreshment at the lavoir Somewhere in the southwest of the Desert lands, sometime in between the Kaliphlinian Civil war and the recent Civil war of Nocturnus... It felt like he was carrying half of the deserts that they had been exploring for lord know how many days. It was everywhere; on his back, between his toes, in his neck, in his nose... Sand, dust! Especially the last week, which they had spent crossing yet another sea of dunes, it was annoying Stenran to no end. Being a military scout, he was always looking for adventure in the landscape; an unusual rock formation, a hidden cave entrance, ruins of buildings lost to time, but they hadn't found anything of the sort for days straight. Bored and boiled, he headed to the top of the next dune. After so long, it seemed like his eyes had to adjust to the collection of square shapes, but there it lay in front of him: a village! With more joy than energy to express it, he reported to the others, then rolled down towards salvation. There was quite a bit of life in the streets. Women were chatting, children and older folk were sitting in the shade, playing some games. In the distance, Stenran spotted a lavoir. The thought of running water alone... As he walked down the narrow street, the carefree chatter made place for a slightly uneasy calm. He could feel the curious, yet somewhat hostile stares from all around him. He had almost forgotten about the sheathed katana on his side and the armour he was wearing. He was confronted by the guard of the lavoir. "Foreign traveller! By order of the Major, you are only allowed to refill your water flask! This town's public water sources are limited." Aside from the strict tone, the guard kindly inquired what brought Stenran to this village. He replied that his master was searching for looking for the most unusual places of the Desert lands, which wasn't far from the truth, honestly. One of his companions joined him. The lively street noises muffled once again. Like in many other places they had visited, his aura left a deep impression. The master, the man he had accompanied, guided and admired for more than a year now, entered the square. All attention was focussed on this graceful, auspicious and charismatic figure. He walked up to the lavoir and quietly started washing his face, hands and feet. Then, he turned to the woman who had been sitting on the bench. "M'lady, would mind telling me where we may find a navigator for this region?" To be continued.... in the next episode: I found something! Hello! I hope you are excited to learn more about this mysterious person, I've been waiting to indroduce him since November last year. Stay tuned! It was fun to do another Kali build, also using a load of newly acquired, much-needed, round tiles. Of course, I'd be glad to receive your comments & criticism!
  4. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) 11: Festival of the Ranks (part 3) 12: The ranks are out! 13: Taking a stand, for Nocturnus! Episode 14: Ride through Nocturnus Several weeks have past since that fateful day; the day the Council decided to rebel against the Black Spire, by rejecting Lord Raavage's forceful request to deliver 500 soldiers. Furthermore, on that day, Onicius had vowed that he would turn Zotharith into the strongest Resistance stronghold. The next day, Damascian, messenger and knight of the sky, set off to summon Zotharith's wandering wizards and warriors, from every corner of Nocturnus. (Full story here) The message was simple and the purpose was clear: "You are ordered to abandon your mission and return to Zotharith at once, to defend headquarters." Within two weeks, every major force of the upper ranks had been notified. In the meantime, Onicius temporarily transferred his duties of ruling the city to his son Exetrius, for the first time ever, assisted by Zeruko Urima. He descended into the underground research vault, where he locked himself in to complete the Arcane Regulation Core (ARC), intended to play a key role in Zotharith's defense. (Full story here) Among the wandering warriors, was Murgon the Dragonslayer. He had come from a mission at the very north of the Darklands. Travelling on horseback, the road back had been long and exhausting, but finally he entered the familiar autumnal forests of the valley that surrounds Zotharith. Apparently, his brown traveling companion started to smell the stables, as it suddenly accelerated from walking pace to a full gallop. After this turn in the road, they would be greeted with the sight of the watchtower, at the edge of the city... Almost there, home is waiting for us around the corner! To be continued.... in the next episode: Refreshment at the lavoir Hello GoH, I'm back with a build! I still have heaps of characters to introduce, so here is at least one of them. Hopefully, you don't mind the little recap of lore that appeared in my Challenge V entries. Be sure to give C&C, it's always appreciated! Oh, and the obligatory overview shot:
  5. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) 11: Festival of the Ranks (part 3) 12: The ranks are out! Episode 13: Taking a stand, for Nocturnus! Three weeks ago, a messenger from the west brought the word of the new heir of Cedrica to Zotharith. The prevailing mood was positive, but some warrior folk and a couple of small bounty hunters groups were clearly displeased with the unfaithfulness to the rightful ruler of the land, Lord Raavage. His influence in Zotharith had been minor up to this point, since its existence had been little known by the non-magical society. That is bound to change, for a city that is continuously growing in size, prosperity and strength... In the heart of the city hall, also known as Zotharith Headquarters, Onicius was leading a periodic council gathering. Onicius Minister of the Department of Magic, please fill me in on the latest developments of the crystal reserves. Have the stocks recovered from Festival of the Ranks yet? Durkon (Minister) Your highness! The total volume of crystals is exceeding the last recorded level, before the Festival of the Ranks, by one fifth. However, two thirds of this total volume consists of mere red crystals. I estimate that the total mana capacity will be around 62.500 equivalent spells, which is a decrease of two fifths. On a more positive note, we once again created purple crystals, which means that it should be possible to reach the power level of... Onicius I assume the matter is urgent? Damascian (Messenger) Sir! My apologies for interrupting the Council. In the town of Carakath, a dark figure, who claimed to be an archmage of the Black Spire, gave me this letter. I heard they have been recruiting lately... Onicius Thank you for your duties, Damascian, take a seat. As for the rest of this council gathering, we will continue at a later time, you are dismissed! The councillors quietly left the room. Onicius took the letter and looked at the seal, it was genuine... He went into cold sweat, put the letter aside for a moment. He took a deep breath, opened it and started reading. "... By order of His Majesty, Lord Raavage, rightful Ruler of all Nocturnus, each settlement in the Darklands is obligated to send armed and trained troops on His call. ... Zotharith is requested to deliver an army of 500 worthy men, trained and equipped. ... Any resistance shall be obliterated under His own hands. Hail Nocturnus!" It was as he feared... Onicius Damascian, summon the Order of Zotharith, whoever is in the city right now! General Zeruko, Taskmaster, 1st and 2nd Division commanders, Lady Asagrim, Ryo, my son, wherever he is hanging out these days... Also, I want Durkon to be chronicler of this gathering. ... This is of utmost importance, be quick! Two hours later, everyone had assembled in the overcrowded conference room. Onicius recited the letter. After the tumult had subsided, he continued. Onicius My esteemed fellow wizards in the Order of Zotharith, gentlemen, ladies. Lend me your wisdom! Today's decisions will inevitably carve out our fates, even that of the city itself. Give me a piece of mind. Zeruko was the first to speak. Zeruko First of all, an army of 500 strong is ridiculous! Theoretically, we would have enough men, but what would that mean for the city? Farmers, tradesmen, fishermen; they would become soldiers, but soldiers don't feed themselves. Kira Derisquar How about the equipment: helmets, chestplates, swords... iron, barracks, everything! Our resources are gravely insufficient to support an army that large, am I wrong? Ryo Kokoro Can't you use magic for that or something? Zeruko Look kid, it's not that simple. You need... The discussion was getting out of hand and everyone was talking at the same time. Onicius SILENCE! ... Alright, continue. Exetrius Eh.. If I may say something? .. Let us start with our motives. Is there anything we can gain from having Lord Raavage as our ally? Zeruko Our motives? I suppose we want to save our pride, Zotharith, from complete devastation.. We built this city with our own hands, a place where we can all research the ways of magic to our hearts content and become powerful wizards! This is our home, is it not? We may not be rich, but we have powerful knowledge, which we must protect from falling into the wrong hands. Exetrius Then, is it right to entrust Raavage with this knowledge? Sooner or later he will certainly find out that the true power of Zotharith is magic, if he doesn't know already. Deliora Asagrim Lord Raavage already holds a vast amount of power, but he craves for more. In his vanity, he would slay anything and everything that stands up to his ultimate dominance. Mark my words: Raavage will take down his strongest allies, one by one. It happened to Covenant Lord Anfauglir, and the same fate will befall the others; the Algus, the Drow and eventually the Archmage Senurhem... It would happen to us as well. Onicius But, even if Raavage himself will try to take our power for himself, perhaps we can at least retrieve knowledge and power of his allies for our own benefit. Imagine the incredible advancements we could make, if we were to lay our fingers on Drow magic, or Algus... Deliora Asagrim With all due respect, Sir, but do you really think, there will still be a 'we' after our submission to the Spire? He will shatter our unity! When we are all on our own, what would happen to our ambitions? Our powerlessness as isolated individuals would break our spirit. Fear, despair and the terror of war will bring us to our knees, enslave us to the iron will of Raavage, until all that's left of us are shells without soul. Are we going to accept this rotten destiny? NO! We must join the Resistance! Onicius Thank you, Lady Asagrim. .... I have made up my mind. We shall protect our city, not only for our own sake, but for the fate of Nocturnus! Henceforth, I, Onicius Centario, Leader of the Order of Zotharith, will ensure that Zotharith becomes the most powerful Resistance stronghold of Nocturnus! All Hail Zotharith! Hail the Resistance! Hail Nocturnus! To be continued.... in the next episode: Ride through Nocturnus Hello everyone, here's a pretty small MOC with a pretty big story! Altogether, it took me long enough, so I hope you enjoy! Anyway, now that the epic revelation is done, I can finally do my Cat. A: Rider build without spoiling the fun. Thank you for viewing/reading, C&C appreciated! Oh, I also took an overview shot, I know some of you can appreciate :
  6. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) 11: Festival of the Ranks (part 3) Episode 12: The ranks are out! A month had past since the Festival of the Ranks took place. The celebration, which had fulfilled its purpose of answering the cravings for leisure of the city folk, was over. Revitalized, the people of Zotharith had slipped back into their usual, daily rhythms. The warriors and mages, on the other hand, had been less at ease, as the new rankings had not yet been established. Not all of them were able to participate in the festival's battles. Some were desperate to attract the attention of the Zotharian elite and prove their strength; recklessly accepting tasks beyond their capabilities and getting into unrequested duels with strong fighters. However, the occurrence of these events came to an end, as on this day, the new ranks were revealed. Following tradition, the 30 highest-ranked wizards and warriors were announced at the city square, by none other than Zeruko Urima. Exetrius attended the ceremony, like just about any other inhabitant of the city. Seeing the tables turn at the very top is always exciting! Afterwards, he went to the town hall, to check out the complete rankings. It turned out that he had climbed four places on the mage ranking, form 43rd to 39th, despite the fact that he hadn't won a magic combat match during the festival. He had also established a warrior rank: 121st place, which was a little underwhelming... Meanwhile, Yukino climbed an whopping 17 places, obtaining the 55th warrior rank. He went home, packed a bag, and set off for an afternoon training session in the forest, to get some piece of mind. On his way out of the city, Enzan Armafur, whom he had become friends with, caught up to him. Of course, there were important matters to discuss... Enzan Dude, have you seen Kira Derisquar today? She's hot! Exetrius Enzan, we've talked about this... But I'll tell you what's hot: the flames of my new spell, it's on fire! I'll show you in a moment. Enzan Hah, bring it on, I'll absorb them and fire them back at you and I will beat you! Exetrius Sure, I bet you can't! Afterall, I'm ranked more then ten places above you! Enzan You're pushing your luck... To be continued.... in the next episode: Taking a stand, for Nocturnus! Hi all, it's been a while since I've done a GoH build! I'm sorry that the build is unrelated to the story, but I've been wanting to physically expand the city of Zotharith, while I also really needed some story progression. This watchtower is found at the edge of the city, near the forest. More pictures can be found on my Flickr, thank you for viewing! As always, C&C appreciated!
  7. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) Episode 11: Festival of the Ranks (part 3) It is the seventh day of the festival. About three hundred battles have taken place in the arena over the course of the last six days, with day six for resting, recovering and - for those who were still able to - celebrating. The city council had made sure that this year's party was extra grand, compromising a triathlon across the city, a two-course buffet for all of Zotharith and finally, a magical arts and fireworks contest. In addition, many pubs were offering free booze to the participants, which might have been the reason for the half-empty arena the following morning... Whatever the case, Exetrius wasn't bothered by the lack of crowd at all. The loud folk was absent. A healthy dose of quietness and suspense filled the atmosphere; perfect conditions for concentrating on what would probably be his last chance at a good battle. In his arrogance, he had lost his first fight in the blink of an eye. Even though the team fight had turned out better than expected, especially considering it was only his second fight for the regular combat ranking, it would not effect his rank as a mage. There would simply be no room for another blunder; the only way of compensating the first match and maintaining his upper middle class status was through the upcoming fight. He'd better go for it! One thing was, probably, in his favour: it was already day seven. The newbies, lower-ranked classes and those in the intermediate regions had all had their battles. Now, a whole different league was about to take the stage. Exetrius was, apparently, deemed worthy enough to enter this tiny pool dominated by big and dangerous fish, like taskforce commanders, dragon slayers and sub-elite sorcerers. If he could win against one of them... Exetrius and his opponent entered the battlefield. Like his first rival, this.. mysterious character did not have a visible weapon, which implied that he/she/it either had spells bound to the body, or integrated in the clothing and armour. Consequently, his opponent would always have an advantage in mobility, due to having both hands free. On the other hand, spells bound to cloth and skin are vulnerable, because they could be rendered useless by a small rupture or wound. He decided that he would start with a few energy blasts as a speed test. "My son, you might as well give up right at this moment, if this is the only technique you are going to use against him." Onicius thought. Exetrius was struggling hard to keep his rival at a distance. Whatever his opponent was; beast, human, or something in between, it was incredibly fast. He had never seen anyone with this level of skill in mobility and strength enhancing magic. It was using the sides of the arena to gain extra speed forward, at an increasing pace. Exetrius started to loose track, so he created an pillar under his feet to get an overview. Within seconds, his rival was blasting right towards him. This was the chance he had been waiting for: a full-frontal charge in midair, nowhere to go. He wouldn't be able to dodge this! A giant rock boulder shot straight out of the ground, towards his rival. But, he soon came to realize that something was not right... His confidence was turned into outright fear, as his opponent's right leg started emitting a powerful green glow, and it was aiming right for the boulder! The devastating impact of the kick blew the giant rock to smithereens, together with all Exetrius' hopes of standing a chance against this monster... ..who, by the way, appeared to be surprisingly friendly. This would be as far as it would go, this year. He would stronger next time around! For now, all he could do was waiting for his results, praying that he would not drop down into the lower ranks again... To be continued.... in the next episode: The ranks are out! So, I guess that concludes the Festival of the Ranks. I was planning to have a few more exciting battles with interesting characters, but school has started and a lot of other contests suddenly showed up, so those will be saved for another time then. I hope you enjoyed anyway. This build is also a CBC 2016 entry in the category "The Final Duel". Once again, if you feel like creating a little magic action scene related to this festival, go right ahead! C&C is always appreciated!
  8. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) Episode 10: Festival of the Ranks (part 2) Day three of the festival, early afternoon. Exetrius was called out to the battlefield for his first magic battle. His heart skipped a beat and let out a sigh of relief. However, his little moment of joy was soon overruled by nervousness. As he walked through the stands, to the entrance of the battle arena, he felt hundreds of gazes upon him. To him, the overwhelming cheering meant one thing: they were expecting a good fight; they wanted to see him win! But, could he really live up to this? Would he be able to display the same progress as he did in his training, in front of all these people? On the bottom of the ladder, climbing five places in the ranks (his current objective) is a walk in the park. But, in the middle to upper class, the competition is very tough. Exetrius looked up from the projection of his anxious thoughts. Time to man up and focus! And then, his challenger appeared before him... He was struggling hard not to laugh. This was definitely the most plain looking chap he had ever seen! It seemed as if there was simply not a single thing going in that head of his. The announcer told he was rankless, even. Seriously, what kind of joke was this!? How did he even get in the middleclass for his first battle? There must have been some sort of mistake! Furthermore, the referee requested Exetrius to remove his armour and head gear. Fair enough, this won't last long either way, he thought... Exetrius was right indeed. The match was over before he even knew what hit him! He got beaten with a single punch... such incredible power... He swore that he wouldn't judge a book by its cover ever again. Curse him! He got on his feet and faltered back to the stands, hoping that his next fight wouldn't come too soon. A few battles later, it was Enzan's turn again. His rival was, judging from the insignia on his robes, a Kaliphlinian fire mage. This would be a very important test. They chivalrously shook hands and wished each other the best of luck. The fire mage uttered a spell, after which Enzan found himself running around the arena, chased by a flaming whip. Strangely enough, the flame only seemed to come after his right hand. Suddenly, he came to the realization that his act of chivalry was where he got tricked. During the handshake, his opponent must have transferred a magical mark onto his hand so he became target of the spell. Sly move... Luckily, the marker could be dispelled quite easily. Now, his rival had to switch to manual coordination of the attacks. This bought Enzan a little bit of time, which he used to activate the fire absorption spell on his staff. He turned around, took aim... ... and fired the energy of the flames right back at their caster in a powerful blast. Another victory for Enzan. Plenty of interesting duels took place afterwards. The last battle of the day was a much anticipated one: a clash between the Order of Zotharith's taskforce of warriors and ninja assassins, and the city's largest independent alliance of bounty hunters. The stakes of honour were high, for both both parties. The arena was trembling to its foundation under the crowd's massive excitement, generating a noise that was hardly bearable. It turned out that the organization had chosen representatives from the different hierarchical levels of each side. And so, Exetrius ended up alongside his sister and Commander Kira Derisquar, as the weakest member of the team. The enemy team consisted of the leader of the alliance, wielding two katanas and sporting a straw hat, as seen on the insignia of all members. Despite being their leader, he was at the greatest disadvantage of the team, because his strenght relied mostly on his skills with his enchanted katanas, which had been replaced by unenchanted ones for this regular combat battle. The other two seemed to be average fighters. If nothing else, the girl attracted lots of attention, mostly that of the audience. Commander Derisquar quickly came up with a strategy: she would fight the leader, Exetrius would take on the girl and Yukino would switch between defending her brother from the boy and attacking the girl. The strategy worked out more or less as planned. In a fierce battle, they gained the upper hand. And when Yukino managed to take the boy down, the fate of the battle was almost sealed. Exetrius responded by directing his attention towards the leader, who was still being attacked by the commander, leaving the girl to his sister. Together, Exetrius and the Derisquar cornered the enemy leader, directly under the noses of Onicius Centario and Zeruko Urima. Check. Mate. To be continued.... in part 3 Hello there, here is the second part of the Festival of the ranks, and there is still more to come! I'm well aware that there is still no overview of the entire build, so therefore I suggest to wait patiently and check out the next episode. Since many of you thought the last episode ended rather soon, I have made this one longer, I hope you enjoy it! C&C always appreciated! (Oh, btw: someone on Flickr pointed out that the fist is from a right hand, instead of a left one. My fault...)
  9. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone 8: Supplies Arrive! Episode 9: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) The announcement was made. The word spread quicker than wildfire: within an hour, all of Zotharith was bursting with life again! Warriors, mages, kids, trainers; everyone was trembling with excitement for the start of the festival. Large crowds were heading towards the public arena to sign up for the event and to meet other participants to form teams. There was only one day to sign up this time around, but luckily, Exetrius and Yukino (his sister) found their names on the list of participants the next day. A guide to the festival It's the first day of the festival. The cheering crowd in the arena went silent as soon as Zeruko Urima, first ranked user of magic in the Order of Zotharith, entered the arena. He silently walked along the edges of the rectangular battlefield, taking in the public carefully. After he had made his round, he stood still and started his introduction speech. Zeruko "Welcome to the seventh annual Festival of the Ranks [...] The arena provides all the arcane energy you need, as well as the materials for alchemists. [...] Most important rules: Killing of your opponent, inflicting permanent damage on your opponent and the use of soul magic on your opponent are strictly forbidden. This festival serves as a way of pushing your own limits, not those of others. We, as Zotharians, will use this internal conflict in order to emerge as greater force in the end! Therefore, I ask you: defeat your comrades, so we will all become stronger!" The crowd roared and applauded after these words. And then, the first duels started. Generally, the fights between lower-ranked fighters are the first to take place. After twenty-something battles, it was Yukino's turn. She was up against one of the sabre-tooth tigre assassins that her brother encountered in the forest, while training. She completely outmatched him, easily blocking the sword attack with her massive club and knocking him down with a decisive three-hit combination. Somewhat later, yet-to-be-ranked Enzan Armafur had his first duel. Soon, it became clear that his opponent was quite new to magic. The way he smiled at his (supposedly new) staff, and the overexcited expression already made Enzan suspect something like that. He wielded a simple energy magic staff. His technique was seated upon the "aim - fire - did I hit anything?" principle. Enzan wasn't very impressed. He dodged a few beams.. .. and effortlessly deflected the next. He charged forward, but then the referee declared that the match was over. Easy win. To be continued.... in part 2 Hi guys, there it is, finally! The Festival of the Ranks has kicked off! I would like to invite you to create a little battle scene (duel/team fight, magic/regular, it's up to you) for this festival, if you feel like it. Of course you can tell me below or PM me about it! Anyway, more to come. Btw, the wall of text under the spoiler tag is kind of essential, I put it there to not scare you away directly. Also, I renamed Exetrius sister to Yukino (previously 'Rozi'), sorry about that, I will try to avoid such thing in the future.
  10. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters 7: Taking the Runestone Episode 8: Supplies arrive! Onicius was worn down by the negative energy that had suppressed his spirit for past weeks. For more than a month, the city had been growing more gloomy with every day that passed. The ongoing suspense for the announcement of the postponed Festival of the Ranks was getting people on edge; sparking fights in the pubs and streets with increasing frequency, as well as a growing aggression towards the Zotharith elite. Nobody knew why the festival was postponed in the first place, let alone if it was still going to happen. Meanwhile, only very few tasks were handed out, hinting that the festival could be imminent... The big problem was: the city management was pending the arrival of supplies. The silent starting point of the troublesome events was last winter, when the Algus invaded the Mitgardia. Onicius decided upon an expedition to the North, joined by three other members of the Zotharith elite. In the end, due to rushed calculations and inefficient stocktaking, a lot of supplies were wasted during the expedition. In addition, a third of Zotharith's entire magic energy supply was depleted within seconds during the big fight in which Garufust was defeated. However, the problems arose some time after Onicius returned. While he and others were preoccupied with housing, observing and feeding the newly acquired dragon Fulminante - which was a stock-draining operation in itself - the city was slowly starting to run low on food for it's citizens. To make matters worse, the cargo carriages that had been sent to Kaliphlin to get goods in order to fix this problem turned out to have been plundered on their way back to Nocturnus, leaving Onicius as leader of Zotharith with empty hands and a head full of worries. And because all of this happened under the surface, the city was enthusiastically training for the Festival of the Ranks, thereby accelerating the consumption of food and magic energy... Actions were required to keep the city from hitting a major crisis, within a very short time. Therefor, Onicius scaled up the operation: bigger carriages, stronger guards and the mission to acquire all goods at any price needed to revitalize the city stocks and citizens! And so, he deployed a vessel that had brought Nocturnus a tasteful meal once before, when it was part of the Touring Dragon Buffet. After he sent this second caravan to Kaliphlin, another long and anxious wait began. At dawn, after yet another sleepless night, the third day after the expected day of return, Onicius' sorrowful stare directed once more to the valley in the west. But then, when his eyes had adjusted to the distance, he saw it: the caravan, loaded with goods, had finally returned!! The heaviest cargo vessel of the caravan, previously used to transport a dragon during the Touring Dragon Buffet. Loaded with grains, berries, whines, beers, salted meat, cheese, carrots and tons of other surprising goods... ... of which a secret stash of high-capacity mana crystals! I should give the one that picked all these goods a promotion, Onicius thought. He found out that, to his great surprise, the person responsible for that was Enzan Armafur, son of late Rambar Armafur (who was involved in the Carakath operation). The young man seemed like a strong, cunning chap, who wished to become a wizard pupil in the Order of Zotharith. Onicius did not hesitate to grant Enzan admission to the Order. As soon as the caravan had unloaded, the administration was done and the stocks had been replenished, Onicius let out a breath of relief. Now, it was finally time, to officially announce the seventh edition of the annual Festival of the Ranks! To be continued.... in the next episode: Festival of the Ranks (part 1) Edit: additional pictures: Hello folks, here's a new episode, I hope you enjoyed! It was harder than I thought to fill up an old build with new stuff, but it was a nice building exercise. Higher quality pictures can be found on my Flickr. C&C appreciated, as always!
  11. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner 6: Attack of the Hunters Episode 7: Taking the Runestone Exetrius looked down at the clouds that obscured the valley beneath him. Up here, on the barren mountain ridge, it was a quiet and sunny day and the view was absolutely breathtaking. He didn't come here at leisure, though. He was on his way to a special mana collector, on top of an isolated peak. The last time he came to this place, the air filled with snow and a howling, freezing wind. The device was installed there almost twenty years ago, by one of the wizards of Zotharith. It passively converts the power of the strong winds into arcane energy, which is then stored in the runestone. It took several years to charge this rune crystal up to its full capacity, so it holds a vast amount of power. It's protected by a magic seal, so only those that have the complementary spell have access to this source. The protection is needed because mana is a scarce commodity; vital to all users of magic, but few of them have the skills to obtain it themselves. Zotharith holds a valuable share in the market of runes and mana crystals, but most of its wizards are free to use sources like this one to replenish their mana crystals or to forge runes. That's what Exetrius did last time, on that cold winter day. However, today was different. He had been given an important job by the taskmaster this time: taking the runestone back to headquarters. He had been instructed to avoid a fracture or scattering at all costs, since that could release all the trapped energy in one huge explosion... The reason why it had to be returned was, as usual, not stated. But, since the Festival of the Ranks had been postponed for an unknown period of time due to "insufficient supplies", there was probably a shortage of arcane energy. He stood right under the peak, the easy, carefree part of his trip was over. Now it was up to Exetrius to unlock the runestone from the installation and bring it home safely, without getting blown to smithereens... To be continued.... in the next episode: Supplies arrive! Hi everyone, thanks for looking at this new episode! The build was intended to be the scene of my character introduction when I joined GoH early June last year, but I never used it as such and had to break it down soon after I built it. You can find an overview picture here, on my Flickr. Nonetheless, C&C is greatly appreciated!
  12. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend Episode 5: Family Dinner While testing new magic spells against opponents that actually rival your own strength is fun, it can’t compare to the pleasure of coming home after the job has been done, Onicius thought. The North of Mitgardia had been horribly cold and the way back wasn’t any better. Four days of almost continuous flight, through freezing winds, on the back of the reborn and therefore unpredictable dragon Fulminante. At the end of the journey, they descended from the clouds and were embraced by cushion of warm air. Swooshing through the valleys that lead to Zotharith; what a fantastic feeling… Katara Musei-Centario (mother) "Can I offer you the best of wine of the house, my dear?" The Centarios celebrate the reunion of the family with a festive dinner. Onicius reveals to his children the mysterious business adventure he had in the North, a story that took their breath away. Or maybe it's just the delicious rice meal that keeps them quiet... Exetrius reports his visit to aunt Alicia in the beautiful city of Kyrrath, and some other things he saw along the road. Onicius Centario "... Rambar Armafur, you say!? Are you absolutely sure that's what it read, my son? ..." Yukino, Exetrius' sister, chats with her mother about the martial arts training she had and gets updated about the latest news that has been carried to Zotharith from all across Nocturnus in the course of the last couple of months. Onicius Centario "Who wants a slice of mother's olive bread?" And the feast went on for several hours. However, the days of relaxation would be over quickly, since the Festival of the Ranks kicks off in only two weeks. Exetrius is determined to climb at least five places on the boards this year, but therefore he should start training shortly! To be continued.... in the next episode: Attack of the Hunters Yay for filler episodes! A fun build to do and this time I had some sort of infinity backdrop, which made editing a lot more pleasant. More colour corrections then usual, due to bad lighting. Character previews of the next episodes can be found on my Flickr, feel free to have a look. Thanks for reading/viewing, C&C much appreciated, as always!
  13. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade 4: Subjection of a legend 5: Family Dinner Episode 6: Attack of the Hunters Exetrius was about to head home after a day of intensive magic skill training and physical activities in the hills near Carakath. Suddenly, they appeared out of nowhere, three of them, all dressed in camouflaged robes, their arms and faces wrapped in strips of grey cloth. Ice blue eyes and blinkering teeth, sharp claws and roars like those of big cats; unmistakably sabre-tooth tigre half-bloods. Fear struck him as he realized that his mana crystal was no more than a grain after his training! He fiercely hoped they were not up to something bad... Without a call of warning, one of them charged. He dodged and ran, it was his only option. Sure thing that he would loose in close combat against three wildcats! He regretted not having studied the principles of energy flow magic thoroughly. There were enough powerful spells engraved in his staff, if only he could find a source of energy... He kept running, but his muscles were starting to feel sore, they were trying to outrun his stamina. But then, a shard of energy magic theory popped up into his mind! He used the last bit of mana to activate the writer spell on his staff. (The writer spell enables the user to create another spell via hand gestures or speech, as opposed to physical writing) He uttered a very long sentence, after which the sharp edge of his staff started glowing faintly. Now he had to hold on a little longer... He could hear they were catching up to him, but it wasn't ready yet. To make matters worse, there was a dead end up ahead! They had driven him into a corner! He stopped and quickly turned around. The swing of this staff sent one of the rapiers, wielded by the front attacker, flying, into the bushes. Exetrius used the moment of confusion to prepare for the next attack. He spotted the archer just in time... He dodged the arrows and did a few steps backwards, onto the pile of rock debris that lay in front of a rock face. The front one got up and the archer switched to close combat. But were did the the third one go, and the fourth? Wait.. which fourth, his mind was fooling him! Yet, for an instant it felt like there was a fourth... He was finally ready to strike! One blow would be sufficient to activate his spell. He also localized the third enemy to his left, who had tried to sneak up on him from a vantage point. Just in time, a seat at the front row.. for the light show! Three.. two... one! The moment he charged, a female voice, coming from above, roared: "Brace yourself, it's coming!" The fourth was none other than Deliora Asagrim! However, the impact that followed was inescapable. Deliora "It's enough, Exetrius, don't harm 'em any further!" Exetrius "M'lady! What's the meaning of this!?" Deliora "Calm down, I'll explain." "I was just a little curious about the son of the incredibly powerful leader of Zotharith, the great Onicius. I've heard quite a lot of talk about you in the pubs, about your strenght.. your looks.. Purrrr. Anyway, I thought I should check you out myself. Therefore, I brought a few of my newest assassins in training to keep you entertained." Exetrius "Entertained?! Uhm, I mean, I knocked them out in the end, but.. By the way, how did you know the exact moment at which I cast my spell?" Deliora "I'm an expert in arcane magic flows, I can sense the energy levels and concentrations in my surroundings, naturally! Just as you can feel soul presences in your surroundings, isn't that right?" Exetrius "Uh, yes.. how..?" Deliora "Ha! Good luck with your training, just ask if you need my help! Let's head back, men. See you around, purrr.. Exetrius!" Exetrius "Uh.. bye, Miss Asagrim!" Was she being nice, or just mocking him? Ah heck, what was he thinking? She's probably older, certainly out of his league and, most of all, from a different species! He could use some help, though... To be continued.... in the next episode: Taking the Runestone Edit: Additional pictures: Hi everyone, I'm back! This was a challenging build due to all the odd angles. I had to revise it a couple of times, but I'm happy with the result. I put greater emphasis on action shots, story writing and character development this time. I hope you enjoyed, C&C always appreciated!
  14. Exetrius Saga Episode 1: Fallen leaf Exetrius was on his way to deliver a message from the organization he worked for to a client in Kyrrath. Why did they send out a mage for a job like this, he was wondering. As far as he knew, the route to the City of Purple was quite peaceful, for Nocturnian standards anyway... Maybe it had to do something with the client? The only thing he had gotten - as usual for this type of tasks - was the address and a rough description how to get there. Oh well, it didn't really bother him! This task gave him time to relax and an excuse to wander through colourful autumnal forests. It made him cheerful. He slowed down and stood still for a moment. There was a small trail of flattened stones deviating from the unpaved road. Looking through the trees, Exetrius could make out a rock face in the distance, in the direction where the path seemed to go. He figured it was time for a break, maybe there was a vantage point out there. A few minutes later, he saw a small cavern appear. As he came closer, he noticed something very peculiar: it was a cavernous grave... A faint beam of sun light fell on the grave, through a hole in the ceiling. Exetrius kneeled for the grave. In the stone, a text was carved. It read: Here rests Rambar Armafur ~ The man who came from Far Arms of steel, heart of gold Embracing the eternal silence ~ where he tranquility sought. He felt a certain sadness. This man was probably a lonely stranger, coming from far, no trace of family or friends on the stone... poor guy. Whatever the circumstances were, this man was a good person. He seemed to come to this place to find peace. Exetrius took a look around. Maybe he wanted to be burried here so he could share it with others? The thought delighted him. Exetrius paid his respects to the grave, turned around and slowly but steadily continued his journey. Read on, in the next episode: Message in Kyrrath Hi all, after a (too) long break, I'm back with a build! I wanted to make something autumn-themed, both in the literal and the figurative sense. I hope you like it, C&C always appreciated!
  15. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath 3: Equipment upgrade Episode 4: Subjection of a legend It was about a year ago, that the first signs of a stir in the land beyond the northern Mitgardian border appeared. It didn't take long before a wave of white-furred and -skinned creatures, the Algus, invaded Mitgardia and spread over the rest of Historica. At first, they appeared to be almost invincible; freezing everything in their path, invulnerable to fire magic and regular combat. But in the course of a few months, thanks to a whole array of different methods that were discovered to affect the Algus, most of them have been eliminated by now. After hearing the first rumors of the Algus, Onicius was intrigued by them. Nobody seemed to know anything more than what could be directly observed from the invaders. How does their freezing ability and incredible toughness work? Who is their leader? Where exactly did they come from? Most important of all: why did they attack, what is their goal? These were a few of the questions that kept him busy. Therefor, - only just after the Algus had started their invasion of Mitgardia - Onicius ordered a small group of skilled spies and assassins to gather as much intelligence as possible about them in the North and capturing a specimen, if possible. None of them returned. Four weeks after departure of the group, one was confirmed dead; a frosted body with two limbs torn off... It was decided that the Order of Zotharith would not meddle with any Algus business, unless absolutely necessary. Individual members taking action and rumors were the main sources of information for Onicius. He documented everything; from the latest innovations in Algus warfare, estimations of average cooling capacity, speed and body size, to their moving patterns on the map. He hypothesized that their abilities are intrinsic to their nature, but they must be the result of magic. What bothered him the most, was the fact that they didn't move as an organized unity at all: no common strategy, target area or direction, but yet, they started their invasion all at the same time. But then, after several months had passed, a member of the Order came with a piece of news that put the situation in a very different perspective... Apparently, a bloodthirsty dragon and it's wizard rider were terrorizing the Frozen Beyond, devouring hundreds of Algus. The creature, fearfully called "Nemesis of the Beyond", is growing in strength with every being it eats, some even claimed that it transforms when it does so. (other side of the story) With this information, Onicius immediately summoned the Zotharith elite. Plans were forged and a team was assembled, consisting of: Onicius Centario: Leader of the Order of Zotharith, legendary soul magic wizard, master in crypto magic and alchemy. (forms of magic) Zeruko Urima: Ranked #1 on the list of strongest wizards in the Order, crypto magic genius, master in high-energic alchemy. Expert in combat with katanas. Sometimes reffered to as 'The Darkitect'. Deliora Asagrim: A highly skilled assassin and spy, powerful energy magic. She can fly, too. Ryo Kokoro: Master in martial arts, is able to wield almost any weapon. Young thrill seeker, 'Rookie'. The four of them (and some supply carriers) moved out, to the north of Mitgardia, where they set up a camp and refined their plan. Their main goal is to lure 'Nemesis' into an ambush, attacking it while its transformation is still in progress, assassinating the wizard rider (Garufust) immediately, and capture the dragon alive if possible. Finally, roles for the operation were assigned and a location was chosen. The roles: Onicius: Casting his new spell, 'Soul Eclipse', which would alter character, behaviour and emotions of the subject it's been cast on. Capturing souls. Zeruko: Building a place for the simulated offering ritual (a cover-up for the ambush), using his 'Architect Alchemy'. Writing a spell book which produces a offering goddess-like creature, which he calls 'Eye of Despair'. Deliora: Supporting all spells with arcane energy, eliminating Garufust. Ryo: Activating 'Eye of Despair', playing along as the leader of the ritual. The operation succeeded. 'Soul Eclipse' worked out, with an unexpected side-effect... the creature transformed into fire dragon, or, more like a phoenix. Zotharith may have aquired it's most powerful ally yet. Garufust was defeated, his soul was captured successfully. Ryo was rewarded with the wizard's armour (it was useless to the others anyway...), in which he often seen nowadays: To be continued.... in the next episode: Family Dinner! Hello there, thanks for checking this out. I know it's a lot of reading, sorry for that ! I really enjoyed all the separate builds on this one (a couple of them could not be fitted in this build in the end, so maybe in later builds), the whole process took WAY more time than I had planned! Photographing and editing alone have taken me about 10 full hours... As always, you can check out my Flickr for additional shots. I hope you enjoyed the story, I did it a little differently compared to with my previous big magic battle build. C&C very much appreciated!
  16. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf 2: Message in Kyrrath Episode 3: Equipment Upgrade Ever since he departed from Kyrrath, Exetrius had been thinking about the message from his father. It raised all sorts of questions; why did his father want him to stay away from the business in the North? The Algus were being defeated throughout Historica, did they really still pose a threat? Was the great Onicius severely underestimating the power of his own son? Or was there something else going on in the North... something so important, secret and dangerous that this was a protective, fatherly measure? The letter raised questions, but didn't contain a single clue, so it seemed. He had wondered what the right course of action should be. Along the way, he realized that his father had never prevented him from going somewhere after he had reached adulthood. His father wasn't the type of person to joke around, so he probably had good reasons for this. Besides, an unprepared adventure to Mitgardia and the Frozen Beyond would most likely result in death. Even if he were well-prepared (i.e. with enough food, winter-proof clothing, good battle equipment, a traveling companion), it would take take days or weeks to get there, while his father might have already finished the job and returned home. Despite his burning desire to seek for the truth, Exetrius had decided that it would be wisest to return to headquarters in Zotharith. While crossing the Moruth Swamplands, he encountered a hut that appeared to be a potion shop, as far as he could tell from the sign above the door. It looked vaguely familiar. If the owner could make a living of selling his wares in this wilderness, that should mean the offered goods are of great quality, he reasoned. Time to have a closer inspection! As he walked up to the door, a creaky voice cried: "Only good stuff! Come in! Rraah!" Slightly reticent, he entered. A smile of relief came to his face: it was only a parrot. From somewhere behind a curtain in the back of the hut, a dark voice muttered and footsteps neared. Yoba "Ah Chico, we have another one! Let's hope he brings us a bag of money.. Welcome to Yoba's Shop, traveler! Looking for somth...? A small head stared a him in silence for a moment, glanced back at something behind the curtain and then again at Exetrius. Yoba "I can't believe my eyes... It's.. our lucky day, Chico!" Exetrius "Uhm.. Pleased to meet you, I think?" Yoba "There is no doubt, you must be the son of Onicius! I am sincerely honored with your visit, sir! Is there something particular with which I can be at your service?" Exetrius "Well, actually I was just looking around for a little... but I don't have much to..." Yoba "I can offer runes, potions, weapons.. enchantments, eh armour, also!" Exetrius "Ah, I'd like to see what kind of armour you have in store." Yoba "But right away, m'lord! I will be back in a moment." He disappeared behind the curtain again. Funny guy... little old Yoba, Exetrius thought to himself. He looked around in the shop. Interesting stuff... The labels weren't all that trustworthy to his eye, though. Suddenly, someone tapped him on his shoulder. He turned around and found his sister, smiling brightly, right in front of his nose. It was bewildering to find her here! He hadn't seen her for a while, since she had been doing an intensive training on martial arts and assassinations with the 'Black taskforce', somewhere outside headquarters. Some small talk followed, and then he informed her about the letter. She happened to know that there was nothing unusual to remark in Zotharith, a few days back... strange! Yoba returned. He had clearly heard the conversation, as he carried a whole pile of goods with him; armour of different types, weapons, cloakes, gloves, everything helpful to survive an ice age in the North of the Beyond; it was a rather comic sight. In the end, Exetrius left in a new attire (not sure if it was useful or not, but hey.. it was a bargain!), with a handful of runes and an upgraded staff from some special type of wood, and his sister with a kind of hammer that he offered her at the last minute. They waved him goodbye and together they continued on their way to Zotharith. To be continued.... in the next episode: Subjection of a legend Hello folks, I'm back with a build! My first swamp build, mostly inspired by of my fellow Nocty guild members. C&C very much appreciated!
  17. Exetrius Saga 1: Fallen leaf Episode 2: Message in Kyrrath It has been a couple of weeks since Exetrius was tasked with the delivery of a letter to a client in Kyrrath. Due to several delays - including many cases of 'side-step exploring', getting lost in an unexpected snowstorm and taking part the annual Carakath festival celebration - he arrived in the City of Purple several days later than planned. If anything, his journey had given him new energy. Though he had already reached the city of Kyrrath, his instructions for the exact location of his client were a rather vague. The only thing it said was: "Small house with dragon statues." As usual, the addressed person was anonymous... So there he was, walking the streets of Kyrrath, hoping to find the house by luck. He asked around, but nobody knew the place. The city really impressed him, though; such bizarre, intriguing architecture, unlike anything he had seen before. And so much purple.... The stories he had heard turned out to be true. He found himself in the outskirts of the city, when he saw a small house that matched his descriptions. He stepped towards the door, but someone already came from the garden. To his great surprise, it was his aunt Alicia (Onicius' sister). He hadn't seen her in almost two years. It turned out that she moved to Kyrrath about four months ago. After some some catching up on the state of affairs, Alicia opened the letter. Onicius was the sender! He had probably set this up from the very beginning, Exetrius thought. She visibly enjoyed reading the letter, but suddenly her look neutralized and she shook her head. She handed the letter to Exetrius: "(...) By the time you receive this letter I am most likely already in Mitgardia, in the high North. I have some important things to figure out here and I will be back in a few weeks. I'd advise my son to head back to headquarters, to practice his Archane magic flow skills (...)" No doubt that his father was up to something! 'Important business' in the North could only mean one thing right now: Algus business... Now he was certain that his father planned this job from the start; it was to lead him away from The Order and the Algus affairs which it was probably about to deal with. Obviously he wanted to protect him, but this was a nasty trick... darn! He said goodbye to his aunt and embarked on a journey whose path he had yet to determine. To be continued.... in the next episode: Equipment upgrade I am back with a build for the Exetrius Saga, I hope you enjoyed it! With the build, I really focused on style consistency with Nocturnus member jaapxaap's builds for his city, Kyrrath. Most of the used techniques were entirely new to me, they were challenging, sometimes frustrating, but fun in the end Thanks for viewing and C&C appreciated, as always!
  18. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge part 3: Meeting a wizard part 4: 'Sand man' part 5: Making a move Part 6: Battle at Carakath Onicius sat in the back of the carriage, looking down at the endless stream of cobbles passing under them. He was pondering about the nightmare he had had and the blank chapter. They both hinted towards the existence of a fourth basic type of magic. What could it be? It felt like he had been close to the answer several times. Alchemy – structure, composition, shape; material magic. Energy magic – motion, state of matter. Crypto magic – guides the flow of magic; immaterial magic. The material and the immaterial, matter and energy, there is nothing more to this world. What am I overseeing? Rambar “You’ve been looking down for quite a while, I started wondering if you lost your soul somewhere along the way! Is something bothering you, Onicius?” The soul, the spiritual world, of course! All the pieces of the puzzle suddenly came together. Messing around with souls… that’s probably what Elia and the man from his dream meant by “demonic”. He glanced up from the road. Up there were the icy peeks of mountains they had traversed, shining in the afternoon sun. He turned his head to Rambar. It wouldn’t be very wise to speak his mind. Onicius “I was just thinking about what awaits us in that arena. Who do we need to fight, how do we strike?" Nerocarsus “In all honesty, there is no plan. Our mission is saving the children, that is what we know for certain. As soon as we know more about the situation, we will begin developing our plan.” Buras “That won’t take much longer (calling out from the bench up front of the wagon), Carakath is down at that valley, I can see it from here.” About halfway down, Buras stopped the carriage. It was very pleasant to stretch the legs after the long and tight journey. The mood improved immediately. Rambar went to the city to gather some intel about what the arena was about and where the children were held. Just before nightfall, he returned. Rambar “Tomorrow around noon, a festival will kick off at the arena, lasting three days. When I was in the Carakath, carts were parading through the streets, showing children and beasts, caged. The announcer promised spectacular duels, ferocious beasts, free beer and meat for everyone.” Muremo “He clearly knows how to whet the crowd’s appetite, the arena will probably choke full of people tomorrow.” Rambar "Yeah, I thought it sounded pretty sweet, so I bought us front row places for the coming three days!" All Rambar "What? … Okay, just kidding. I did check the admission cost on a flyer, three silver coins per person! Not really my notion of ‘free beer and meat’." That evening, the attack strategy was determined. Onicius fell asleep somewhere along the way. When he woke up the next morning, preparations were in full swing. Eventually, everyone was geared up and ready to go into battle. Onicius looked for Nerocarsus, then he saw him… Onicius "Nerocarsus, is that you, what has happened to you!" Nerocarsus "I shaved myself, Onicius. It had to be done, to be less recognizable." Onicius "Wait, what are you going to fight with, you are not going empty-handed, right?" Nerocarsus "Hahah, no… *Poof* This is my weapon! It is an enchanted, dragon forged spear, my most valuable item I ever acquired. I can’t possibly use it to its full potential, but I have practiced with it secretly from time to time; I know how to handle it." Onicius "Wh… H… How did you do that!?" Nerocarsus "Ever heard of item compression magic? It enables the spear to shrink, making it dagger-sized so that it fits under my robes. It is very important for our plan, remember? I will install myself among the spectators and then strike with it when the sign is given." Onicius "Oh, eh… right." They took went to the arena, which was located a quarter of a mile from Carakath. Nerocarsus took place on the tribune. First there was the opening ceremony, which was followed by a beast fight and a gladiator duel. Thereafter, the self-proclaimed ‘Khaliphlinian Junior Tournament’ was announced. Two ‘candidates’ were brought into the arena: some little boy from the village and Onicius’ sister, Alicia. Nerocarsus witnessed the wild cheering with disgust. The only thing he could do was witness the fight, since the others were still sneaking to their positions and waiting for the right moment to strike. At first, both the boy and Alicia were unwilling to fight. But soon, the crowd pressured them to fight. Alicia's fight instincts awoke and she advanced into battle. In the meantime, Elia and Onicius had made their way around the arena and taken out a couple of guards and a the salesman at the “peepers & cheaters' hatch”, where they were climbing up the back of the tribune. Alicia showed the boy all corners of the battlefield. He got pinned on the spiked wall. She charged and mercilessly dealt the final blow. The public roared from excitement. The body of the boy was dragged out of the arena. Alicia, who had burst out in tears, was presented as a winner and was awarded with a break for the next three matches. Away from the sight of the public, Buras, Rambar and Muremo killed the man that guarded Onicius’ sister. Then, they entered the arena to draw all attention, while Elia and Onicius had just managed to join Nerocarsus. Muremo “Acting high and mighty, while forcing children to fight each other? Pathetic pigs! Who do you think you are!? Fight us instead, we will take you on! Right here, right now!” Several men jumped into the arena. That was the thing they had anticipated on, that was the sign. Nerocarsus drew out his spear, which expanded to full size, aimed and pierced the chest of the heavily armored person next to him. Elia and Onicius backed up their comrades on the battlefield by firing a thunderstorm spell across the arena. Through the element of surprise, they had gained the upper hand. But suddenly, right in front of Onicius’ eyes, a dark figure with a dagger flashed past him, leaving a trail of fire. He stabbed Elia, who fell off the tribune as a consequence. Instinctively, Onicius cast a spell. Cinders, dead bodies and the fire of torches were drawn to the center of the arena. Then, he dragged Elia’s soul out and forced it into the blazing creature that he had created, meaning to save him. It consumed nearly all of his energy and he lost control, he thought... The truth was, he had transferred the control. The creature was alive! Its eye gazed upon its creator. Everything in the arena became static and silent. It roared, the roar turned into laughter, wicked laughter. It spoke. Monster Elia “My my, Onicius, such a loyal deed. That spell could have killed you, putting your life on the line to save me… You are a true hero. I had just received my punishment from my old friend, who I betrayed in the past. I earnestly thank you for your foolish naivety! You clearly didn’t have any suspicion when I, an alien man, offered you help out of nowhere on such a dangerous mission. Then, I happened to know a lot more about the invaders, yet you had no suspicion whatsoever, just like your pathetic comrades. Thanks to that lovely dark magic of yours, I am alive, I feel more powerful than ever! In the blink of an eye, his bladed arm sliced through his former friend. He turned around and crushed some of the remaining spectators, with his shield. Then, he quickly separated the landlord’s head from his body and turned back to Onicius. Monster Elia “So, who of your comrades shall I kill first? Come on, make your choice!” Onicius “You can’t do this!” Monster Elia “Oh, yes I can! I can do everything that I want now!” He stared at Nerocarsus, paused and then swung his blade with great force towards him. A finger length before impact, the blade stopped. The whole body dissolved in one giant flame while letting out a shrill scream that filled the air. Onicius realized that this was the disembodiment of the soul, just like what happened to the golem in his nightmare. The battle was over, they were victorious. Alicia came running up the stairs, crying. Onicius “Alicia! are you okay?” Alicia “Yes, but…” Onicius “Where are the others, the other children? Are they safe?” Alicia “Yes, they are, but… Brother… the lieutenant banished us from Khaliphlin! He told me to stay in Nocturnus, together with you. He told me that from now on, you are seen as a great threat, as… a monster! And he ordered Nerocarsus to come with them right now.” Onicius “No! Please… don’t leave us!” Nerocarsus “Listen Onicius, I am your friend. I will always be there for you! Do you think I would abandon you and your sister? Don’t be sad, don’t cry Alicia. We will build ourselves a good life here in Nocturnus, I promise!” Onicius “Thank you, Nerocarsus.” Nerocarsus “And now I’m going to tell that I refuse to obey that ridiculous order, that he may have my business, walk to hell… and greet your mother for you!" Present day, about 40 years later... Nerocarsus “We’ve come a long way, didn’t we, Onicius?” Onicius “Yes, we did. This is where it all started, Exetrius (…)” Many adventures followed and Onicius kept growing stronger ever since. The Darklands always posed new challenges, what didn't kill him made him stronger. Over the years, his soul magic has reached a legendary level. Yet, the dark art of moving the spirits has barely become more common, since it's secrets are only entrusted to a select group of users. This is the end of the Onicius Prologue, yet the story goes on, with the Exetrius Saga. Follow the adventures of Exetrius and his father, starting in the next part of the story: Fallen leaf I hope you enjoyed this finale, I've had my hands full with the build and the story! Due to bad lighting/camera, the pictures didn't come out as good as I had hoped for. The whole process got delayed several times, but well, here we are. Thanks for viewing, C&C very much appreciated!
  19. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge part 3: Meeting a wizard part 4: 'Sand man' Part 5: Making a move Onicius ran like never before. Over his shoulder he saw the golem that was persuading. It reached out with it's big, spiked hand of stone to crush him. He thought he was done for, but suddenly it froze. The glow in it's eyes disappeared and it's body returned to a pile of cobbles. From behind the pile rose a dark figure. Under his hood was a faceless dark mass, he carried a staff on which a skull rested, his thin arms and legs barely visible in the mist that shrouded him. He spoke: "Looks like I need a new soul for my little golem, ahah, I see a volunteer! Don't be afraid, let me show you my skills of the Fourth magic type, beware, it's only a little... erm... Demonic, mwhahahah!" Everything in front of him started spinning. In a flash, he saw his own body lying on the ground. Then he sat straight up in his bed, sweating and breathing heavily. It had been a dream! Apparently, it was (still) evening. To his surprise, Elia and Nerocarsus and his mother came into the room. The two had informed his mother about his talents for wizardry. Eventually they convinced her to allow him to join them, and a few others, on a rescue mission. Nerocarsus spoke: "We need you, Onicius. There is no time to explain everything here, we have to make our move!" Onicius quickly grabbed his staff and combat clothes, kissed his mother goodbye and opened the front door. On the street before him stood a big cargo carriage. The coachman gestured them to board, they departed silently through the village gates, into the nightly desert. Five people sat in the back of the carriage: Nerocarsus, Onicius, Elia and two other man. In the middle stood a chest, on which a map and a burning candle rested. Elia began his briefing. Elia "Yesterday, your village was raided. The guards on duty had been wiped out, children were taken away. As a wizard and an acquaintance of Nerocarsus, I think it is my duty to help you. Though I saw the invaders from a distance, I was able to recognize one of their mages. The group we are dealing with has raided several Khaliphlinian villages before.They kidnap children, which, according to stories that I have heard, are forced to fight each other to death to entertain a rich Nocturnian landlord. The battles are held in an arena, located near a village somewhere in this mountain range (points at the map) close to the Khaliphlinian border. That is where we are going right now." Nerocarsus "If everything goes as planned, we will arrive at the edge of those mountains in the afternoon. The road is long and not very comfortable, but try to get some rest. Oh, almost forgot! Onicius, these three man, including our coachman, are the village's strongest warriors." Rambar "My name is Rambar, it's a pleasure meeting you!" Muremo "I am Lieutenant Muremo of the Eastern Khaliphlinian army. My superior gave me permission to be in my home town for a few days after we heard what happened. Sadly, the army ignores these 'small incidents', "civilians should deal with those" is what they said. So that is exactly what we are going to do!" It was early in the morning. Onicius, still a little drowsy, made his way to the front of the carriage. He pushed some load aside and was greeted with a spectacular view. "Aren't they beautiful, the South Nocturnian Rakath Mountains?" said a familiar voice. The coachman turned out to be the blacksmith, Buras. Buras "Please take a seat next to me, Onicius." Onicius "Thank you sir Buras." Wow... I didn't know Nocturnus was so beautiful, I... I could live here! Buras "If it weren't so dangerous, yes indeed, me too!" To be continued.... in the final part: Battle at Carakath Bonus shots: Thanks for viewing, C&C appreciated
  20. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge part 3: Meeting a wizard Part 4: 'Sand man' They walked away from the town and the river, further into the desert. The temperature was getting a little more pleasant due to the lowering sun. Elia stopped. Elia: "This seems like a good spot to test your skills. You read that magic encyclopedia, so I suppose you know at least one spell." Onicius: "Well, Elia, now we are here, could you please show me some of your spells first?" Elia: "Ah, sure! I am specialized in energy flow magic, lightning in particular! See that dune over there? I will demonstrate what this staff can do!" The sky darkened slightly and then a lightning bolt struck the top of the dune with great force. A moment later, the top had become a crater, glistering with small pieces of glass. Onicius was a little overwhelmed by what he just witnessed. Elia: "Your turn!" Onicius was nervous. It would be embarrassing if his spell failed. He he stood a few steps away from Elia. He raised his (borrowed) staff and murmured some words. Sand and dust particles started hovering above the ground in a circle, the sand on the ground shifted into a pattern. He grabbed the red magic energy crystal out of his pocket. He felt an exhausting energy flow through his body, but the spell didn't activate, only a whirling dust cloud. Thinking clear was hard, but at last, he got an idea. Onicius: "Please fire off a lighning bolt one more time, into the cloud!" Elia: "Are you insane?! You are in there! You will be kill.." Onicius: I can't hold this! DO IT NOW! A lightning flash, once again. No sign of an impact. Instead, suddenly it was like an entire dune was moving, a river of sand. The dust cloud swallowed it. At last, the cloud subsided, slowly revealing its core to Elia... Elia: "Onicius! Are you okay in th.. WHOAH!!!" Onicius: "Did it work?" Elia: "Onicius! Who..Where...How in the name of Historica did you learn this demonic form of magic!" Onicius: "What do you mean, I just used a crypto magic circle to describe the alchemy that constructed the body, and your lightning to power the spell." Elia: "But look at it! It moves like a creature, it's watching me as if it has a soul of it's own!" Onicius: "Oh, right, that's because I instructed it to mimic the movements of my own arms and head." Elia: "Great... Phew. Thank god! I was afraid it was a form of... Onicius?" Onicius collapsed, he was so exhausted he passed out. Elia carried him home on his back, while the red sun disappeared under the dunes of the desert. To be continued... in the next part: Making a move It's great to hear some of you are actually reading this story Thank you for reading/viewing! C&C appreciated!
  21. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge Part 3: Meeting a wizard It was in the late afternoon. The empty chapter four really bothered Onicius. Someone was holding back information from him. Had it been Nerocarsus? Why would he do that, maybe because it could be dangerous? Suddenly his mom came into the house. She had been on the fields when the raid took place, when she turned home, the gates were closed and she was forced to sleep outside. When the gates opened in the morning, she learned about the raid. She found Onicius, he told her about what happened to father and sister. While his mother was in need for some time for herself, Onicius went to Nerocarsus to ask some questions. However, Onicius didn't get the chance to ask about the blank pages. Nerocarsus wanted him to go to the river, where he had arranged a meeting with a regular customer of his. He was a friendly wizard from Avalonia, who was especially interested in the eastern part of Khaliplin. Not only was he willing to teach Onicius some magic, but he knew more about the invaders too. They met on the dry river bed. Wizard: "Nice to meet you, Onicius. My name is Elia. I have heard you seek to learn magic." Onicius: "That is true, Sir Elia. Nerocarsus told me you could help me with magic." Wizard: "It would be my pleasure! Please just call me Elia." Onicius: "Allright then. I have read about the three basic magic types, but I'm not quite sure..." Wizard: "We'll find out soon enough what your strength is, come with me!" Onicius: "But Sir... Elia!" To be continued... in the next part: 'Sand man' Bonus shot: Thanks for viewing, C&C appreciated!
  22. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid Part 2: A merchant's knowledge After his failed pursuit, Onicius felt angry and hopeless. What would they do to his sister? What could he do for his sister? Chasing the bastards was not an option anymore, so he returned to the village. Suddenly, he got struck by a great fear once again: did something happen to his parents? His father was a town guard, his mother worked on the fields outside the walls. The streets were chaotic: fathers and mothers ran around in tears, screaming for their child. While running, Onicius learned that the intruders entered via the two other gates too. Children and young women had been taken away, how could they! At the town square, a little field hospital had been installed. Almost all of the victims were guards, most of them were already dead, of whom his father... Onicius walked home like a zombie; numbness, restless and dead inside. The next morning, he had come to his senses for a little. His sister was not dead, otherwise they wouldn't have stolen her. She had to be saved! When skies turned dark for Onicius, one person had always been there for him: Nerocarsus. He was a wealthy, but lonely merchant, well-respected throughout the province. Onicius was sure that the man had some piece of advice! Onicius found Nerocarsus in his tent. To his great surprise, the merchant's goods hadn't been stolen. He seemed relieved that Onicius was alright. In tears, he told what had happened to his father and sister. Onicius: ".... I want to be strong! Strong so I can free my sister!" Nerocarsus: "A boy on his own is not strong enough to stand a chance against such group of barbarians! Anger will result in foolish actions!" Onicius: "But sir, as a good brother, I must..." Nerocarsus: "Listen to me, I WILL help you get stronger, but I want you to know that it takes more than determination beat those guys. A normal human can not beat a whole group of babarians. Those who can are either experienced warriors, or wizards, who practice magic, Onicius. Are you still listening?" Onicius: "Yes sir, yes! Could you please tell me more about magic?" Over the years, Nerocarsus had met a lot of people who practiced magic. Bit by bit, he had learned the basics of magic. He developed a good eye for enchanted items and runes. There weren't many other merchants who could tell so much about an item's history and properties as Nerocarsus. He knew exactly what objects to acquire to make a good profit. Nerocarsus: "In essence, there are three types of magic: alchemy, cryptomagic and energy magic. Alchemy controls the flow and arrangement of matter. Energy magic controls the flow and containment of energy within matter. Energy is needed to practice any form of magic. Cryptomagic describes the way in which matter and energy must flow. All forms of magic are a combination of these four...Erm, three basic types." Onicius: "Wow! That is incredible! Do you have any enchanted items here in your store that I could..." Nerocarsus: Patience, Onicius! Yes, I do have runes and magic items here, but you cannot let you use them, yet. Though I am a merchant, I learned some magic along the road to the present. Especially for you, I will show you some of my tricks. Onicius: Sir Nerocarsus, thank you, you're the best! Nerocarsus took a dark red crystal from one of the shelves and then three egg-shaped pieces of metal, which he put on the floor. He explained that the crystal was a rune: an object containing magic energy. He began casting the spell, the eggs started to deform and then there it was: sculpture of a chicken. Onicius was awed! Onicius could not wait to learn more, so Nerocarsus gave him a basic magic encyclopedia so he could do some self education. At home, he read the first three chapters: more elaborate descriptions of the three main magic types. After chapter three followed a couple of blank pages, and then chapter five. What could be the reason for this? To be continued..... in the next part: Meeting a wizard Thanks for reading! C&C appreciated
  23. In the Darklands of Historica, a mage is training hard to get stronger. He is still young, but Exetrius is determined to become as strong as his father, known as the great wizard Onicius. He is a remarkable figure, worthy a story of his own. This is the beginning of the Onicius prologue. Onicius prologe Part 1: The village raid The story unfolds in a little, peaceful town in Khaliphlin. Nowadays, it is probably long gone under the sands or destroyed by the raging civil war. About four decades ago, a white-haired boy was watching the activity in the street in front of his parents house. It was around noon and his younger sister had run off somewhere to play in the blazing heat. He had warned her not to do so, but the brat wouldn't listen. He sat back in the shade and enjoyed the slow-paced life in the village. A little while later, he climbed down the ladder and went inside the house to get himself some bread. He heard some faint sounds of a neighing horse and a approaching carriage, outside the village's wall. Those were followed by clattering of metal: armored men were running into the village. Then, he heard a loud bang. A figure in black robes had struck the guard on duty like a fire bolt. In the meantime, the armored intruders were storming the street. Anxious but curious, Onicius opened the front door, which revealed the gruesome fate of the drunk guard who had been sitting at the corner of the house.... He immidiately shut and locked the door, every muscle in his body was trembling. He felt sick. He waited for the street to subside. In the distance he heard a familiar girl scream. His sister! He rushed outside, the intruders had almost made their way out of town, but Onicius was able to recognize his sister in the distance. The bastards were dragging here and some other boy along! He ran after them as fast as his feet allowed him, but his efforts were in vain.... To be continued.... in the next part: A merchant's knowledge Bonus shots: Thanks for checking out, C&C appreciated