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  1. Prilo, A Hand of Corruption agent, enters the throne room before Rokkar just as General Grimm reported he would. Prilo: Lord Raavage sends tidings to his great allies, the Zugal, in this important hour. Rokkar’s fingers glide gently over the scroll Grimm claimed he recovered from an agent of The Hand sent to Zar Strongfist and the Zugal's greatest enemies, the Dragon Masters. Rokkar moves his right index finger and thumb against his face as he leans hard on his elbow. Rokkar: Important hour? What news does Raavage send his great allies? What service can the Zugal be to their great master? Prilo senses the sarcasm in Rokkar’s voice. He looks nervously around the room and hears the soft clicking of the whispers of the Zugal host surrounding him. He had heard about Rokkar and Korrak, the wingless raven brothers with faces of birds and bodies of men; the brutal and fantastic duo that had trained and bred a whole host of raven warriors to capture this small piece of land from the Dragon Masters. To Prilo, the Eyrie was just another rock in the swamp, just like Abyssian, but to the Zugal this was the only place that had ever been home. Unease washes over Prilo, but he has no reason to know Rokkar’s temperament. He was sent to deliver a scroll, and so he would deliver it. Prilo: A message from your master and mine. Sealed and carried by me alone to your great fortress. It is sent directly from Raavage for your eyes only. A Zugal warrior flaps its wings, springing from the shadows to snatch the scroll from Prilo’s grip. The warrior flips the scroll to Rokkar as Prilo recoils in shock . Rokkar opens the scroll, reads it quickly and tosses it casually to his brother, Korrak. Rokkar: It appears authentic, does it not, Korrak? Korrak: Yes brother, just like the other. Prilo’s hair begins to raise on the back of his neck as the clicking from the Zugal becomes louder. Prilo: The other? Korrak and Rokkar grin, or whatever the equivalent of a grin is to the Zugal. Korrak: Yes Prilo, this is not the first message we have received from Raavage today. Rokkar quickly stops his brother from saying more. He would not have him reveal who delivered the scroll. He would seek to shelter Grimm for the great service he had performed, should it be true. Rokkar: Allow me to read a passage from another scroll sent to our enemy, Zar Strongfist, intercepted by my men today. “Zar Strongfist, I send you tidings in this, our most important hour.” Korrak glanced angrily over at Prilo. Rokkar: “I send this message with the hope that a new alliance between our two great nations will benefit our mutual interests. In exchange for your vow to help my army take the fortress of Abyssian, I, Raavage, Lord of the Darklands, promise a restoration of your lands in Avalonia…” Rokkar pauses briefly but there is no reaction from Prilo. Either he did not know of this second message or Grimm is a liar. The raven does not need to refocus his eyes on the scroll as he has already memorized the final passages of the scroll. Rokkar: “… and to cede the Zugal’s Eyrie to you, our new friends. I send this message in great confidence by my most trusted agent for your eyes only.” Prilo is not surprised by the words in the scroll. He considers questioning the authenticity of the scroll, but he can tell his voice and eyes will betray him. The outcome of this exchange seemingly inevitable, the only control he now has is over how quickly he dies. Prilo pulls a knife from a sheath inside his left sleeve and plunges it into his heart. A high pitched screech bellows out from the Zugal host. Korrak: Then Grimm has told the truth. The Spire seeks to betray us. Rokkar: Yes, it is true. When word of the agent’s death reaches the Spire, an attack will come. We must strike at our enemies now while we have the advantage. Release the ravens and ready my mount. We go to war! ********** About this MOC ********** A few months ago ZCerberus contacted me about doing a Nocturnus collaboration. We decided to pit his Dragon Masters against my Ravens (Zugal), and this is my contribution. The overall MOC was initially inspired by the Eyrie in the Game of Thrones universe, and the architecture was inspired by Noddy's Brother's Tower. ********** Other Parts of the Story ********** Throne Room at Farnhorn Collab Prelude Part I The Spider's Chambers Collab Predlude Part II The Ruins Collab Display Part I Dragon Keep Collab Display Part II Zugal's Eyrie Collab Display Part III Fracture Collab Display
  2. ZCerberus

    Dragon- Handrid

    Handrid is one of four known living dragons to be trained by the Dragon Masters. He was sired from the male dragon Harbone and the female dragon Dravin, twin of Dronis. Handrid is the only known dragon to be bred in captivity. As such, Handrid was favored by the Dragon Master leader Zar Strongfist even though Handrid is small for a dragon of his species. When dragons are trained by the Dragon Masters, their front claws are bound together. After the training is complete, the chains are broken in the Freeing Ceremony. If the dragon attempts to flee it is killed, if it remains loyal, it is never to be chained together again, though the chains are left in place as a symbolic gesture of breaking the dragon. During the battle between the Zugal and the Dragon Masters, Handrid defended Dragon Keep honorably, though the keep was ultimately lost and Handrid fled into the Rakath mountains as the Dragon Masters escaped to find their kin. Anzar Strongfist, son of Zar, seeks to discover where Handrid has fled. **********About the MOC********** This is a slightly beefed up version from the Fracture Collab, thought the major elements remain the same. He is actually quite sturdy with the new Mixel/Legend Beast ball joints, at least after I did some reinforcement here and there. A few of these shots can only been seen here on EB and not in the Flickr photostream!
  3. Anzar Strongfist, son a Zar Strongfist, the slain Dragon Master feels as if the entire world is collapsing around him; his father slain by the black knight, and now the Zugal in full assault on Dragon Keep. Anzar is not the warrior his father was. He has no mind for tactics and no love for the glory of battle. If his brother, Tanzar were here, the Dragon Masters would have a leader. Word would never reach his brother at the Drake’s Den in time. For this battle Anzar was alone. Mere moments after his father’s dead body was dragged from the keep, Anfil, the Dragon Masters’ resident mage approaches the new leader. Anfil: The black knight must pay for this crime. Throw him from the parapets now and be rid of this scourge! The demand instantly snapped Anzar into focus. He was no tactician, but he was no fool either. He recalls the black knight shouting “The Zugal send their regards” before he committed the heinous act, but then why was a snake on the scroll Burress brought before his father? What’s more, why did he carry a token from Malicia Darkheart, a very dear ally of his father? Why did the guards allow the black knight before his father armed with sword and ax? A thousand possibilities ran through his head. Perhaps this was a Zugal plot, or maybe Raavage held a secret grudge that the Dragon Masters never joined his call to arms. Maybe Tanzar, Anzar’s own brother sent assassins hoping to replace his father as new leader. Perhaps Anfil , now desperate to silence Burress, enchanted the black knight seeking power for himself. The only thing Anzar knew is he must get more answers from the black knight. Anzar: No Anfil. We may need information from the black knight. Clap him in irons and lock him in the tower. Anfil, speechless for a moment, squints sharply, peering hard into Anzar’s eyes. Anzar meets the mage’s glare and in that moment Anfil knows it was not weakness that drew these words. The mage leans back slowly and cranks his head to the right. The Dragon Guard seems to be waiting on Anfil’s commands. Anfil: You heard your master- to the tower with the murderer! Anzar was too tense to be upset that the guards appeared to follow Anfil’s orders. Suddenly an archer calls down from the towers. Archer: The Zugal are in full attack! They have unleashed the raven from the Eyrie. What are your orders m’lord? Anzar leans over the parapets and sees the assault before his eyes. The Zugal warriors have taken full flight and the tides of war have already turned against them. Anzar gives the only order he can. Anzar: Open the gate. Release Handrind. Release the Dragon! A low growl is heard as the portcullis slowly creeps upwards. As the sunlight pours into the opening below the keep, Handrid emerges and lets out a great roar. While the results of this battle hang in the balance, the unity of the Spire does not. This battle can only result in one thing- fracture. **********Detail shots********** **********About this MOC********** The Collab MOC started around mid February when ZC asked Torgar if he would be up to do a collab for SpringCon, a comic book convention in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. The local LUG, TwinLUG, does a display every year and with ZC and Torgar becoming members, the opportunity seemed perfect for a collaboration. At the time, ZC had already built most of Dragon Keep, so he focused on covering the massive landscape while Torgar built the imposing Eyrie. The base is 80 x 288 studs. The project from that point forward took about three months. ********** Other Parts of the Story********** Throne Room at Farnhorn Collab Prelude Part I The Spider's Chambers Collab Prelude Part II The Ruins Collab Display Part I Dragon Keep Collab Display Part II Zugal's Eyrie Collab Display Part III Fracture Collab Display
  4. On the road to meet the Dragon Masters, Sir Burress encounters an ally from his former life. In the ruins at the crossroads between the Zugal’s Eyrie and Dragon Keep, Nocturnus’s General paces the ruins praying his spies were correct, and that his former friend, Sir Burress, lives and is traveling the road alone. He had heard Burress was saved from death, but hopes it is not too late to save him from whatever dark magic the Hand has placed on him. Grimm sees a man dressed in black approaching from the distance and Grimm orders his guards to hide. He steps into the road to confront the black knight. He is startled when he can recognize his old friend in the eyes of the undead knight standing before him. General Grimm: Sir Burress- you’ve certainly seen better days. Sir Burress: Silence wolf. I would cut you down were I not on an important mission. Step aside and let me pass and I shall consider sparing your life. General Grimm: Nocturnus is a dangerous land, you think I would travel alone? General Grimm motions his hand and two Grimm Guards step out from behind the ruined walls. Sir Burress: And how do you propose to kill a man who is already dead? General Grimm: I do not plan to kill you Burress. Grimm and his Guard begin to circle Burress. The dead man draws iron and raises his shield when he hears a familiar voice. Miress Greenclove: Whatever magic the Spire has placed on you, I shall see it undone. Miress looks at Burress with a great pain in her soul. His skin is gray and dead, his silver hair has completely fallen out and his muscle atrophied. How he still stands in such condition is impossible for her to tell. Yet she can still see the “Green Knight” in his eyes. If realizes if she completely breaks Malicia’s spell Burress will die again. Instead she can only enchant Burress for a short period of time. Miress Greenclove: The damage is more extensive than I thought. He can only be healed in the Mystic Isles of Avalonia at the Altar of Hardool. We haven’t the time to bring him to Avalonia. I can place an enchantment on the Green Knight, but it will only last a few days. General Grimm: Will he remember what you have done? Miress Greenclove: He will remember nothing. Tell us Burress, what is your mission? Instead of speaking, Burress strikes at the nearest Grimm Guard and disarms him. Burress pulls the guard to his feet and places a blade at the guard’s neck. Sir Burress: Withdraw or I cut this man’s throat. General Grimm: If that is what it takes. Grimm nods and he and the remaining Grimm Guard rush Burress. Sir Burress slits his hostage’s throat and quickly decapitates the other guard before Greenclove’s hidden Elven guard and General Grimm tackle Burress to the ground. Miress Greenclove: If we you won’t reveal the Spire’s secrets to us, we shall extract them from you through the power of the elves! ******** About the MOC ********** This is the first MOC that is part of the larger collaborative build done by Torgar and me. Though I did most of the building, Torgar was a substantial contributor so I have decided to NOT tag this MOC with my signature. It was tricky to do a Nocturnus landscape build. We wanted it to look baren yet interesting at the same time. There will be more to see with this build when we reveal the entire collaborative display. ********** Other Parts of the Story ********** Throne Room at Farnhorn Collab Prelude Part I The Spider's Chambers Collab Predlude Part II The Ruins Collab Display Part I Dragon Keep Collab Display Part II Zugal's Eyrie Collab Display Part III Fracture Collab Display
  5. In General Zurn’s Private Chambers, Basil enters, Malicia listens from outside the chamber door. General Zurn: The fool wishes to risk our pearl for what? That rock in the swamp? We should not stand for this treatment! Drow and Varlyrian forces account for seven of every ten warriors in Nocturnus, we could crush Raavage and the Hand. Basil can see his ally is seriously contemplating open war with the Hand. The Varlyrian Count realizes he must reel in his Drow ally yet again. Basil wonders why Raavage is so concerned with Abyssian, but much like Zurn he believes Raavage is acting out of fear of an assault on Avalonia. Basil knows their best option is to recruit new allies as both a sword against Avalonia and a shield against Raavage’s perceived cowardess. Basil turns grabs a chalice from the table. Perhaps some Blood wine will calm Zurn’s nerves. Count Basil: Open defiance of Raavage would be no better than an assault on Abyssian. We need his soldiers to take Avalonia. An internal struggle with the Hand could be just as dangerous as an attack on Abyssian. If the other guilds see our unity crumbling, they could prey on us and destroy our chances to take the West. Besides, the Hand has many spies and its ability to corrupt even the most loyal of servants could put us at risk of alienation from our own troops, or even worse, an assassination! General Zurn realizes Basil is correct. The Hand has many spies and tentacles in every guild and corner of Historica. He briefly wonders if Basil himself could be a Hand spy. Zurn grips the handle of a dagger on his belt while Basil turns to pour his own drink. He considers killing his “ally” at that very moment, but realizes Basil would never be so careless as to let such a secret slip. General Zurn releases his grip on the dagger and decides to propose an alternative that could give the Drow and Varlyrians what they want without open war with the Hand. General Zurn: Perhaps we need another way to inspire the coward Raavage to move his eye towards the West. There is a group of warriors who have abstained from the battle. If we could bring them into the fold, we could force Raavage to heed our demands and let us press our advantage against the Avalonians. Basil sees that Zurn has arrived at their common solution. Count Basil: You seek the Dragon Masters. General Zurn: Yes, the Dragon Masters. They were once Avalonians until the Westerners kicked them out of their lands for the capture and torture of dragons. They are no friend to Avalonia and with the promise of a combined Drow and Varlyrian assault on Avalonia, they could easily be convinced to assault their former oppressors. Count Basil senses General Zurn has not thought the entire plan through. Zurn would seek this alliance in open defiance of Raavage. Basil quickly steers Zurn towards hiding the plan from Lord Raavage. Count Basil: The Dragon Masters are sworn enemies of the Hand’s allies, the Zugal tribes. If we recruit them, the Hand and the ravens could revolt. Open war with either could stall our plans for the West- it could allow the Avalonians to gather allies and strengthen their defenses. General Zurn turns a wry smile. He knows Basil doesn’t think he has thought this plan through. General Zurn: If the Zugal find out, we must make them believe their issue will be with Raavage and not us. Perhaps a dispute between the Hand and the Ravens could be advantageous. We could keep Raavage distracted while we prepare the assault on the Avalonians. Basil knows the plan is risky, he does not fear the Zugal, but he does fear Raavage and the Hand. The Count quickly seeks to insulate Varlyrio from the Hand should Ravaage discover their plan. Count Basil: The Zugal and Dragon Masters are but a stone’s throw from each other. We must keep our alliance hidden for as long as necessary. Send your finest, stealthiest Drow warrior to conference with the Dragon Masters. Promise the Dragon Masters a full return of their Avalonian lands once we capture the West. Tell him to carry a Hand markings should the Zugal spot him on the road. General Zurn knows Basil likely has ulterior motive for sending the Drow to conference with the Dragon Masters. But if he sends the Drow to the Dragons, he can control the narrative, promise the Dragons part of the Varlyrian cut if they are not as easy to convince as he hopes. Zurn is briefly offended that Basil thinks he is such a fool, but he quickly realizes it is too his advantage. The General buries his contempt and gives a simple nod. ********** Back in the Farnhorn Throne Room ********** Malicia rushes into Lord Raavage’s throne room. Malicia: You were right to be suspicious M’Lord, the Drow and Varlyrians conspire against you. They seek to use the Dragon Masters to replace the Hand in an assault on Avalonia. In exchange, the Dragons would be allowed to reclaim their former lands in Avalonia. Lord Raavage can’t stop his nose and upper lip from twitching. Lord Raavage: Fools! I shall send my guards to end this rebellion now! Malicia sees she is quickly losing Raavage. She needs Raavage and the Book of Souls he possess to raise an army from the dead. She considers allowing Raavage to declare war with the Drow and Varlyrians, but she believes her best chance to capture Abyssian and the sphere is a combined assault with all three Black Spire factions working together. She knows Raavage prefers those who are direct. Malicia: Do not act so rashly M’lord. The Drow and Varlyrians make up a majority of our forces. An open assault would not be wise. We need the slime until we can take Abyssian and raise a new army from the dead. Lord Raavage digs his nails into the arm of the throne, but he realizes he cannot take Abyssian without the Varlyrians and the Drow. Lord Raavage: And you have a plan, Malicia? Malicia: Yes, M’lord. We should send my pet to meet with the Dragon Masters. They have much in common, they are both disgraced Avalonians who have found a new home in Nocturnus, and the Dragons could be very useful in an assault on Abyssian. If we can convince the Dragon Masters an Assault on Abyssian is the proper course, the Varlyrians and Drow will have to hold their plans to take Avalonia, giving us enough to time to capture Abyssian and the Orion sphere. Lord Raavage: Your plan is dangerous Malicia. The Dragon Masters are sworn enemies of the Zugal and the Drow promise them a return of their former lands. How can we persuade the Dragons to do our bidding while keeping peace with the Zugal? Malicia curls her lips in delight and tilts her head to look the Hand Lord in the eyes. Malicia: We promise the Zugal the Dragons’ lands once Avalonia has been taken. Lord Raavage snorts in frustration. He lifts his hand to motion a guard into the room. Killing the Drow and Varlyrian rebel leaders appeals to him once more. Lord Raavage: If we give the Zugal the Dragons’ lands, the Dragons will never support us. Malicia takes a quick step forward and to cut off the guard. Malicia: Which is why we must promise the Dragons they can not only have their Avalonian lands once Abyssian has been taken, but that they may also have the Zugal’s land once Nocturnus is ours. Once we have our army of resurrected warriors, it won’t matter who stands against us. Lord Raavage understands now. Promise the Zugal’s land to the Dragons for the assistance, and promise the Dragon’s land to the Zugal for their acceptance. Lord Raavage sees the danger, but knows if the Drow and Varlyrians turn the Dragons on Avalonia first, his ability to take Abyssian could be lost forever. Lord Raavage: Sacrifice our friends for Abyssian? You are most correct Malicia, our alliance with the Zugal should not stand in our way to capture Abyssian. Send your mutt, Sir Burress to convince the Dragons. Outbid the traitors by telling the Dragons we will cede the Zugal’s land AND we will help them retake their lands in Avalonia and I will send a Hand agent to tell the Zugal they shall have the Dragons’ lands once Abyssian is ours. The Zugal are loyal to me, I only fear your mutt will not be able to convince the Dragons to assault Abyssian. Malicia: Fear not M’Lord. I send Burress with a Dragon Master shield. It was given to me by one of their leaders, Zar Strongfist. Zar will know the message comes from me and that he can trust Burress. Lord Raavage leans forward in his throne. Lord Raavage: Trust Burress? Malicia, it is you the Dragons cannot trust! ********** About this MOC ********** Another day, another Mosiac floor. I built this MOC in the last two days to continue the story. I am using the Drow inspired black and red for the floor on this one and though Zurn also pimps a skull shield as his personal herald, the spider is more Drow-esque. The collab MOC parts are coming Starting Monday! ********** Other Parts of the Story ********** Throne Room at Farnhorn Collab Prelude Part I The Spider's Chambers Collab Predlude Part II The Ruins Collab Display Part I Dragon Keep Collab Display Part II Zugal's Eyrie Collab Display Part III Fracture Collab Display
  6. Basil, Zurn and Malicia enter the Hand Throne Room at Farnhorn Fortress, a new hand outpost near Abyssian. Basil and Zurn are elated. Finally, they will be able to leverage their combined forces to invade the West. The Varlyrians have always had eyes for the Western plains, a climate and landscape more hospitable to the islanders, while the Drow’s hatred for the Avalonians and their Elven allies can only be slaked by blood. Count Basil: M’lord, we have raised the defenses throughout the land and have bested the Nocturnians in battle. General Zurn: We have pushed the Snake into his hole at Abyssian. We now control all of Nocturnus except the Snake’s lair. Lord Raavage snarls and angrily shifts his weight in the throne. He quickly realizes he must do his best to keep emotion in check. He needs the Drow and Varlyrians to take Abyssian and complete his plan to capture the Orion Sphere and raise an army from the dead. If he reveals too much, perhaps his allies will know he plans to slay them all. Even with this caution in his head, he can’t control his disappointment. Lord Raavage: And you think this is victory? I said I wanted ALL of Nocturnus. Count Basil looks uncomfortable. He knows an assault on Abyssian will be a hard battle and will cost many lives. He never wanted the Darklands anyway; his eye was always on the West. His elation turns to nervous fear as he shuffles his feet backwards away from Raavage. The Count hopes reason will be a satisfactory tool. He looks at his Drow ally realizing Zurn is also surprised by Raavage’s reaction. Count Basil: M’Lord, the Nocturnians rallied many allies to their cause and have managed to hold Abyssian. I fear a direct assault could leave us vulnerable to attack from the other guilds. Feeling emboldened by his ally, the Drow General speaks. General Zurn: We could choke the life out of the snake by placing a rock in front of his hole, but we see that Avalonia is weak and ready for the taking! Lord Raavage knows his plan to raise an undead army can only be accomplished by taking Abyssian. He tries to even his tone, but hints of his anger seep through. Lord Raavage: I care not for your excuses and “concerns”, you were given the task of taking all of Nocturnus, and we are not done until the black and white banner flies above Abyssian. General Zurn can no longer hide his frustration. He peers over at, Malicia, but she only smirks when Lord Raavage makes his pronouncement. He wonders why Raavage fears Abyssian. He begins to believe Raavage is fearful of an assault on Avalonia. The General begins to wonder if Raavage has any plans to attack Avalonia at all and speaks in a defiant, angered tone. General Zurn: M’Lord, you promised the Drow Avalonia. Raavage is annoyed with the charged, but this time he hides his emotions well. Lord Raavage: And you fear I will not keep my promises? What about your own promises? You agreed to take Nocturnus, and it is not complete until we have taken the Snake’s lair. I will hear no more of these insults. Prepare to press the assault on Abyssian! General Zurn and Count Basil glance at each briefly before each takes a bow and leaves the throne room. Lord Raavage is right, they did promise him Nocturnus, and it is clear the Lord of the Hand has his eyes set on Abyssian. The pair will have to find another way to move Raavage’s eyes to the West. ********** About the MOC ********** This MOC is intended to be a mini version of the Hand Throne Room from Challenge VI. It will be used to display Rellik Nam and Revolword in my LEGO room. It also happened to work well for the story that will unfold and lead up to the collab display that was done with Torgar. ********** Other Parts of the Story ********** Throne Room at Farnhorn Collab Prelude Part I The Spider's Chambers Collab Predlude Part II The Ruins Collab Display Part I Dragon Keep Collab Display Part II Zugal's Eyrie Collab Display Part III Fracture Collab Display