So overwhelming was the thunder of this water, cascading from unseen springs much higher up the mountainside, that the world seemed silent in its midst. The whole group came to near halt in admiration. Leading them, Sozo allowed the roar to drown his worries, though that was a tall order. Elshak and Dothel were off with new members of the crew who claimed to know of a few others willing to join. They would rendezvous at the next village, meanwhile a Taksil had signed on in their absence, eager to prove his worth. Musings about the schemes of Lottamen and Ort Sirisen also faded. It had become clear that Lottamen had framed Sozo for the murder of the prison warden and the jailbreak, thereby preventing Mythron from getting wise to him. Even the extraordinary dangers of this area, which had caused a constant bearing of arms, vanished.
They were journeying eastward, to Bodus Minor. Sozo was in contact with the Coordinator of the outlaws via skilled messengers. The deal was that he would bring as many committed outlaws as he could in exchange for the protection of his band, access to all information, and a position of authority.
At first the group’s trials seem endless, but, now that Mythron’s attention was turned to an effort against Rainos, the going had become smooth for a time. Mythron had embarked on a campaign to reassert itself as the superpower of this world, but the fringes of its homeland borders were being ravaged by warlords and orc hoards. These marauding, greed-driven forces were making travel more of a challenge than when the knights in blue were around.
Sozo instead scanned his team, his friends. Long days together had made them a tight knit bunch. The dwarf at his side, Morthain he was called, had been to Bodus Minor before it was turned to rubble and wanted desperately to lend a hand in building it back up. He spilled all kinds of stories about the city in its glory, or about how he wound up in that dungeon, way back in Falmor. Truth was that he’d been arrested for selling fake gold and gemstones.
Then there was Joshua, Sozo’s right-hand man and drill sergeant. He did his best to get the lot of them into fighting shape. There was no doubt the he was loyal to Enalica first though, and would return to them if he ever got that chance.
The kid. Lad, junior, short-stuff… the guys had a number of names for him, but they treated him as kindly as they could in these conditions. He was a runaway. The mention of home scared him but he wasn’t willing to tell why. He was handy with the crossbow, full of jokes, and always had a mouthful of things to say. At the sight of the falls, he’d exclaimed, “Oh my flying tomato-headed fish!”
Cal seemed to go as far back as the royal family, with a long white beard to prove it. He’d spent years in the dungeon after working in the treasury for over two decades. He’d lined his pockets before being caught in the act of embezzling. Now he was a grim man with priceless knowledge if you could get it out of him.
Art wasn’t a respected profession in any orc sub-dominion, and it got Kobin drafted within one year of holding a brush. He fought in many battles after that, trying to keep Mythron off their turf, but eventually he’d faced defeat and was taken prisoner. For the past three years he had served Mythron as a slave like the rest of the POWs.
Servant hated his past, whatever it was, and hoped it fade away, not telling anyone for that reason. The Cyclops claimed his life wasn’t worth mention before the jail break, but the newest addition to the team, the Taksil named Zaliborn…
“Stop! No one crosses my bridge, not even for gold!” a voice cried.
Sozo snapped around to see a hooded humanoid atop a black stallion.
“Since when is this your bridge?” Morthain challenged, having to yell in the wake of the waterfall.
The horse reared back, as the being raised a menacing scythe of gold. “As of now!” it answered, energy flashing from his hand and knocking Morthain on his face.
Sozo charged as the being trotted up the bridge. A bust of energy stuck him midstride, stinging his flesh, and flung him over the bridge’s edge. The being laughed, “I am a powerful wielder of magic, you cannot stand against me!”
Sozo swung his scythe down hard, its blade gouging deep enough into the surface of the bridge to hold his weight. Above the wicked sorcerer called out, “Rise minions.”
Two hideous creatures crawled up from beneath the bridge and instantly began to attack. One wrestled Morthain for his ax then tossed the dwarf to the falls, while its twin went for Junior. Joshua jerked the kid to safety as Kobin engaged the monster. No mace was a match for his great sword and he forced his foe back. Before he could finish it though, the hooded being hooked Sozo’s scythe, ready to pull it loose, and spoke in voice so clear that it seemed the waterfall had paused for it, “Stop, outlaws, or your leader dies!”
Everyone hesitated, except the pair of monstrosities. Uncaring, the being yanked free Sozo’s hope, laughing maniacally, “Never-mind!”
However the grer struck stone instead of the churning waters. He quickly caught a new hold with his scythe, and the next moment Morthain’s gargling scream penetrated the mist. Only the random gleam of light off the dwarfs helm foretold of his rapid approach in the current, yet Sozo lunged for him in desperation. His fingers locked around Morthain’s ankle but the weight hauled him further over the edge. Then his scythe slipped.
Above, the hesitation of his force had turned the battle in their enemies’ favor. A solid strike of the mace had knocked Kobin over, Joshua had to block a blow from the sorcerer, and Zaliborn rushed in to face the other minion.
As Cal withdraw the transport cart down the incline of the bridge, the rest of the outlaws hurried into battle. Servant shot out of nowhere, straight for the sorcerer. He rammed the black horse, slamming it to the ground, yet the hooded one had leapt deftly from his doomed stead without missing a beat in his fight with Joshua.
With unperceived power, the sorcerer shoved Joshua then blasted Servant away. Its monsters both charged, but Zaliborn was able hold his own while Kobin recovered by tossing acid in their faces.
Together Brad and Joshua drove the sorcerer against one the bridge’s torch mounts. This left the minions vulnerable to the rest of the outlaws. Kobin cut down his original foe, and Zaliborn pitched the other off the edge.
Energy flared at the sorcerer’s laugh. Brad and Joshua were thrown to their backs, as it rose into the air. This was a humiliation, another attempt thwarted so easily.
Abruptly the laughter ceased, as the sorcerer twist midair to block an attack from behind, but the strength behind Sozo’s scythe was more than even it could handle. It crashed to the ground with an ear-piercing screech.
Before one blink though, it was up again. It redirected Sozo’s next attack and, at the same time, whorled the grer’s team back with the largest burst of energy they’d seen
Sozo swung at the enemy’s open side, but the it twirled its weapon around in time to block.
Jerking his scythe down, Sozo jabbed forward. The blunt top edge of his weapon struck the sorcerer’s gut, knocking it off its feet. Sozo flattened the being to the bridge deck, its head dangling over the sharp rocks of the falls and it’s hands forced back where they couldn’t direct magic at him. “Still think we can’t stand against you?”
The sorcerer grinned, “Oh, but you can’t. You can’t kill me, not if you want your sister to live ‘til tomorrow.”
“You fool,” Sozo pressed the scythe down harder, yelling to be heard, “My sister died in Blood Bay.”
“No, that’s what you assumed since she was reassigned to sail on the Cleaver. In reality that was over a month before Blood Bay, a whole month in which you never saw her. During that time she was sent to man a reconnaissance vessel going to Carthal, there were Enalican soldiers waiting in the city for the main attack force. When that force never arrived those soldiers and their teams scattered across Mythron to form make new lives for themselves.”
Sozo let up a little, shock by what he just heard, “Prove it. Prove that you have my sister!”
“She told me everything I just told you!” Sozo was still unconvinced, so the sorcerer continued with a sigh, “Her name is Kavita, she has dark brown hair, and you could never deny each other. She is as stern as you are…”
That was enough, it had to be his sister. Sozo let the hooded being up, “How did you get her?”
“I bought her as a slave,” the sorcerer said matter-of-factly. “You grers are cheap either.”
“What do you want?”
“Well, I got everything I came for: My monsters tested, knowledge about the strength of your force, your humiliation… But we’ll meet again, Sozo of Blood Bay, I’ll find you. When we do your sister will be on the line so you had better bring a good bargaining chip yourself!” The sorcerer flew up above them. “For future reference I am the Dark Druid!”
By this time everyone had gathered around, and they glared as the Dark Druid hovered into the distance. This was defeat, humiliating defeat. One being and his pets had battered them senseless, laughing all-the-while, and only Kobin got anything out of it.
(Detail pictures of Thunder Pass, and the builder's notes)
This is the largest creation I've ever posted here on the pages, every 2X(You name it) blue brick I own is in that waterfall. I really wanted to work with some SNOT techniques, and try some unique concepts like the waterfall and rockwork. There are bricks positioned at a total of 12 completely different angles in this MOC which made bringing it all together extremely frustrating. Now that it's finished, isn't it beautiful!
I love the bridge and waterfall! Great story too! I love how you explained all the character's (well, a lot of them) stories! I was hoping we'd see Servant again! The Druid's really cool too! Again, great story!
Fabulous! Awesome water and bridge! Nice rocks too! Really well done! You're fine with the category - you're crossing a bridge where you aren't supposed to and thus causing a threat to the surrounding villages. Besides, many have altered the challenge description for themselves for this challenge.....we'll have to fix that for future rounds :D
The water is great! It's quite unique! I also see the clever uses of some BURPS;) Although, the build/battle is a little hectic. Just try to position the figures a bit better. Good build all in all!
This is a great build! The water technique is awesome! Although, I have to agree with Gilbert about how it doesn't fit into the UCMA. Perhaps if Mythron or Nerogue soldiers were guarding the bridge would have been better. But, I have no complaints about the build itself. Great work!
Awesome waterfall! The 45-degree angles on the water are excellent, as are the roiling effects below. I have to try that technique now.
The story was pretty good, too. Too few adventurers have to face defeat in this game, and I liked the surprise ending. The only problem is that I don't see how it goes with the UCMA.