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Found 55 results

  1. W Navarre

    La Cospirazione (Story)

    I had the same idea as Louis of Nutwood apparently! To make the reading easier, for those who hadn't read the story yet, or for those who want to find it all in order, I'll post the whole story here, with each main scene and a few of the best illustrations. I hope you enjoy it! I'd be glad to hear your thoughts. P.S. I would recommend listening to this piece of music from Assassin's Creed while reading, it really flows with the story! And so without further ado: La Cospirazione: Part I It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city. As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe. There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl. As Alesio arrived the man on the horse jumped down and grasped his hand in excitement. “Tomorrow!” exclaimed Staffan Conzaga, stamping the ground. “All is arranged! Tomorrow we will meet in the palace of Illaryian: there will be none to stop us! Di Carlo will be crowned Rego and by Sana Argenta, the people will be wildly pleased with it!” Di Carlo nodded, and Alesio stroked his beard. “All seems to be going well. Supano should have known his days were numbered. Are there any final matters to arrange, Luca?” Luka skipped off the wall and there followed a short talk, all in hushed whispers. Finally everything was settled, just as the sky began to darken. “Addio, gentlemen,” Staffan remarked, climbing onto his horse with a short glance at the sky. “Tomorrow then, at dawn, I will meet you in Illaryian.” “Godspeed!” Luca waved him off. Then he leaned back casually on the wall as the man and his bodyguard the Minotaur galloped off. “An ambitious man,” Alesio remarked. “Aye,” di Carlo assented carelessly. “He will stop at nothing,” Alesio flipped a knife in the air. Luca looked up thoughtfully. “None of us will?” he ventured with a sharp look. “What I mean is ... ” Alesio de Fiori fingered his knife suggestively. After a short silence he added, “I don’t think you should let him escape out of your hands.” Di Carlo stepped back in affected horror and ventured no remark. The girl leaning on the wall watched out of the corner of her eyes. “This will be the last time Staffan Conzaga ever plays himself into your hands,” Alesio leapt forward and spoke with animation. “If he once gets away he will grow all too powerful. He is cautious and scrupulous: we will never be able to get him in his fortress at Laryian, and he will stop at nothing. I promise you he will not be satisfied with the gains tomorrow’s work will get him. He has played himself into your hands this once, but it will be the last time. Finish him now or it will soon be too late.” Alesio frowned and let the knife slip into his belt. “And you will live to regret it.” The girl inclining against the wall leaned closer, moving her fingers nervously. Alesio saluted her and shook Luca’s hand. Not another word was exchanged, only De Fiori mouthed silently, “Assassinate the man.” Then Alesio De Fiori pulled his cloak about him and walked quickly away, back into the city, and Luca watched him out of sight with his hand held pensively to his chin. “Assassinate him?” he mused, eyeing the girl with a slight grin. “I suppose we just might be able to do so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The beautiful blue water of the canals of Illaryian calmly reflected the stately arches of the Rego’s munificent palazzo, but all else in the city was far from calm, and inside the luxurious palace halls there hung a thrilling atmosphere of victory and success. Soldiers and guards marched hurriedly to and fro through the palace’s otherwise empty halls, and, besides that, throughout the courtyards and rooms barely a whisper could be heard; save the whisper of the wind as the fresh air seeped in through the open windows. But in one corridor a calm and even voice broke the stillness with measured tones, as Luca di Carlo, the Rego now of the twin lands, conversed thoughtfully with Staffan Conzaga about the affairs of the Realm. As they finished the talk Alesio De Fiori walked in and bid them adieu. “Sirs, I have matters to attend to,” he bowed, “and will make my way to my house now.” “Aye, sir,” Luca di Carlo nodded. Alesio thought that he seemed to be looking past him, and looked briefly around. There was only a distracting shadow moving behind the pillars. He bowed again to Staffan. Bowing shortly in return Staffan cried vehemently, “Well met, sir! Without your aid, I swear by Sana Argenta, we would have never seen a day this glorious!” He chewed vigorously on an old herb popularly used by the farmers of Northern Varlyrio. “Who would have thought that it would be so simple? Such a show as at the coronation today I have never seen. Far too much shouting. Ah, yes, addio, sir!” Alesio walked smartly out, just tipping his hat as he passed out of sight through the archway. “I as well will now leave, with your permission, Rego,” Staffan grinned conceitedly. “There are pressing matters to attend to at Laryian, and I expect we shall not see each other again, for some time.” The olive merchant merely grinned good-naturedly in return, and waved his hand casually. “But au revoir, di Carlo,” Staffan smirked, lowering his eyebrows in a clever way. “When we do meet again, remember the ones who put you into your position.” “I will remember you,” Luca commented with boyish insouciance, “very kindly for your aid and support. No better man could I have by my side, sir.” A sound flowed through the room as of the barring of a door. Staffan turned, startled for a brief second. “Farewell,” he said, dismissing it quickly, and walking a few paces. “Minos!” he loudly shouted through the passageway.  "Minos!" he shouted loudly. “Oh, Minos is already gone sir, I dismissed him,” Luca smugly remarked, pushing a loose tile around on the decorated floor. Staffan looked at him keenly, a puzzled look in his eyes. The sound of footsteps in the corridors increased. “I do not need to say, my dear Staffan, that he has been well payed,” Luca genially observed. Suddenly from every direction the Royal Guard poured into the room and Staffan stepped quickly back. “What does this mean, Luca?” he bellowed. “What are the guards here for?” Luca di Carlo waved them up with nonchalance, and Staffan turned pale.  Luca motioned the guard to close in. “What … what is this, man?” “It was not my idea, sir,” Luca grinned, stepping up till his face was within a few inches of Staffan’s. The soldiers clamped into a square about them, leaving no room for escape. “And I am sorry for the fate that befalls traitors, Staffan Conzaga. But the only place for traitors in our Realm lies below the dirt; and I do not mean the Sunken City.” “Traitors? What do you speak of?” Staffan cowered, his trembling hand clutching something behind his back. “What do I speak of, sir?” Luca’s voice rose now. “Matters to attend to at Laryion? Your proud domineering air? A dagger in your hand?” Luca grasped Staffan’s hand and dashed the dagger he held in it to the ground. It slid across the room, and Staffan fell to his knees, powerless in Luca’s grasp. “Oh, consider my family!” he cried. “Your family? You are very close to them,” Luca mocked, “while they are all leagues and leagues away, where you sent them, far away from you! Except the girl Poppa. Ah, but she is in a dungeon somewhere now. Non importa, I will take care of her and assure her an honorable husband in due time.” The Captain of the Royal Guard bent over and retrieved Staffan’s gilded dagger. “No!” Staffan cried, violently seeking to shake himself from Luca’s fierce hold as the Captain of the Guard approached. Luca Di Carlo only soberly remarked, “Such be the fate of all traitors in our Realm.” Then he threw Staffan to the floor, and at his signal the Captain of the Guard bent down and buried Staffan’s own knife into his heart. Staffan's death. It was over, and silence reigned once more in the vast halls of the Palazzo of Illaryian. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione: Part II Alesio de Fiori was deep in thought as the little gondola floated calmly down the canal. Darkness was falling, and by the gleaming evening light he surveyed the beauty of Illaryian with a keen eye. Supano Amancio had been dealt with, but there was much left to arrange. Cadgie had gotten himself into another mess. The Rego, Luca di Carlo, had informed him that Staffan was sewing mischief in the North. But it was mischief in the palazzo that Alesio mostly feared. Was Luca to be trusted with the elimination of the most powerful and influential Varlyrian noble? The Rego had sworn that he would resolve it all today, and Alesio expected that Staffan Conzaga would never leave the palace again. But doubts troubled him. And then there was Capri, that troublesome little creature. More mischief was to be expected in the De Fiori castle than anywhere else while she was around. Something caught Alesio’s eye in the water. He swore something had moved, and he silently touched the shoulder of the gondolier. “Assassin?” he whispered, pointing to the shadow fliting across the water. “Ašišī!” cried the gondolier in a terrible fright. With one quick motion he dropped the oar and dived off into the water, rocking the gondola, so that as Alesio spun round he stumbled to one side. There on the bridge, under which they had just passed, crouched a dark, masked assassin with a dagger in his belt and another in his teeth. He had already leapt into the air, and Alesio just had a moment to grasp the oar when the assassin landed beside him, dashing the dagger into his side: but for the sway of the rocking boat it would have gone to his heart. The assassin leapt into the air! Alesio struck the man who with his other hand sought his second dagger. There was a fierce struggle, until Alesio managed with a quick move to draw his knife and bury it deep into the man’s breast. “Who sent you?” Alesio furiously seized his coat with his free hand. “It is the Cioto, signore!” gasped the man. “The Cioto?” Alesio grit his teeth and closed his eyes. Everything was spinning! He dropped the man who tumbled into the blue canal waters, and grasped the prow of the gondola. The blue water of the canal turned red with the assassin's blood. “The Cioto?” he repeated faintly. So then! There was more mischief afoot than he had expected! “Intrigante!” He sighed as another thought came to him. “Which Cioto?” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione: Part III It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city. As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe. There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl. Cadgie De Fiori had indeed gotten himself into another mess. And if the mess he made was not enough he had Capri De Fiori to handle for the day, and that may have dwarfed all the other problems he had in life. It’s not quite certain in fact how much of a hand she had in all of his problems. But problems he had, and of a sobering nature. “Dawn. At dawn Alesio arrives. At dawn Capri should be off my hands. At dawn I must see those brothers. And I don’t think they have good intentions. It was certainly not wise to accept their tryst after that affair with those people the other day. And certainly Alesio must arrive. And most certainly I must not take Capri tomorrow.” But Alesio did not arrive, and Capri did accompany him: much more due to her willful nagging than to his own wishes; perhaps it also had something to do with her remark, “You can’t leave me here alone in this bleak old castle! I’ll follow you on foot!” To which Cadgie had pertly answered, “I go by gondola, signorina!” “Then I’ll follow you swimming, signore!” was her impudent retort. Well, that would have been worse. Since Capri did not know how to swim. But Cadgie knew she would keep her word, and he did not wish to spend part of his busy dawn fishing the girl out of the water, so that is how they both found themselves disembarking in the busy little piazza near the southern end of Tergiversa. “Sit here,” whispered Cadgie, motioning to a wooden bench by the waterside. He sighed deeply. “Please, Capri, don’t move unless I tell you to.” “Are you going to fight?” Capri cried impatiently, looking over Cadgie’s shoulder at the man pacing up and down near the statuette in the center of the piazza and the small crowd that was gathered near him. Cadgie smirked very good-naturedly at her. “Now, Uncle, you know it’s not good to go fighting other people, what is none of your business.” She stood on the bench and looked down on him. “If you kill somebody I am going to tell my father!” Capri imperiously avowed. “And I mean it, sir, and my Uncle!” “Unfortunately,” Cadgie remarked with a sarcastic smile, “it is my business.” He tapped his fine sword proudly. “I am Captain of the Guard, Capri De Fiori, and if these trouble makers want trouble, it is my task to give it to them!” He put his hand to her lips to stop her from talking anymore and sweeping round marched to the center of the small piazza. An alley led away to the left, and a man leaning against the wall there leapt off it and moved forward, backing up the fellow who had been pacing up and down. “Look here, De Fiori, you gentlemen are too proud,” began one. “Is it true,” took up his companion, who wore a heavy black jerkin, “that Susto and Falco de Fiori, and the guard of Tergiversa, were the chief conspirators and collaborators who overthrew Supano Amancio?” “Explain this, Cadgie De Fiori, or bring the murderers here and have them answer.” Cadgie grasped the hilt of his weapon and snapped, “What murderers?” “Susto and Falco De Fiori!” cried both men vehemently. “Who dares to insult the name of Fiori?” answered Cadgie, enraged. “Quelli in incognito,” they retorted fiercely. “We’re here to settle a debt, De Fiori, and you must pay it if your sons will not!” continued the man in the black jerkin. A pair of swords flashed out and glittered in the sun. Cadgie threw himself at them at once. “The De Fiori’s have no innocent blood on their hands, Gentiluomini!” he thundered. “He who says otherwise may answer to my blade!” A cloud of dust rose into the air as the two men stepped forward and lashed out with their blades. Cadgie De Fiori, a skilled swordsman, defended himself with skill, poise, and tact, but the supposed brothers who were matched up against him were incredible warriors. Blood was spilt on both sides, as they marched up and down the streets dashing about with their swords, playing with the point and the edge of their weapons, and taking advantage of every aspect of the environment around them. Twice Cadgie had one of them trapped against the walls, and once he cut deep into the arm of the foremost of them. But the unequal combat left only one possible outcome, and at last one of the attackers dashed Cadgie De Fiori against the statuette in the center of the piazza and put his sword against his throat. “It is the end of the power of the De Fiori’s,” the man whispered coldly. He forced open Cadgie hand and his sword clattered to the ground. “At least the De Fiori’s are no murderers or cowards!” Cadgie hurled back at him, striking him across the face with his heavy metal gauntlet. “You will pay for that blow, Fiori!” the man brandished his sword wildly as he recovered his balance. Cadgie gasped, dashing for his weapon. But with fire in their eyes both men leapt forward and plunged their swords through Cadgie De Fiori’s mail breastplate. Then with a final blow the one struck him to the floor. Capri De Fiori had watched the whole fight on her tippy toes, restlessly hanging on the edge of the crowd, and with a frightened cry she jumped forward as the man dealt the final blow. She threw herself at her uncle’s side, crying, as the assassins sprinted quickly away. Cadgie De Fiori’s eyes lit as he saw her face bending over him, and he whispered fiercely, “Capri!–” “Poor Uncle, what did they do to you?” She passionately gritted her teeth. “Listen Capri,” the Captain of the Guard said briefly, holding on to life for only a moment more, “they have plotted the end of the De Fiori: girl, run!” Capri whirled round with wide eyes and saw at once what Cadgie De Fiori meant. A troop of soldiers were rushing at her! She quickly kissed her dying Uncle on the forehead and then leapt up and sprinted for the alley, but she could not beat the soldiers, who with cries and shouts intercepted the girl, seizing her by the hands. “Don’t struggle, little girl,” one of them whispered kindly in her ear. “Va bene,” Capri answered in resignation. She let herself hang limply in the hands of the soldiers as they dragged her away. Then as the fateful piazza square slowly passed out of sight she said softly, “Addio, Uncle!” "Addio Uncle!" She knew she would never see her Uncle, Cadgie De Fiori, Captain of the Guard of Tergiversa, again: for he was dead. The abandoned Piazza. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione: Part IV Alesio arrived late to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa. He was weak, weary, and haggard, and as soon as he entered he felt in his heart that something was wrong. “Capri!” he cried loudly, and the echoes of his shout reverberated off all the walls, down the long halls, and throughout the castle. But there was no answer. Alesio dashed forward, slamming through all the doors of all the rooms, wildly calling Capri, and Cadgie, and the servants! Not a soul was there! The servants had all gone out deeply frightened, some of them searching with the royal guard for Capri and others burying Alesio’s brother. It took the wounded man only a few hours to learn all this, and in spite of his wounded side, with gritted teeth and burning eyes he leapt on his horse and rode madly back to Illaryian. Later that day the doors of the Palazzo of Illaryian burst wide open with a resounding clang. “Where is Capri!” roared Alesio with all of his might. “Luca di Carlo, son of an olive merchant, I demand your presence!” Alesio flung a heavy gauntlet onto the ground, and the tiled floor cracked. It was Cadgie De Fiori’s gauntlet. Footsteps then sounded in the corridor, and Luca appeared all out of breath, running up to Alesio and grasping his hand. “What is it man? Why, you are pale! Accidenti! Alesio, you frighten me!” Luca cried, startled. “Capri has been kidnapped,” Alesio flung out the words. “My brother is dead!” Luca gasped and gnashed his teeth. “Impossibile!” Luca dropped Alesio’s hand and spinning round paced the length of the room. Alesio sunk back against the wall. “The only clue left was this, sir,” he said, holding out a small slip of paper. Luca leapt up and grasped it eagerly. “Signore, Ercilia has given me the word. Capri is to be taken, and the Captain of the Guard sla–” The paper was torn, but Luca grasped at the ray of hope it offered. “Ercilia De Cioto!” he cried eagerly, marching to the edge of the hall and crying, “Man!” As a footman approached Luca looked briefly at Alesio, and then he spoke rapidly. “To the stables! Fit out the horses, order the Royal Guard to arms! We march for the De Cioto palace!” “The palace of the Amancios, signore?” the footman gasped. “The Amancios,” he warned, trembling, “still are very powerful, although the Rego is dead, and Ercilia is a popular and influential friend of the people.” “Go, man! Il demone take the Ciotos and their influence,” he cried excitedly, “if they dare go about murdering the Fioris in secret, besides the very throne! Come Alesio! Peste, man, you do not even mention your own wound,” Luca sprang to Alesio’s side to offer his hand. Alesio pushed himself off the wall and bowed, refusing the hand but saying, “It is a trifle, sir. Do you think there is hope, Luca?” he added with a slight tremor. Luca di Carlo’s eyes glinted. “They will pay,” he averred. “And we will find Capricia! Even if every Cioto has to be interrogated and each of their mansions ransacked! To horse!” And without another word they sped out of the room. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Very early the next morning, just after dawn, the doors of Amancio Palace were crashed through with a deafening noise. Luca leapt off his horse and shouted with a powerful voice, “Smash every piece of furniture, search every wall, and do not let a man escape! Find the girl!” “Capri De Fiori!” cried Alesio. “Where is she?” He sprinted up the stairs as the soldiers marched through the archways and doors, crushing and searching everything, everywhere, and seizing the weapons from the startled guards. Meanwhile Arama De Cioto, a thin girl with a long flowing black cape around her neck, snatched a narrow rapier from the wall and leapt down the stairs at the head of a group of retainers. Alesio met her midway and dashed aside one of her men. “De Cioto!” he snapped, adjusting the sword in his hand. “Do not cross swords with me, girl: tell me, where is Capri, my daughter?!” “Signore De Fiori!” she cried astonished in response. “I see there is blood on your mail,” she breathed sharply, dashing up with her sword and trapping Alesio against a corner of the balustrade. She raised her hand and her retainers passed them both quickly. Descending the stairs they threw themselves upon the Royal Guard with fury and loud cries and shouting broke out. Luca watched nervously, pacing up and down and shouting commands to his men. Then he saw Alesio with Arama De Cioto on the parapet of the staircase and with a start he rushed towards them. As there were soldiers on the ground floor, blocking off the stairs, Luca jumped up and grasped the top of the balustrades. As he pulled himself up he saw Alesio fling the slim girl back and heard him say, “What do you have against us Fiori, you Ciotos? Hand me back my girl and we will leave you in all the peace your mind can achieve!” The girl shook her head and laughed. “Capri is dead, signore!” Before Luca could leap down and grab Alesio’s hand he sprang forward and struck Arama a fierce blow at her side. Her thin rapier shattered in two and she shrank back as the sword cut through her leather coat and blood seeped through it, turning it from blue to red. “How dare you,” breathed Alesio with fury. Luca put his hand on De Fiori’s shoulder. But just then a shout rang out. “Capri! Capri è vivo!” cried the soldiers of the Royal Guard. “Out, now out of here!” Luca exclaimed, grasping Alesio’s cape and dragging him towards the lower stairs. Luca let him go, looking back as he sprang down the stairs. The sound of shouting and approaching men could be heard from the floor above. Alesio waited no longer and muttered, “You will pay dearly, De Ciotos.” Arama clinched her firsts and watched them leave as her men rushed past her. Then she leapt vivaciously up the stairs holding her side tightly. Just as she reached the window the troops had forced their way out, with Capri De Fiori, and were hurrying to their gondolas and horses. “Goodbye, Luca,” she murmured with laughing eyes and a quick smile. “Ci vediamo domani!” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The palazzo grounds of Illaryian once more: “It is quite difficult, girl,” Luca said with a sigh. “You can’t imagine it. If only you were Rego.” “I don’t want to be Rego, capretto.” “Well what happened. Don’t leave out a single detail.” “Very well, signore. The assassin failed to kill Alesio.” “I noticed,” Luca remarked dryly. “And my guard took Capri as your men dueled the Captain of the Guard. The paper slipped out of my hand. Touché, you know that, signore, it was your suggestion. When Alesio came to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa he found it empty, and he came here. You managed it all nicely from there. Il fastidio, my side hurts. Well, what would he have said had he known that Luca Di Carlo had hired the assassin who slipped my name to him, and the men who killed Cadgie? And them all?” She laughed merrily. “They are certainly unsuspecting.” “Accidenti! It is over at least,” Luca rejoined, flinging a gold coin into a pool in the courtyard. “Over?” laughed the girl. She blinked her eyes. “I doubt that! It will be over when you find a knife in your back,” she added. “That is so, Arama di Athena De Cioto,” Luca wryly frowned, with a cheerful look at the girl by his side. “Thank you for pointing it out, De Cioto. That is just so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
  2. Rogue Angel

    Historican Settlements - HSS

    HISTORICAN SETTLEMENTS Historica is home to many towns, villages, hamlets, and even a few Cities. The Royal Cartographer's Guild of Albion and the Avalonia's foreign affairs minister wish to officially recognize the many settlements of Historica. As a prerequisite to official recognition and inclusion in the "Royal Registry of Historica's Locations of Note" and "Avalonian Sites and Monuments: a comprehensive guide" each settlement must prove that they contain the minimum facilities to provide for their residents. To establish your settlement, you must post MOCs from the following categories. These MOCs CAN be already completed, but they MUST not already be referenced to a different location. (if you try to alter a description of an existing MOC to fit this challenge, you will not be allowed to enter ANY settlements, so do not edit topics you already posted. you can add a post later on in your topic, but if I see that the topic was already posted before Feb 14th, but edited after Feb 13th, it will not be allowed as part of this challenge.) There are a couple of building types that can be counted for multiple types (a Fishery for example can be counted as a nautical AND agricultural). Here are the categories: REQ - Agriculture - Grains & Produce: Farm*, Mill, Granary, Orchard Agriculture - Livestock: Farm*, Cattle/Horse Ranch, Swineherd, Sheepfold, Fishery Nautical: Harbor, Shipwright, Quay, Fishery*, Ferryman REQ - Military: Keep, Barracks, Gatehouse, Tower, Castle, Fort Religious: Chapel, Monastery, Temple, Shrine Medical: Apothecary, Herbalist, Infirmary, Physician Hospitality: Food & Beverage: Bakery, Butcher, Winery, Brewery, Tavern REQ - Hospitality - Lodging: Inn, Stables, Coach House REQ - Laborers: Lumber Mill, Mine, Stone Cutter, Mason REQ - Craftsmen - General Goods: Cooper, Wainwright, Tannery, Dyer, Glass Blower Craftsmen/Merchant - Arms & Armor: Blacksmith, Bowyer, Fletcher, Armorer Craftsmen/Merchant - Clothing: Cobbler, Seamstress, Furrier, Woolen Mill Craftsmen/Merchant - Specialty: Candle Maker, Wood Carver, Bookbinder, Jeweler, Potter Services: Herald, Cartographer, Money Lender, Scribe, Courier, Shipping House Scholars: Observatory, Alchemist, Philosopher, Astrologer Entertainers: Minstrel, Fortune Teller, Performing Troupe, Theatre Administrative (Town or City only): Town Hall, Chancery, Forum, Courthouse Now, the examples provided are not the only things you can build in a category, they are just options. Also, the build must be substantial - showing an interior of one room, or throwing a bunch of bricks up on a plate will not be acceptable entries. Hamlet - There are 5 categories that are required for a Hamlet (the minimum recognized settlement) - Agricultural (either one), Military, Hospitality (either one), Laborer, and Craftsmen. Village - For a Village, you must meet the Hamlet requirements plus meet a total of 8 of the 16 categories. Town - For a Town, you must meet the Hamlet requirement, plus a minimum of 2 Craftsmen buildings, both Agricultural categories, and both Hospitality categories, plus meet a total of 10 of the 16 categories. City - For a City, you must meet the requirements for a Town, plus one administrative building, plus meet a total of 14 of the 16 categories. Port - For a Port, you must meet the Village requirements, including one Nautical building. For this task, there is no time limit, and again, is open to all Historicans. I will be starting a separate thread for this once I get home tonight where you can post a link to your topics. Each person should have only one reply in this topic, where they will post all of their entries. You can have more than one settlement recognized if you wish. You should only have one post per Settlement Feel free to ask questions, but I will delete them once they have been answered, and compile the answers in the thread below. Do not post for a settlement unless you have a build to post. I will delete any topics that do not contain a link to an existing MOC (no MOCs in progress allowed either) Let me know if you have any questions.
  3. Part I by @W Navarre Part II by @KevinyWu Part III by @ZlatanXVIGustaf La Cospirazione: Part IV Alesio arrived late to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa. He was weak, weary, and haggard, and as soon as he entered he felt in his heart that something was wrong. “Capri!” he cried loudly, and the echoes of his shout reverberated off all the walls, down the long halls, and throughout the castle. But there was no answer. Alesio dashed forward, slamming through all the doors of all the rooms, wildly calling Capri, and Cadgie, and the servants! Not a soul was there! The servants had all gone out deeply frightened, some of them searching with the royal guard for Capri and others burying Alesio’s brother. It took the wounded man only a few hours to learn all this, and in spite of his wounded side, with gritted teeth and burning eyes he leapt on his horse and rode madly back to Illaryian. Later that day the doors of the Palazzo of Illaryian burst wide open with a resounding clang. “Where is Capri!” roared Alesio with all of his might. “Luca di Carlo, son of an olive merchant, I demand your presence!” Alesio flung a heavy gauntlet onto the ground, and the tiled floor cracked. It was Cadgie De Fiori’s gauntlet. Footsteps then sounded in the corridor, and Luca appeared all out of breath, running up to Alesio and grasping his hand. “What is it man? Why, you are pale! Accidenti! Alesio, you frighten me!” Luca cried, startled. “Capri has been kidnapped,” Alesio flung out the words. “My brother is dead!” Luca gasped and gnashed his teeth. “Impossibile!” Luca dropped Alesio’s hand and spinning round paced the length of the room. Alesio sunk back against the wall. “The only clue left was this, sir,” he said, holding out a small slip of paper. Luca leapt up and grasped it eagerly. “Signore, Ercilia has given me the word. Capri is to be taken, and the Captain of the Guard sla–” The paper was torn, but Luca grasped at the ray of hope it offered. “Ercilia De Cioto!” he cried eagerly, marching to the edge of the hall and crying, “Man!” As a footman approached Luca looked briefly at Alesio, and then he spoke rapidly. “To the stables! Fit out the horses, order the Royal Guard to arms! We march for the De Cioto palace!” “The palace of the Amancios, signore?” the footman gasped. “The Amancios,” he warned, trembling, “still are very powerful, although the Rego is dead, and Ercilia is a popular and influential friend of the people.” “Go, man! Il demone take the Ciotos and their influence,” he cried excitedly, “if they dare go about murdering the Fioris in secret, besides the very throne! Come Alesio! Peste, man, you do not even mention your own wound,” Luca sprang to Alesio’s side to offer his hand. Alesio pushed himself off the wall and bowed, refusing the hand but saying, “It is a trifle, sir. Do you think there is hope, Luca?” he added with a slight tremor. Luca di Carlo’s eyes glinted. “They will pay,” he averred. “And we will find Capricia! Even if every Cioto has to be interrogated and each of their mansions ransacked! To horse!” And without another word they sped out of the room. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. Very early the next morning, just after dawn, the doors of Amancio Palace were crashed through with a deafening noise. Luca leapt off his horse and shouted with a powerful voice, “Smash every piece of furniture, search every wall, and do not let a man escape! Find the girl!” “Capri De Fiori!” cried Alesio. “Where is she?” He sprinted up the stairs as the soldiers marched through the archways and doors, crushing and searching everything, everywhere, and seizing the weapons from the startled guards. Meanwhile Arama De Cioto, a thin girl with a long flowing black cape around her neck, snatched a narrow rapier from the wall and leapt down the stairs at the head of a group of retainers. Alesio met her midway and dashed aside one of her men. “De Cioto!” he snapped, adjusting the sword in his hand. “Do not cross swords with me, girl: tell me, where is Capri, my daughter?!” “Signore De Fiori!” she cried astonished in response. “I see there is blood on your mail,” she breathed sharply, dashing up with her sword and trapping Alesio against a corner of the balustrade. She raised her hand and her retainers passed them both quickly. Descending the stairs they threw themselves upon the Royal Guard with fury and loud cries and shouting broke out. Luca watched nervously, pacing up and down and shouting commands to his men. Then he saw Alesio with Arama De Cioto on the parapet of the staircase and with a start he rushed towards them. As there were soldiers on the ground floor, blocking off the stairs, Luca jumped up and grasped the top of the balustrades. As he pulled himself up he saw Alesio fling the slim girl back and heard him say, “What do you have against us Fiori, you Ciotos? Hand me back my girl and we will leave you in all the peace your mind can achieve!” The girl shook her head and laughed. “Capri is dead, signore!” Before Luca could leap down and grab Alesio’s hand he sprang forward and struck Arama a fierce blow at her side. Her thin rapier shattered in two and she shrank back as the sword cut through her leather coat and blood seeped through it, turning it from blue to red. “How dare you,” breathed Alesio with fury. Luca put his hand on De Fiori’s shoulder. But just then a shout rang out. “Capri! Capri è vivo!” cried the soldiers of the Royal Guard. “Out, now out of here!” Luca exclaimed, grasping Alesio’s cape and dragging him towards the lower stairs. Luca let him go, looking back as he sprang down the stairs. The sound of shouting and approaching men could be heard from the floor above. Alesio waited no longer and muttered, “You will pay dearly, De Ciotos.” Arama clinched her firsts and watched them leave as her men rushed past her. Then she leapt vivaciously up the stairs holding her side tightly. Just as she reached the window the troops had forced their way out, with Capri De Fiori, and were hurrying to their gondolas and horses. “Goodbye, Luca,” she murmured with laughing eyes and a quick smile. “Ci vediamo domani!” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The palazzo grounds of Illaryian once more: “It is quite difficult, girl,” Luca said with a sigh. “You can’t imagine it. If only you were Rego.” “I don’t want to be Rego, capretto.” “Well what happened. Don’t leave out a single detail.” “Very well, signore. The assassin failed to kill Alesio.” “I noticed,” Luca remarked dryly. “And my guard took Capri as your men dueled the Captain of the Guard. The paper slipped out of my hand. Touché, you know that, signore, it was your suggestion. When Alesio came to the De Fiori castle in Tergiversa he found it empty, and he came here. You managed it all nicely from there. Il fastidio, my side hurts. Well, what would he have said had he known that Luca Di Carlo had hired the assassin who slipped my name to him, and the men who killed Cadgie? And them all?” She laughed merrily. “They are certainly unsuspecting.” “Accidenti! It is over at least,” Luca rejoined, flinging a gold coin into a pool in the courtyard. “Over?” laughed the girl. She blinked her eyes. “I doubt that! It will be over when you find a knife in your back,” she added. “That is so, Arama di Athena De Cioto,” Luca wryly frowned, with a cheerful look at the girl by his side. “Thank you for pointing it out, De Cioto. That is just so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
  4. La Cospirazione: Part I It was a calm, quiet evening, and the only noise stirring the silent streets of Tergiversa was the resounding trod of heavy boots on the rough streets again and again as Alesio de Fiori hurriedly made his way to the outskirts of the city. As he approached a small gateway he heard voices and paused, warily peering into the shadows: all was safe. There was a man on horseback, another sitting on a small part of the wall, and two others figures outlined a little further back, one a tall Minotaur and the other a slim girl. As Alesio arrived the man on the horse jumped down and grasped his hand in excitement. “Tomorrow!” exclaimed Staffan Conzaga, stamping the ground. “All is arranged! Tomorrow we will meet in the palace of Illaryian: there will be none to stop us! Di Carlo will be crowned Rego and by Sana Argenta, the people will be wildly pleased with it!” Di Carlo nodded, and Alesio stroked his beard. “All seems to be going well. Supano should have known his days were numbered. Are there any final matters to arrange, Luca?” Luka skipped off the wall and there followed a short talk, all in hushed whispers. Finally everything was settled, just as the sky began to darken. “Addio, gentlemen,” Staffan remarked, climbing onto his horse with a short glance at the sky. “Tomorrow then, at dawn, I will meet you in Illaryian.” “Godspeed!” Luca waved him off. Then he leaned back casually on the wall as the man and his bodyguard the Minotaur galloped off. “An ambitious man,” Alesio remarked. “Aye,” di Carlo assented carelessly. “He will stop at nothing,” Alesio flipped a knife in the air. Luca looked up thoughtfully. “None of us will?” he ventured with a sharp look. “What I mean is ... ” Alesio de Fiori fingered his knife suggestively. After a short silence he added, “I don’t think you should let him escape out of your hands.” Di Carlo stepped back in affected horror and ventured no remark. The girl leaning on the wall watched out of the corner of her eyes. “This will be the last time Staffan Conzaga ever plays himself into your hands,” Alesio leapt forward and spoke with animation. “If he once gets away he will grow all too powerful. He is cautious and scrupulous: we will never be able to get him in his fortress at Laryian, and he will stop at nothing. I promise you he will not be satisfied with the gains tomorrow’s work will get him. He has played himself into your hands this once, but it will be the last time. Finish him now or it will soon be too late.” Alesio frowned and let the knife slip into his belt. “And you will live to regret it.” The girl inclining against the wall leaned closer, moving her fingers nervously. Alesio saluted her and shook Luca’s hand. Not another word was exchanged, only De Fiori mouthed silently, “Assassinate the man.” Then Alesio De Fiori pulled his cloak about him and walked quickly away, back into the city, and Luca watched him out of sight with his hand held pensively to his chin. “Assassinate him?” he mused, eyeing the girl with a slight grin. “I suppose we just might be able to do so.” .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. The Palazzo by General 尓àvarre The beautiful blue water of the canals of Illaryian calmly reflected the stately arches of the Rego’s munificent palazzo, but all else in the city was far from calm, and inside the luxurious palace halls there hung a thrilling atmosphere of victory and success. Soldiers and guards marched hurriedly to and fro through the palace’s otherwise empty halls, and, besides that, throughout the courtyards and rooms barely a whisper could be heard; save the whisper of the wind as the fresh air seeped in through the open windows. But in one corridor a calm and even voice broke the stillness with measured tones, as Luca di Carlo, the Rego now of the twin lands, conversed thoughtfully with Staffan Conzaga about the affairs of the Realm. As they finished the talk Alesio De Fiori walked in and bid them adieu. “Sirs, I have matters to attend to,” he bowed, “and will make my way to my house now.” “Aye, sir,” Luca di Carlo nodded. Alesio thought that he seemed to be looking past him, and looked briefly around. There was only a distracting shadow moving behind the pillars. He bowed again to Staffan. Bowing shortly in return Staffan cried vehemently, “Well met, sir! Without your aid, I swear by Sana Argenta, we would have never seen a day this glorious!” He chewed vigorously on an old herb popularly used by the farmers of Northern Varlyrio. “Who would have thought that it would be so simple? Such a show as at the coronation today I have never seen. Far too much shouting. Ah, yes, addio, sir!” Alesio walked smartly out, just tipping his hat as he passed out of sight through the archway. “I as well will now leave, with your permission, Rego,” Staffan grinned conceitedly. “There are pressing matters to attend to at Laryian, and I expect we shall not see each other again, for some time.” The olive merchant merely grinned good-naturedly in return, and waved his hand casually. “But au revoir, di Carlo,” Staffan smirked, lowering his eyebrows in a clever way. “When we do meet again, remember the ones who put you into your position.” “I will remember you,” Luca commented with boyish insouciance, “very kindly for your aid and support. No better man could I have by my side, sir.” A sound flowed through the room as of the barring of a door. The barring of the door. Staffan turned, startled for a brief second. “Farewell,” he said, dismissing it quickly, and walking a few paces. “Minos!” he loudly shouted through the passageway. "Minos!" he shouted loudly. “Oh, Minos is already gone sir, I dismissed him,” Luca smugly remarked, pushing a loose tile around on the decorated floor. Staffan looked at him keenly, a puzzled look in his eyes. The sound of footsteps in the corridors increased. “I do not need to say, my dear Staffan, that he has been well payed,” Luca genially observed. Suddenly from every direction the Royal Guard poured into the room and Staffan stepped quickly back. From every direction the Royal Guard poured in! “What does this mean, Luca?” he bellowed. “What are the guards here for?” Luca di Carlo waved them up with nonchalance, and Staffan turned pale. Luca motioned the guard to close in. “What … what is this, man?” "What is this, man?" cried Staffan. “It was not my idea, sir,” Luca grinned, stepping up till his face was within a few inches of Staffan’s. The soldiers clamped into a square about them, leaving no room for escape. “And I am sorry for the fate that befalls traitors, Staffan Conzaga. But the only place for traitors in our Realm lies below the dirt; and I do not mean the Sunken City.” The soldiers formed a square around them. “Traitors? What do you speak of?” Staffan cowered, his trembling hand clutching something behind his back. “What do I speak of, sir?” Luca’s voice rose now. “Matters to attend to at Laryion? Your proud domineering air? A dagger in your hand?” Luca grasped Staffan’s hand and dashed the dagger he held in it to the ground. It slid across the room, and Staffan fell to his knees, powerless in Luca’s grasp. “Oh, consider my family!” he cried. “Your family? You are very close to them,” Luca mocked, “while they are all leagues and leagues away, where you sent them, far away from you! And as for the girl Poppa, she is in a dungeon somewhere now. Non importa, I will take care of her and assure her an honorable husband in due time.” The Captain of the Royal Guard bent over and retrieved Staffan’s gilded dagger. “No!” Staffan cried, violently seeking to shake himself from Luca’s fierce hold as the Captain of the Guard approached. The Captain of the Guard approached. Luca Di Carlo only soberly remarked, “Such be the fate of all traitors in our Realm.” Then he threw Staffan to the floor, and at his signal the Captain of the Guard bent down and buried Staffan’s own knife into his heart. It was over, and silence reigned once more in the vast halls of the Palazzo of Illaryian. It was over. Staffan was dead. And the vast halls were left in silence once more. .-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. La Cospirazione by General 尓àvarre To be continued! Stay tuned for the next three parts over the weekend. This is my build and story for category B of Challenge V. Expect more intrigue to come! Hope you enjoyed the story and the build, I think I went a little colorblind with all those crazy colors I tried to use . More pictures including some special effects in the spoiler.
  5. Entry to Book III, Challenge V: Category A - The Varlyrian Troops. Howling in the mountain. The chilling cold pierced through my leather jerkin as if there was nothing but my bare hands to cover me. Rigid with the frost, my cloak flapped nervously behind my back and pulled me south, alerting me – no, begging me to turn back and run. But after a handful of days travel, I reached too far into the mountains to return, and was too committed to find the truth, even if it meant never to reveal it. It had been months, since these strange events have been occurring outside our once calm and monotonous village. It did not happen once or twice, but numerous, countless times, every so often – and I remember the day it started. It was late in the night when I woke to the sound of Bartosz, our grey-skinned hound, barking frantically at the kitchen window – it was unusual for him, as for the past 7 winters, he’d slept curled and tucked in his own fur under the wooden structure of my bed until sunrise. That night, tough, he’d made a fuss. Wheat grains covered the timbered floor, the oak-chair my pa built was split around the cottage and he’d scratched the whole wooden door from waist height to bottom so vigorously that the fur around his paws was tainted burgundy with his raw blood. For the first time in years, he glanced at me, ears pointed to the ceiling, his white teeth as large as my fingers glowing in the moonlight and liquid dribbling from his mouth to the floor, the muscles in his shoulders swollen, spasming at me, and he growled. A sound born from the core of a threatened, fearful beast. It made me tremble, for I was not staring into my dog’s eyes, but into the soul of a monster dragged only by its primal senses. I realized it was not only Bartosz who was acting strange, but in the distance, I heard the howl of another dog, and then another. It was rather a chant, as possibly all the dogs on the village were now howling to the moon, as if calling their animal companions to a feast, or worse: issuing an alarm – a pack behavior to become alert of what’s to come. It happened again and again, and it drove us insane. Not only the howling, but the growing cold that rushed through the village every time harder and harder. You see, we live in a village – the last human village before reaching the mountains - that’s not that far from the sea, filled with arable land, soft ground, perfect for planting fruits and vegetables – it rains when the sun is hotter, and the climate is rather friendly apart from occasional winter winds that come from the mountains. But it got so cold, so unexpectedly... Nothing grows from under thick layers of frost, week after week. So, it drove us... insane. Particularly Frignevr, the blacksmith – that poor bastard. He was as short-tempered as he was big, and you would mistake him for a giant if he wouldn’t assure us his mother and father were as human as they could be. That one night, I felt the chill stretching through the holes between the planks that held my house together, Bartosz woke and ran, and the howling started. Amidst the whistling chants, a desperate roar, not from any dog or beast, but from what could only be a giant man, echoed on the stoned streets of our frost covered village. That horrific gutted scream smashed our doors, hammered our ears, and settled within our dreams, and just as it started, the unnerving, desperate cry ceased, giving way to a perpetual dead silence that endured ‘til morning. From between the ice-covered mountains, the first light of the day painted over the white mantel a red trail to a land uncharted, for this was marked only by the spilled droplets of blood of one of our own. That day, attending for the realms request, an expedition of ten men was sent to investigate. That night, not only the hounds and wolves howled a constant, tenuous melody, but a raw smell, a stale, moldy whiff, a stench of putrid decay took the streets, and uninvitedly entered our homes. The smell was eventually dissipated into the mountains, from where the expedition never returned, and the trail faded over the layers of unwanted and unexpected snow. Under pressure, the realm gathered another fifty men – swordsmen, archers, bannermen, carrying the white and gold markings on their shields – for a second expedition, along with hounds and eagles trained to detect hidden trails and follow camouflaged scents. Sixty men short, the army supposed to protect our sons and wives started to look faint and incomplete, specially when four days past their departure, the group that left to the sound of our prayers, vanished and buried our hopes under the falling snow. At night I did not sleep, but jumped aside when the dogs started barking, the nauseating odor invaded my house, and a deafening roar that combined a thousand lions sounded across the cobblestone paths, and made my chest tremble with a shiver running through my spine. I wanted to move but couldn’t – and I prayed for the souls of those poor men that would never return to our lives. I woke to the unnerving sound of a fist pounding at my front door, and as sudden as the cold took our village, and our blacksmith and our army, I knew my time had come. “Ready your shield and sword. Beg your family farewells. We part on the morrow”, signed the High-King, the Rego, over his waxed seal. Carpenters, fishermen, merchants, old and young, experienced or – most likely – not, with sword in hand. The few remaining that populated our village reunited where the first light of day shone: between the mountains where a trail of blood leaded the way to our uncertain destiny. We camped by night if we were lucky enough to find a rathole or a cave, or under the starts and the moon, and the rocks and the cold, and marched by day, following whatever was left of the expedition before us – pikes, helmets, messages left on walls and trees, pieces of cloth, footprints... Until there was nothing left to follow, but a dim and distant rotten and burnt smell that refused to cease. Every morning, our group turned smaller and weaker, as the members of our crew perished to the fierce conditions and reckless paths we were thrown into. By night, we heard the scuttling screams and roars coming from above us and echoing through the scars carved over centuries on the rocks. Looking ahead to the unknown, the vagueness to put reason to the sounds, the smell, the unhuman thirst to kill and its psychological defiance, drove one by one to an abyss of despair. That night, we took shelter on a cave, and shared its roof with a family of skeletons that made this gap on the mountain their home for centuries. Despite the blowing wind and the drenching humidity, we were able to light a fire and roast the last of our game. While sucking the lean meat from the fragile bones of an overcooked squirrel, I glanced towards the bottom of the cave where the carcasses of our hosts lay, and looking into their empty sockets, I saw my destiny. On the wall, black markings made of coal caught my attention. The drawings depicted a group of men being followed by a larger silhouette with pointy ears. It could be a wolf if it were not for its height. A demon, perhaps, or a vision from people long forgotten. On the first light, I left the cave and my companions behind, for during the night, they have all joined our hosts in an eternal sleep. As I approached the summit, that putrid smell turned sour, stronger than ever, as if a thousand bodies were left in the open to disintegrate over time. The snow turned thicker, and the paths became steeper as I pushed myself against the blowing wind, depriving me from seeing ahead. My hand lifted and covered my eyes, and from between my purple fingers, I saw a narrow path that pushed the snow aside and left its markings on the ground – a fresh trail, I realized. I followed the trail as it took me to the summit of the mountain. Two pillars emerged from the ground like snow-white banners, showing the world the peak was claimed – not by men – but by nature itself. Molded into the rock, was the inner part of a dome protecting its center from the what looked like a shire devoted to – if not built by – the gods themselves. In its center lay huddle made of what appeared to be a tangled amount of... what is that? I approached it and identified the maze being made from bones stripped from flesh, broken, smashed, and crushed into a bed that smelled of mold and rotten flesh. Big and small, long, and thin. I saw the fabric scratched along the way, and the splinters of weapons left throughout the mountain. These were the remains of the expeditions, the leftovers of our friends, the pieces of our royal guard. I lifted my cloak to retain the nauseating smell, while struggling not to vomit as I moved closer to the basket. Inside were the remains of animals and men, piled at each other through time. Cornering a rock, I followed the trail of bones, and then I heard. The visceral sound of a meal being eaten, meat being pulled from the bone, blood dripping, and a constant snort of desperation. Over a large pile of bones, a dark creature full of fur leaned and feasted. Its dangled black hair dripped with blood, and the stench was more than I could bare. It looks like... a wolf. And I remembered the drawings on the interior of the cave. Three, maybe four times my size, thick and muscular, its arms stretched wide could reach me in a heartbeat. I tried to sneak away, but the mere sound of my pounding heart must have alerted the beast. It turned and stared with fearsome yellow eyes, and as I pointed my spear to its chest, one swing of its long and hairy arm was enough to blind my sight and numb my senses. Laying on the snow, my sight turned darker and I heard the bark of my best friend Bartosz. …The councilor knocked at the Rego’s chamber door. “Your Highness, we are being called to position in the war of the continent. They ask for men and weapons. Our presence is demanded at once”. The Rego took the parchment and tossed it in the hearth. “How can I take part, when all my men were sent to the mountains and failed to return?” ________ Louis of Nutwood. Hope you like it. Would love to hear thoughts and comments.
  6. It has been three days since we were run off the road into the Wither Woods. I can see why our Rego was apprehensive on getting involved on the continent. What should have been a simple trip to the Avalonian capital has turned into a slaughter in the dark inside these woods. Death lurks in these trees. My contingent of solders has all but vanished and I know it is not cowardice or desertion. I fear if I fall asleep, I may never wake, but I have not slept since we were attacked on that first night; I can fight it back no longer. We’ve situated camp on this crag over a stream; we will be safe on two sides, at least. Hirbod has the first watch. May his eyes, and ears, not fail us tonight. -Sicuro Off-Course in the Wither Woods After weeks of no word from Sicuro or the contingent of men he led to Avalonia, rumor made its way to the Rego of Varlyrio. This whisper was enough to convince his minster of War and himself that isolation from the continent was prudent. Varlyrio would not send troops to the Battle of Historica. ------------------- This is my entry into the Guilds of Historica Book III Challenge V: Category A (which takes place in Book II). This lost diary entry explains what happened to the contingent of troops sent by the Rego of Varlyrio. Their disappearance solidifies his view that Varlyrio should stay out of the distant war. A bonus image of the MOC can be seen below. It features full lighting and and an aerial view. Aerial View I’m also submitting this MOC for review in the University of Petraeas Doctorate of Historica Program under the following two categories: Landscape Design → trees #1 Geography → forests The coniferous trees follow Katie Walker’s design while the odd-angled branched ones are based on Legopard’s Design. I found both by following this Brickbuilt Tutorial. Website | Flickr | YouTube
  7. The Guilds of Historica Book III Challenge I: A Time to Rebuild Challenge II: Bread and Circuses Challenge III: What Will Tomorrow Bring? Challenge IV: The Turning Point Challenge V: Intrigue On The Island Guild The Guilds at Rest? Queen Ylspeth’s victory has firmly established her reign in Historica and re-kindled the enthusiasm for their young monarch in the hearts of all true guildsmen and women on the continent; but in Varlyrio, where only recently the bonds have been growing with the rest of the Historica, the air is still tense and shrouded in mystery. The Rego’s suspicious attitude toward the queen and the difficulty with which the island’s trade was opened to the other guilds points to possibly dangerous waters ahead between the guild leaders and the crown, and the intrigue between the leading families is heard in a rumbling unrest just below the surface. And to cap it all off, the non-appearance of any Varlyians from the east at the battle which proved the turning point of Ylspeth’s reign has the Queen determined to find out what is going on and to turn her undivided attention to the islands of Varlyrio. Category A: The Varlyrian Troops The foremost question about the condition of Varlyrio is, Why did the Rego not send troops? Does he resent the curb on his authority that the queen poses, or was he too busy securing his own position and interests and quelling opposition in the guild? Or did he send them? Was there treachery involved and were the troops massacred, or did he try to send reinforcements and was defied by the other houses? Your job is to build a scene that explains the situation, showing either what happened with the troops or why they were not sent or did not make their appearance. This scene does not necessarily have to occur in Varlyrio proper, but it must relate to the Rego and his actions or lack of action on behalf of the queen. Size limit: a maximum of 28x28, in any orientation. Prize: 70658 Oni Titan Category B: The Eastern Families While the last few years of Rego Amancio’s reign have been relatively tranquil, there is little love lost between the principle families of the realm, and turmoil has been lurking just under the surface. The Rego’s hold on the realm is tenuous at best, and the question of his standing with the queen has not served to put him in a more enviable position. On one hand there are those who criticize the opening of the guild to the rest of Historica in his reign, and on the other there are some who fear that the Rego’s lack of cooperation might result in an open rupture or even war with the queen. And, only waiting for the moment to spring into action or come to the light, lies all the backstabbing, family warfare, assassinations, blackmailing, alliances made and broken, and, in a word, all the intrigue and scheming that Varlyrio is famous for. For this category, 3 to 4 builds are required per collaborative team, showing the intrigue and developments of Varlyian politics, especially with reference to the current Rego and the families’ view of his relation with the queen. Each team must consist of 2-4 members of the guilds (they can join up with other members from any guild they choose), and they must together tell a convincing story of at least one Varlyian family and its involvement with the Rego or with any other family in the guild that is either supportive or against the Rego, resulting in some change in the current ranking levels of the Varlyian power-scheme. Note that, while most of the families vying for power are based in eastern Varlyrio, builds and stories do not need to be confined solely to that side of the island - teams are even encouraged to bring in other aspects of Varlyrio to tell their story and to involve badland bandits/pirates on the high seas/mountain Dwarves/etc. in their intrigue if/as much as they wish. If your team does not include a member of Varlyrio, you may either (a) choose an unclaimed family to play around with, (b) contact any member of Varlyrio for permission to use their family (@Garmadon's family is available for anyone who would like to use it, though if you are the second or third to ask some characters may already be tied up), or (c), if there are no other families available or the family you contacted has not responded, you may make up a family/backstory of your own to add to the roster. In the latter case, contact Garmadon to place your family in the Varlyrian ranking system, which he will do in accordance with your backstory. Feel free to contact @Garmadon with any questions about Varlyrian families or the Varlyrian ranking system. The usual Varlyrian rules apply about using other member’s characters (namely, ask one of the guild-leaders if you would like to engage in a life-threatening act against someone who has not already given permission for their characters to be assassinated - otherwise you may do very much as you please), and, while you are encouraged to tie your story in with the other Varlyrian intrigue and any previous entries to this challenge as much as possible, the only real requirement is that your team’s collaborative story should be cohesive in itself. Team entries will be judged on both their story and build quality (not quantity), and the winning team will win the challenge and its story will outplace any other result that may contradict it (though all entries will be “canon” as far as possible). Additionally, one winner will independently be chosen for the highest scoring build of all. Size limit: One unlimited build, and an average of no more than 32x32 for the other 2/3. Looking for a team or another member or two to add to your current one? Check out the team building thread here! Prize for highest scoring build: 70679 Ultra Dragon Winning team prize (to be divided among the members of the team as they choose - one minifigure each if there are four on the team, of course): From left to right: Zusto Finollo, Lord of Baiamonte, Bjarke de Fiori, Giusta Chiaro, and the Rego of Varlyrio, Supano Amancio. General Rules Scoring: Builds will be scored on a criteria of quality, presentation, and story. As mentioned, in Category B there are prizes both for the overall best build and for the team with the highest group score of all. Rules: Only one entry per category is allowed, though obviously Category B may involve a number of builds. Borders can exceed the maximum size restriction, within reasonable limits. As usual, the orientation of the build may vary as long as the build does not exceed the footprint of the given size restriction (e.g.: 32x64 instead of 48x48 is permissible). No clone brands (Megablocks, KREO, etc) allowed, but 3rd party fig parts and accessories (Brickarms, Citizen Brick, etc.) are acceptable. All entries should be posted in their own topic, with the title of: "CHALLENGE V: Category X: Name of your build". Please also post a link to your topic here. For Category B, each team may decide whether they would rather post all their builds in the same topic or in separate posts, but the entire team entry (3 to 4 builds) should be posted in one post in this thread. Note that, in the case that a member of two of a team fall through and the team is only able to get 2 or less builds finished for Category B, those who finish in time will still be able to enter and be eligible for the highest scoring build prize, but not for winning team's. Deadline: End of day on May 31st, anywhere in the world. Check out the list of Varlyrian families and their current rankings in this thread. Quick-list of family permissions: As mentioned before, in order to use a family for your team, you may either (a) choose an unclaimed family to play around with, (b) contact any member of Varlyrio for permission to use their family, or (c), if there are no other families available or the family you contacted has not responded, you may make up a family/backstory of your own. These permissions above relate to what you may do to members of other families in your intrigue/story collab. Of course, if those family members are involved in other ways than getting themselves assassinated or the like, they ought to be used in accordance with their character in as much as it is already written, and if your team wants to make an alliance/marriage/etc with another family the procedure would be exactly like it would be at any other time in Varlyrio. Feel free to ask here or PM @Garmadon with any questions.
  8. Looking to get together a team of others for Challenge V? Trying to find another member or two to fill up your team? Or are you looking to enter the collaboration category and at a loss how to get started? Here's the place for you! Any and all team building discussion can take place in this thread, and, since there's really no need to keep them secret, I'll also ask complete groups to post here with a list of their team and to mention which Varlyrian family they're planning on building for. Any questions relating to the challenge but not directly to team building can continue in the Challenge thread, and as before, if you have any questions about story or intrigue, feel free to shoot a PM to @Rogue Angel or myself!
  9. Illaryian, Varlyrio Even in times of peace, it is sometimes necessary to maintain the practices of war. Supano Amancio and his advisors considered ways to fulfill the Queen's decree and eventually had the idea of reviving the old sport of Calcio as a way to not only promote cohesion between the Guilds, especially newly welcomed Varlyrio, but also as a way to keep the warriors of the Guilds doing something where their skills are useful off the battlefield. An exhibition game between teams made up of Kaliphlini and Mitgardian warriors was hastily planned. The warriors, of course, very much enjoyed a chance to meet on any field of honor. It's important to remember that Calcio is a rough game, however, The ball is heavy and must be maneuvered with the full strength of the body. Between the ball and the martial prowess of the players, Calcio often leads to injuries. The Mitgardian and Kaliphlin onlookers react with horror or elation as a Mitgardian player goes down in a spray of blood across the sand. The Varlyrians in the crowd are mostly bemused at the peoples of other Guilds playing their ancient sport. Queen Ylspeth herself has turned up for the exhibition. Though a part of her would rather be walking among the people, taking in their reactions and the general pulse of her subjects, she can't argue with the superior view of the game from the rooftop. She is flanked by Cedrican guards and N'ri, her friend from Mwamba, as well as a young woman from Mitgardia. Alva Tyrnsdottir has walked a long road from Arnarvhall, but she is proud to be in the Queen's service. As trade and travel open between the Guilds, plenty of people from Kaliphlin are able to show up for their team's big game. On the other side of the sand, the Mitgardians have also turned up in numbers. Unused to the heat of Varlyrio, many have shed their furs and leathers in favor of the lighter clothing of their southern territories. Varlyrians move about the plaza where the game has been set. A Knight of Sana Argenta offers water to a thirsty minotaur sailor. Warriors, sailors, and people from all around Varlyrio move about on their business or stop to watch. Crown Knights of Cedrica mix with Varlyrian orders, prominently patrolling in parade armor to show that they are there to keep the peace and promote the mix of cultures. The game also provides a good cover for meetings of import between important Guild Leaders... Supano Amancio and Elon Chorian make no effort to hide who they are, nor what they discuss. For now, this is a chance meeting (or meant to seem like one) which, for anyone who doesn't know Chorian, might explain why he has no guards. Amancio is flanked by two members of other Varlyrian Houses, periodically drafted as ceremonial guards to promote cooperation among the Houses and giving a Rego a chance to get to know rising stars. It seems obvious that these two may meet again. Perhaps with the High Queen. Perhaps not. What might come out of that meeting, however, is anyone's guess... -- Thanks for looking! Builder's Notes:
  10. Basiliscus

    The Road West

    Previously The regular squeak of the cart's axle had plagued them the entire way, and yet the driver seemed entirely oblivious. Meiyo thought it would be wise to stop off and get some fat to lubricate it before they got to the harder part of their journey, but she knew that'd be unlikely. Even though they were in friendly territory on the east side of the high ridge mountains the further west they went the less populated the land became. Her mind wandered back over the events of the past few days. After his father's orders to head west a few days ago, Mychel had wanted to take a strong force of 20 men with him to ensure their safety but Staffen would have none of it. Meiyo listened as Staffen told Mychel that he needed the men of the Conzaga private militia with him in case his enemies struck again, and he offhandedly remarked that "the bird" would keep him safe. Meiyo would miss the safety and comfort of the eastern lands, but getting some respite from Staffen's sharp tongue would be welcome. In the end Meiyo had gone to the barracks and asked for volunteers. There had been few hands raised, but when an old veteran came forward and declared he would accompany them some of the younger soldiers wanted to come along too. "What is your name soldier?" "It's Gineto. I served with Nestur in the wars against Ravaage." Meiyo examined him closely - he had a neatly trimmed goatee in the Varlyrian style and a well kept but well used chain mail shirt. But his eyes were dark and hard, just the kind of man they would need in the wastelands. "Very well Gineto, you are coming of your own free will mind." Meiyo didn't want anyone to abandon them when the going got tough. Gineto nodded. Meiyo continued, "Pick two of those who have volunteered and meet us at dusk." Travelling with a smaller escort had a number of advantages. For one, the cart and driver that Staffen had supplied his son was not large, and food would be hard to come by once they'd crossed the mountains. Carts would slow them down and become a liability if they were attacked. Additionally, the fewer men in their group meant easier access through the dwarven lands who, being wary of the humans inhabiting the eastern side of Varlyrio, might refuse them passage if they felt threatened. Once the soldiers were gathered and the cart loaded with ale, bread and a few of Mychel's essentials (he expected to travel in a certain manner) the group set off west. They travelled through the rolling green fields and since bandits were rare here the mood was light and conversation flowed. Gineto had an attentive audience for his war stories. The cart's squeak began to slow meaning the convoy was coming to a stop, and Meiyo's thoughts drifted back to the present. A small group of peasants were out picking grapes near the road side. They were using a small storage barn to store their produce before it was transported for sale. Mychel began to veer off the road to engage them in conversation and Meiyo stuck close by, just in case. After a brief chat, the group returned to the road and continued on their way. Meiyo realised she had forgotten to ask for fat for the cart axle, and it's renewed squeak reminded her of how far they still had to go.
  11. Previously Even for Varlyrio it was an unseasonably warm winter's day, and it seemed as if half of Illaryian was in the stands to watch the races. With the queen's call for entertainment, the Supano Amancio had asked all of the finest horse breeders in Varlyrio to prepare their steeds to compete in the largest horse racing event in a generation. Outside the capital in an area of flat land the nobles had put up stands from which to watch the entertainment, which had turned into a competition to show of their wealth and status. Staffen had paid for a grand timber frame to be made in a style celebrating Varlyrian's ancient past, and once the labourers had made the structure safe he arranged for plasterers to come and cover it in stucco and paint it white. Finally, a few artists had come and added some detail to it to help make it stand out. It hadn't been cheap, but there was no mistaking that the Conzaga's had arrived. Staffen knew that he had to. After the recent attempt to poison his son Bernaldo he had to show his enemies that the Conzaga's would not be bowed by the threats. Bernaldo was his son and, at least nominally, his heir. Staffen had situated him pride of place in the front row of the stand guarded by his own minotaur bodyguard. "But father, no-one would dare attack us in public like you think! Minos can take the day off and enjoy the races.", said Bernaldo when he was told of the plan. This was typical of his naivety - he had underestimated the ruthlessness of his family's enemies - a mistake Staffen would not make twice. Staffen insisted it was Minos or he stayed inside the manor and Bernaldo reluctantly agreed. After being cooped up for weeks for his own safety Staffen knew his son would leap at the opportunity to get his freedom for the day. Around the grandiose Conzaga display was simpler timber stands for the ordinary folks. The crowds chattered loudly enjoying the day away from their trades. At the opening ceremony, they cheered for the riders; when they thundered passed they whooped and groaned and money changed hands and back again. But Staffen was not even listening, he had more important matters on his mind. As part of the queen's push to impress her subjects the Conzaga's had been approached to freely give out their wine to the common folks. When Staffen had objected to this, the envoy had opened a chest and the sparkling contents made him reconsider. There was a queen's ransom in diamonds inside! It was easily enough to pay for every man, woman and child in Historica to forget their woes for the day. While the diamonds were a welcome boost to the Conzaga treasury Staffen's head spun at what to use it for. He could raise an army to muscle out his competitors, bribe spies to find Bernaldo's attacker or build an impressive architectural feat to make him remembered down the ages. Whatever he decided Staffen knew - this was a good day for the Conzagas.
  12. narbilu

    Whispers [CH2 - C]

    Note: Didn't have much time, but I just wanted to start this storyline with the build for challenge 2C Bran was summoned by his dad, Narbilu lord of Avalonia, to meet him in the alley of the far east corner of Kashgar... nothing is known what the two talked about, but it will have consequences for the loosing party.
  13. W Navarre

    The Ilesole Saga

    "Long ago, far to the southwest of all of Historica... "There lay, and there lies still, a tall and lonely city, which is called, Ilesole." "Forgive me! Please!" "It is not for me to forgive..." "But if the skies above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath... "If the sea into which he was cast is washed away with time, "If the sun dries up that sea so that the water no longer parts us, if he can walk from there to here! "Oh, then will the child be forgiven; then will he also be pardoned… "For what he hath done…" “Water… is merciful…” “Not like fire.” “My name is Ásgeir Di Cioto... I come from Ilesole.”
  14. Although the Khaor family thinks that anything cultural is a waste of precious time, they can't let the golden city of Kashgar live without the grandeur of a theater. Every seventh day of the week a small group of actors perform a comedy play. In this case a Kaliphlin soldier who has to fight an evil witch. This way, the Khaor can contol the entertainment in the city. Circus and other artists have to audience before Throll first before allowed in the city. *HSS - Entertainment The open air theater is also suited for my MOC of Kashgar
  15. It is a good thing that Bran keeps a short leach with his family on the other sde of the ocean. The abundance of food that grow in Hemresa, a large island within the borders of Avalonia, is a good trade good versus the high quality clothing that the Khaor supply. The Khaor family have a small fleet of trading vessels like the one shown below, that sail to and from Varlyrio and Kashgar almost all seasons of the year.
  16. Judge of the Wastelands

    Into the Maw (Ch.II Cat. C)

    Previously... <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Raven Fernwood was a bigger man than I had thought. I had expected a meeting with one of the heads of the Trading conglomerates, or perhaps their representative. Instead, tucked in an alley in the town of Gromm, the Governor of the Wastelands was staring past me. We were standing outside of a monastery of some kind, or at least I assumed a monastery. This was it. This was my chance. Refusing to look at me, the Governor cleared his throat. "I understand you know Raven Fernwood." "Perhaps I do." He opened his mouth, then closed it. Struggling, he managed, "So you are the survivor of the civil war inside the Marauders we have to deal with." A fire welled up inside me. All forethought left me. I slammed my helmet on the cobblestone street. "I'm no Marauder. I am Aarinstahrr of the Black Lodge, Raxus Orsen Waythe, warrior of the wastelands. You didn't get a new band of Marauders. The Marauders are dead and gone, in the ash heap of history as far as I'm concerned. And I was the one that broke them." Where disgust had once been, intrigue replaced it. "Why?" And then my speech came to me. "Perhaps you haven't realized, Governor, but a Queen sits on the throne of Historica. For many a year, we have had freedom in our affairs, with no one to rule these lands. And we have flourished. Gromm was once a hut and a well, and now it sits as the crystal in the rocks of the wasteland. But the Queen has acted, taking from one mouth to give to another." "For the good of those starving," he replied, slowly. I smiled. A wolfish smile. I could see it unnerved him. "Sure, of course. For the good of the people. And then, Governor, for the good of the people she will move our troops to borders more important to her. And then for the good of the people, she will take our wealth, which we bleed for, and give it to those who can't pull themselves out of a bottle. She will create charters, without which it will be illegal to trade as we have. And we will be powerless to stop her." "She is a good woman." "So were many, before they felt the power in their hands. I know not her heart, but I have seen the lust of Kings, and I assure you she is not immune from it. None are." "Then we are once again under a..." The Governor looked at me. "Unless we act now. I am no refined gentleman, but I am not a barbarian. Where the Marauders brought chaos, I can bring order. Order necessary to maintain a free Varlyrio. Order necessary to see our fruits continue to mature. You and I, we will check each other. As long as we stand united, Varlyrio shall bow to no grant Queen. But if I am to be an agent of order, I need a seal." "What do you need?" And here came the money part. I was gambling, gambling more than I ever had. What I was asking was not just a risk to myself, but to Varlyrio. But I needed it. "I need to appointed Judge." "The Wastelands haven't had a Judge since Revolwold," The Governor murmured. "Nonetheless it is what I require. Think, Governor. The return of the Judge would mean trade routes would be even safer than they were, more open to commerce. And more to the point, Queen's edicts would be under my purview to enforce. But as the Judge's code states, my duty is to enforce just laws, and just laws only." "I am taking an awful risk, Orsen Waythe. If I am to do this, I must have one question answered. Why did you leave your leader, at a moment your aid would have been indispensable." Unexpected, but bitter all the same. In the end, it was a small price to pay, but I still hated paying it. "I was his son, not his 'adopted son'. He wished me to marry my half-sister, and she wished the same. He told me I would do it, or die. So I left." "Oh that our secrets will remain better hidden," The governor said, with genuine weariness. "You shall have your warrant. I will bring back the position of Judge of the Wastelands."
  17. Garmadon

    De Fiori Forge

    Enter the de Fiori forge! Only the finest and strongest of Varlyrian blades come out of these furnaces, crafted by the sword-making master of the family, Cioro de Fiori. Along with his children, Bjarke and Gionna, Cioro makes almost all of the daggers and swords which originally gave birth to the rise and fame of the de Fiori's. The fire: Gionna de Fiori: And one last overview of the scene: Well, I think that wraps up my family member vigs for now! Check out the last of the new characters here. HQ and the forge pic that I was basing this off of inspired me to try some scene lighting here - getting it just right for the pictures was definitely a pain, but I'm quite happy with the results! Also another entry to CCCXVI (or whatever number we're on now ) - most just because it happened to fit the interior category. Thanks for viewing, C&C are welcome as always!
  18. Garmadon

    De Fiori Armory

    Weapon makers both by trade and inclination, the de Fiori's armory is always sure to be well-stocked and sharp. Although swords are their field of expertise, they do not confine themselves to them entirely, and their armory is packed full with weapons of all descriptions from the de Fiori forges. A closeup: The chandelier: And a last couple of pics: Hey all! Another Varlyrian build from me, this time a full interior scene of the family's armory. Also an entry to CCC's interior category. And since it ended up a lot larger than an 8x8, I went ahead and used the opportunity to introduce quite a number of my Varlyrian characters. Check them all out here! Just have got a couple of them left and I think I'll have all the living family members covered (except one old lady who I only plan on pulling out if everybody else in the whole family dies ) The scene was inspired by this awesome picture, in case anyone was curious Thanks for viewing, C&C are welcome!
  19. Rogue Angel

    The Sunken Tavern

    The Sunken Tavern Sheltered off the coast of Tradesmeet, Halfway between Varlyrio and Avalonia, sits the Sunken Tavern. The Tavern is a favorite destination for many a sailor, captain or pirate. The Tavern provides a safe haven for all. The Tavern does not fall within the jurisdiction of Tradesmeet despite it's proximity, and this make's it especially alluring for those seeking to arrange illicit deals and contracts. While some assume the Tavern is under the control of the Scarlet Marauders, the owner is actually a Kolgari who has run the tavern for as long as anyone can remember. Despite it's illicit reputation, the Tavern is understood to be a safe location to travel to and from unmolested. Some say that the Scarlet Marauders have an arrangement with the Kolgari owner, while others say the Kolgari is a powerful magician with many wards and protections in place. It is even whispered by some that the Kolgari has a Kraken at her beck and call, if such a thing even exists. Regardless, the result is that visitors need not worry about Pirates, Maruaders or Customs agents. A Scarlet Maruader vessel is docked. This is a common sight at the Tavern, and many who wish to make contact with the Marauders will attempt to do so here. The Sunken Tavern has many visitors, and those from foreign ports are not uncommon. Currently an Avalonian ship is docked and the guards appear to be on alert, whether out of caution of fear of recognition, it is hard to tell. A Varlyrian Fisherman is bringing in a fresh load to sell to the larger vessels, and to the Taverns patrons as well. The tavern is well built and has weathered many a squall. It is open in calm or storm. The tavern is on the first floor, and can get quite rowdy, depending on the crowd. The Kolgari owner is Taleth Asari, and she is always accompanied by other Kolgari, said to be her bodyguards or sisters, depending on who you ask. There are two rooms for rent on the 2nd floor of the tavern, with access to the balcony on the third floor, and from there the great room. An Avalonian merchant nobleman has been staying in the great room for a couple of weeks, and is about to depart in the vessel awaiting outside. The balcony is quite popular during dry weather for drinking, socializing and negotiations. A heated discussion is currently going on between a Varlyrian lady and Malco Amancio, the notorious nephew of Supano Amancio, a forceful "negotiator" who is also called 'kneecap' by some behind his back. Malco is always suspicious and hot-headed, and has a particular dislike for his cousin Aldacio, who he thinks is trying to seduce his current consort. Aldacio was born and raised in Avalonia, and his relatives see him as soft and weak, and are embarrassed by his soft Avalonian tendencies. As always, the docks are busy, and populated by all sorts of characters from all over Historica. High rez and more pics on Flickr. Edit: Added exploded view to hidden area
  20. And the second one... As the gnomes are the second largest represented race on Varlyrio, a lot of goods from their factories are exported from the island. The gnome called Freckle issued a permit to build a warehouse at the docks to oversee the trade to the mainland. A small and vast houses a few dozen square meters of crates and boxes leaving the island with every ship that sails. Kashgar update with my new builds:
  21. After a few months (got a new born son, and we called him Moos)... finally with x-mas some time to build. Kashgar is growing and every day new shipments and tradegoods are unloaded by the many ships that enter the harbour. Taxes need to be payed and smuggleware has to be reduced to a minimum, so the Khaor family build a small customs office at the end of the docks. The Lionelle called Shimbash leads a small unit of soldiers and officers to ensure no illegal goods enter Varlyrio from this port.
  22. Hi there! Would like to present my third (already?) moc for the Varlyrio Guild Challenge. It is for 2E: Varlyrio Scenery - Sunken City. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ah, it's you again! How do you blewe? You are becoming kind of a regular in these waters. Float a little bit closer, and i am going to share a secret with you! Can you keep a secret? Of course you cannot! However, it is imperative that i fin you in. Sooner or later, you would notice it anyway. Are you ready? Once upon a tide, long after mer folk moved into Lorelei Loch, they discovered something that completely changed our fate. They found a mersterious pond, filled with magic. In all likelihood, it is a consequence of centuries of magic used to make Horthol, the Sunken City liveable. All the preternatural powers the kolgari and others casted into the environs, somehow cumulated and made this supernatural pool. We named it "Brunnen der Veränderung" in our tongue- the "Well of Transformation" or something like that is the direct translation, but you mer friend can just simply call it the "Spring of Styx" on your common drylander language. Styx was the name of the mergygur who swam across it first. I mean a female finvolk. A nixe. A male is called a nix by the way. WoT01 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr Okay, okay, i won't swim around the kelp anymore! The place can transmute mervolk into surface strollers, and back. All hail Pontus! Now, what do you say about that?! I might add, mer folk weren't very enthusiastic to go dry, but it was too great of an opportunity to just ignore it. It was a small step for mer, one giant leap for merkind. The kolgari helped us a lot to acclimate, and we had the chance to meet a lot of other dust dwellers, who lived in- and around the Sunken City. I mean, we knew these people before, but now it was from a totally different perspective. Mer folk, the mervolk stood on two legs. It wasn't easy at first, but we learned a lot, and gained not less. We looking at the drylanders differently. I know, i know, we still don't fancy them. But it was worse in the past. Let mer hear your questions! I can see it in your eyes, you have some. No, it seems it won't work on other beings. Some kolgari, and non- elves jumped into the well before, but nothing happened, except they became wet. Don't have the slightest idea, why it is only working on us. I can tell you fish don't grow legs neither, if we carry them through. Who? Children of Ceto? They didn't try it yet, as far as i know. Wanted to persuade Octavia to give it a shot, but she wasn't so eager, so i let it go. Where is the well? Well, it can be found in an extraordinary place called Eventide Forest by the Kolgari. Huge dread ash, and midnight maple trees. Dread ashes with their dark red leafs, and orangish flowers. It has also a yellow fruit, the curvy finger. I like it very much, but the webbed winged filcher- which is a smaller flying animal- usually steals most of them. Oh, i saw some different dryland animals too! Well, partially dryland. There was the sun anuran- a very rare frog, and the mavros ophidian. Be careful with that sneaky serpent! Oh, and the drop skorp! That is especially a nasty one, when jumps from the tree into your hair! Lunacy! There were other animals too, like bugs! Big, ugly bugs! When i first saw them, i almost went back underwater immediately... WoT04 by Erhard Maas, on Flickr But we intend to stay above ground with this conversation for a bit more! Be nice now, because i would like you to meet a friend of mine. She is mer "link". Traditionally, when a marmennill, or margygur enters the surface world for the first time, the kolgari assign an aid/ guide to the new fin on the block. We call this person "link". A connection with the surface world. Her name is Coventina, and she is a kolgari circe- a sorceress, so do not offend her because you might find yourself in the shape of any aforemertioned creepy- crawly... May the water flow with you! WoTWP by Erhard Maas, on Flickr ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More pictures can be found in my Flickr album.
  23. A Semi-Typical Specimen of Median Size (But Slightly Above Average Size) Gnome Dwelling Demonstrating the Current Gnome Residential Practices in Varlyrio Proper (Not Having Appropriately Surveyed Those Dwellings Beyond the Limits of Varlyrio) or Gnome Home (East Varlyrian) Provided here is a semi-typical specimen of median size (but slightly above average size) Gnome dwelling demonstrating the current residential practices in Valryio proper. NOTE: This representation does not include those dwellings currently established outside of the Varlyrian continuous landmass as a proper survey of these extra-Varlyrian structures has not been properly completed. This survey is approximately 23.63% complete at this point, with an estimated approximate completion date in 14.5 years, with a standard allowance of 14.2% in either direction. SUBNOTE: Additional information on the progress of this survey can be found in Volume 46 of "Established Standards, Practices and Societal Norms of Gnome Society, And All Associated Concepts and Appurtenances of Relevance" by the Inter-Guild Society of Gnomish Researchers, Inventors, Technologists and Academics (IGSGRITA). The prototypical Gnome presented is myself, Kerstibal Bigglemont - Gnome Artificer and Inventor Extraordinaire, Future-Archaeologic Resource, and IGSGRITA Certified Master Academic. This is a typical Gnome home, incorporating steam power, hot water heating, and other advanced technologies with varying degrees of success and efficiency. The hot air balloon is a common gnome mode off transportation, and perfectly exemplifies the path of gnomish invention and technology - it sometimes takes you where you want, if you plan ahead, but often takes you in a completely unanticipated direction.
  24. Judge of the Wastelands

    Business is What you make it (Varlyrio 1C)

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Business Since the death of the last Aarinstahrr, the Black Lodge Trading Company had suffered. We operated out of the wastelands of Varlyrio, and as such needed a firm grip to keep the trade routes open. But even with my return, funds were simply insufficient. When this happens, options start to shrink. I was told that I needed to sell the company. I had no intention of doing so. Instead, I started a protection business. If we could morph the company from a mere shipping enterprise into the true muscle of the region, our power would only grow. And it was this that had me on the one road through the rocky narrows, a pathway through what had become barren country, unfit for travel, or residence. I needed to make clear why protection from the Company was necessary. Three travelers, unwary of a road they should have been wary of, proved an opportune beginning. They looked shocked when my lancers surrounded them. "What is the meaning of this?" The Goblin looked furious. "You carry much, travelers. But you carry it with little protection." The human girl, from Kaliphlin by the look of it, appeared stricken. She looked back at the lone soldier, carrying nothing more than a crossbow. It would do little against the spears and shields of my troops. "Do you have any idea how much I paid to have safe passage through these parts? Any idea, human?" "Your folly. But I'm not here for your money, goblin. My name is Orsen Waythe, and I take it you intend to see your goods to a city. I need you to carry a message with them. You see deep into the trees?" "I see bodies, strung up like cattle." "Marauders. They've ruled the wastelands for as long as I can remember. And I want you to tell everyone you meet that I and my men killed them, and are willing to offer safe passage to anyone and anything through these lands....for much less than the marauders demand. For far too long, the Marauders have been a thorn in the side of the Black Lodge Trading Company and the good citizens of Varlyrio. No longer." "That's it?" The goblin looked shocked. "Tell them you just butchered the biggest bullies in the business?" "Oh, it's my business now, Goblin. Make sure they know the mark of the Dragon means death to any Marauder who interferes with my shipping routes again. And let the people know they need not fear these masked terrorists any longer." "So be it, Orsen Waythe. I will take your message."
  25. Judge of the Wastelands

    Fort Defiance (Varlyrio 1D)

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> The Gauntlet had been thrown down. Never in my wildest dreams had I entertained the idea that the Marauders would fall for my trap so perfectly. They were the old guard, furious at an affront to their 'honor'. All it required was an easy sale of some Black Lodge Dragon armor to the Queen's troops. Just as I foresaw, instead of making their presence felt, after a raid and nothing more than a few broken bones, the Queen's troops left in a huff, ready to tell their monarch of the barbarians in western Varlyrio. Then I struck. The information on their camp had not come cheap, but it had come so easy I feared the worse. So instead of a march, I led shock troops, my lancers into the Marauder camp. In one swoop, I broke the reigning power over these wastelands for 20 years. But the treacherous line I would have to walk was only getting harder. The Company's forces were holed up in Fort Defiance. Thanks to the last Aarinstahrr, Fort Defiance was well supplied and had the geographical advantage of covering the only water for many miles. And while the last remnants of the Marauders were destroyed, here I plotted. I summoned the only two other stake members in the company, neither of which were particularly thrilled with the turn of events. "I suppose I needn't ask which part of you did the thinking about this particular decision." Corcoran played a soldier, a politician, a businessman, but none of them as well as he played a cynic. "My thoughts exactly." Raven Fernwood was a man of means and had taken a risk investing in Black Lodge given that the Company had just been taken over by an illegitimate son who had not been seen in years. But while he was a bigger liability than Corcoran, he was also more amiable to my ideas. "Read the dispatches coming from the Queen's court. We just bought ourselves the Queen's blessing for a business we just eliminated our main rival in." I smiled. "Perhaps you don't realize the-" "I damn well know what the Queen's hand means," Fernwood interjected. "I never swore fealty to some grant monarch. It's the last thing we need." "You think I'm putting all my eggs in a sovereign hundreds of miles from here? Think bigger. This is PR. I would never have taken down the marauders this easy if not for the fact that people hate them. We cannot let that happen." "Which is why I opposed expanding into protection in the first place," Corcoran complained. "No, stop and listen," I snapped. "The Wastelands bow to no king. But some law and order is required. And if we want a free Varlyrio, we need to be the thing keeping it free. The Queen's protectionism won't stop after she gets a taste of the money, let alone the power it holds. If we become the order around here, no Queen's edict will be enforced without our say-so." Raven Fernwood started to smile. "This could work." "Not only work, but this is a solution to more than one of our problems," I said. "All that we need is something, even the tiniest shred of legitimacy. Which is why you two are here. I need to know who to approach." Corcoran looked interested for the first time. "I may have an idea on that front. There are larger Trading Companies that pay for their own private armies, but don't particularly like maintaining them. If you can put on the face of a gentleman, they may just bite. I can get you the locations of their offices, but that may be the best you get." "Give me a few days, and I will have a proposal that they will tell their wives they came up with," I said. My partners shook hands and nodded. I had won the war. It was time to win the peace.