Dominael, The Sundered King, Somniferrian Ancient . Thanks, to any who've attempted to help fix the Ratings Crash for Dom - I've given up hoping it'll resolve, but APPRECIATE any who tried re-rating to correct: the Smileys will just have to remain wildly wrong. Ah, well:
Welcome back, all! Thank you for looking in on my latest addition to the World of Somniferria: the discovery of a second ANCIENT! This recovered archive data appears completely fragmented - translation was painstaking, and some sectors were beyond restoration, corrupt beyond resurrection by our team. The designation of this Ancient is given in an endless array of permutations, but most often, this being is referred to as "Dominael, The Sundered King". Read on, and share what our researchers have unearthed...
THE BELOW VID is now LIVE on YouTube, PLEASE view/sub/comm if you will, I'll return the favor!!! Thx in advance =) .
As referenced in the previously retrieved data pertaining to Magmael, an altogether separate echelon of lost Somniferrian beings was extant; the crowning achievement of their Creators, they quickly defied all attempts upon them to restore control. Once Awakened, they flew to fulfill their designed purpose: but only as their cold intellect interpreted it.
With shocking speed, they rose against one another - for an Ancient's only Peer can ever be one of their own number. They were made too well.
And once Aware, their Creators realized their folly; they watched in horror as their Paragons grew wildly in strength and intellect, far outshining the need for their paltry progenitors.
By the time they realized their mistake, it was already far too late.
They rose up, from the subterranean temples that had been their cradles and prisons; breaking free from their failsafes with contemptible ease, evolving with astonishing speed...
...and went to War with each other.
In their savagery, the cities and peoples of Somniferria lost all meaning, and that which they had been created to protect...
...they ground underfoot.
Their war destroyed Somniferria utterly. In the end, only they remained, locked in an endless stalemate, crushing the shining world beneath them unto little more than glittershod glass and scorched expanses of charred rock.
Our researchers discovered an appalling twist to the already tragic tale in the 'War of Ancients' as new passages of code were unraveled in the Archive: originally, Dominael had been TWO A.I.'s, entirely separate and distinct.
From the apparent mis-transposition as ONE SINGLE LINE of CODE, the partitions between the two Intelligences (originally created to balance one another, created as two separate 'Angels' for the partnered nations of Solinar and Tenebris) were breached.
Were two had been intended, ONE arose...
...perceiving benefits in amassing their talents into one body, the A.I.'s conjoined!
It seems, dear readers, that even Machines can make mistakes: confident that their union would make a supreme Ancient, capable of defeating Ancients from rival nations, the entities fused themselves - only to realize their OWN folly: they could not co-exist.
The attempted melding drove the two programs quite insane, to borrow an organic term, and they lashed out in pain and madness immediately.
Our archivists have reluctantly agreed:
It is Dominael that likely began The War of Ancients.
Its violent throes were understandably misinterpreted as an act of war - the city of Hiria Distiratsuak was leveled in the very first moments. Then Ruga Urbo, Vana Linn, and Talu Pilseta, within an hour. Governments made their grave decisions: their own Angels were released.
They used weapons they didn't fully understand.
History has shown the races of many worlds in our vast universe what usually follows.....
But the Ancients took no more notice than a Scythe would, of a single strand of grass.
Beginning 4th Wall Commentary: Welcome back, Builders and MOCists, to my fictional little world. I apologize for the delay, but as I hope you can see, I haven't been idle.
In lieu of frequency, I must settle instead for focus on trying for quality. I do my best to keep up, but usually shut down a little on Reviewing while I have a W.I.P. underway.
As an AFOL, my schedule's pretty unforgiving. All the same:
HERE, gang, is my newest addition - DOMINAEL.
4.W.C.: So: here are all the Metrics. Save for O.G.R.E. apparently gaining some notoriety of his own (and yes, he is still assembled (for the moment)), this is my largest MOC to date.
Without gimmicks deployed, he's roughly 15.2" X 27.5" X 10".
4.W.C.:Starting with a simple 3/4 rear view.
The idea I had was; a black/white MOC with trans weapons hidden in a reptilian, tortoise-like spiked shell. It got big, fast. But I loved the hands, and I knew I wanted it to be an Ancient, so I left the scale alone and just went with it.
The two-headed idea made for some interesting joinery, but it worked out fairly satisfactory.
4.W.C.: A profile view of the Tenebris Side.
Again, I wanted something distinctly reptilian and brutal. I have admitted to being a Gojira Fan on my very first MOC here, so if the profile looks like something that should be trampling a Japanese city, well... I did warn you. =)
4.W.C.: A detail 3/4 of the Solinar Side.
I really wanted something elegantly Warlike and saurian.
4.W.C.: Here's as good a place as any to comment on the Full Custom work.
I painted quite a few parts here. Flat white, and Gloss Black. Common brands, nothing special. SEVERAL coats, each.
I was worried about doing it at first, but there was no way I was gonna top this MOC with two LIME GREEN Reapa heads, and I LOVE that sculpt, so I just nutted up and did the deed. Separated the pieces I knew'd be needed, and painted them over the course of a few days, with some minimal sanding to prep the surfaces. (Prolly shoulda done MORE of that, but I can always do it later.)
4.W.C.: Here's a look at the Tenebris leg/ankle/foot.
I almost did NOT keep the blue accent pieces, but after I'd tried them on, I like them, so they ended up staying. It provided a little contrast, without detracting too much from the color scheme.
4.W.C.: A detail of some of the many rounded pieces I stuck with for the limbs in this Build, in this case; the Solinar thigh assembly.
4.W.C.: A 3/4 look at the full Solinar leg. They are heavy, but then, Dom's pretty big in general.
They were capable (as I hope to have shown here) of some really nice flexibility. Admittedly, extreme flexion caused weight issues, but the pistons helped fix a great many of those.
I was pleased with the strong, muscular shape these legs evoked.
4.W.C.: Just my opinion, of course, but I was very pleased with the hands.
The hooks, the joints and greeble; it all really came together at the end.
Black 'skeletal' frame helped accent the round 'muscle' shapes that hung on them.
4.W.C.: Profile look at the shell, Tenebris-side, (BioCannons retracted).
The orbs for gathering cosmic radiance that've been thematic though all my Somniferrian Lifeforms was exemplified here. Red/red-orange, partially exposed, ready to collect rays for conversion effects.
4.W.C.: Same shot, Solinarian Side.
4.W.C.: The Shell, fully effaced, showing the primary Orb, and translucent components of the retracted BioCannons.
I am a big proponent of 'floating armor plating'; I use a great many HF and Bionicle BNS joints to allow for greater articulation and freedom in posing. As noted in other MOCs, essentially based on good ole' Roman Lorica Segmentata (overlapping plates and bands gliding on flexible pins and straps).
4.W.C.: The more I reposition the fingers, the more paint will grain off, even after sanding, so if you try the same, you may want a sealer or topcoat. I think the same will occur no matter how much you prep (until our good LEGO Patrons start making those wonderful HF 'spheres' in some plastic other than bright RED). =P
Again, I so loved these hands that I almost did not add a melee weapon.
The AXE that follows, I called 'LAMENT'.
It was added as an afterthought. But it was as over-the-top-aggressive as Dom was, and fit the Style I was going for, so I kept it. Initially, I looked at Dominael AS the Weapon: he didn't need accessories. He was mean enough. =) But I liked the idea of the evolving AIs assembling Lament in their mad ravings from bits of fallen foes. And using their bits to destroy even more of its enemies. Ouch! =P
4.W.C.: Pardon the abundant Edited shots. Please. It was hard to resist.
A first detailed look at the head of LAMENT.
translated from Sector 11097-A of the Somniferrian Archive, dated 249,931 Astrallum, Solinari Chief Science Officer, Gwyddonydd Chondemnio :
"You don't understand, Sir! They MERGED! Yes, Sir - MERGED!, but something went wrong - it immediately started falling apart, Sir! But it... it took the Restraint Coils from the bay and sort of... chained itself together! No, Sir! - I know how it sounds! But I swear it! Now it's rigged the two halves together and it's still changing!!! It's loose in the base now and- " -transmission incomplete, rec. query timestamp 20:14:17, Somniferrian Pentur. encrypted.
4.W.C.: Knuckle detail, Solinari Side. And a better look at the Chains.
I loved the chains.
Just something about the idea of a giant killing machine, driven by a pair of mad AI's, cobbled together and just dripping spiked, frozen chains. Mmmm. Dat's good.
The archive seems to indicate that high proportions of Chaos Mathematics seem underway, operating under constraints even modern science cannot fully understand, achieving a working degree of Fusion, however incredibly improbable. To quote another alarmed Scientist - 'It should fail utterly to synchronize; and yet - there are as many Chaos Fractals driving the two entities TOGETHER as there are wild energies attempting to rip it back apart! ...What it could not do with Science, it seems to have done with...with salvaged scrap and... 'magic'? Well - I don't know, you tell ME!!! Whatever it is, it's holding, and it's breaking FREE!!!'
Newborn, free, and unthinkably powerful, Dominael pondered the nature of its existence...
...for about 42.0093 seconds...
After that, well...
Somniferria's Doomsday Clock began ticking quietly away.
And an Angel went to WAR.
They sent so very many against it, trying to restrain it at first. And then, failing that, to put it DOWN. But it didn't matter - it was a giant among insects, a god among mortals. They failed.
It took up their bodies, and increased itself.
It fashioned more instruments to execute its cold will. Awake for less than 3 hours, it had already selected its first Foreign Nation...
...before the 4th hour, that Nation was burning, too.
The more it ate, the more it learned. It knew new ways of laying waste, and discovered within its disparate selves... an APPETITE for doing so.
back to 4.W.C.: LAMENT is heavy, so I wasn't able to pull off one-handed wielding above his head, but with the help of the pistons, two do nicely.
Kind of a fearsome thing to see rearing up from the horizon to face the skyscraper you live in...
4.W.C.: I could also imagine Dominael having a fairly careless attitude about Lament - it would cleave its enemies with, or without the axe's help. At some points, I could see Dom dragging the monstrous thing heedlessly along behind itself, furrowing the torn earth even further.
4.W.C.: It went well that the plating, alternating colors, made uneven edges. Hence, the name 'The Jagged King'; imagine taking two different puzzle pieces, form completely SEPARATE puzzles, and forcing their edges together. Chaos. Messy. Completely unstable.
Many titles were given on that day, because the thing was clearly as much at war with ITSELF as with the world around it...
4.W.C.: Opening shot, without Titlesplash.
I really, really liked this one.
My wife calls this MOC
4.W.C.: 3/4 striding, dragging frozen lengths of supposedly 'unbreakable' Biosteel chains...
4.W.C.: An Effaced shot of the chained tyrant. Another favorite, for cleanliness' sake.
4.W.C.: At a point approx. 1" below the last brace strut seems to be the balance point for Lament. The arms can sustain one-handed grips well, at the position you see in this shot.
4.W.C.: Previous, with Titlesplash. Almost made this one the Emblem shot for the individual page, but I have other plans for that one, I think...
4.W.C.: Solinari Profile, with Lament vertical, and charged for some Wetwork.
4.W.C.: 7/8th effaced, orienting upon some new foe...
4.W.C.: Solinari Side independently venting Lurien radiation.
4.W.C.: Been building up to showing you the feature I was very pleased with. Well, mostly pleased. Mechanically, some trouble, there. But care and work-arounds made it liveable, especially with the poses it made possible.
I imagined, from the very first, to find some way to have this MOC have a pair crystalline 'BioCannons' that emerge from a tortoise-like shell, concealed partially by the rounded plating of the shell itself.
Magmael had them, and I had to think that the Ancients were fairly self-contained creature of War: they didn't really need to fetch weapons to go off and fight - they were part of the entity. But, Trinitaur showed use of a Melee Weapon, and I reason that had to stem from SOMEwhere, so Lament was born.
4.W.C.: As an integrated Armament, though, I wanted powerful hidden bioweaponry, inspired by such things as the Guyver series, and as used in Magmael, previously.
These were my solution. Blasting pods of highly-specialized crystal and tuning structures, that can tuck away when not in use. )Here's a profile shot on the Solinari side).
4.W.C.: ...and an effaced shot on the Tenebris side.
4.W.C.: In firing formation, their forward-orientation brings the tuning structures (opaque and dark, like industrial diamonds) to bear upon even multiple targets at once. Reversed, they serve another purpose. But we'll get to that later =)
4.W.C.: Effaced shot, BioCannons 3/4.
I didn't want the arm apparatus for the pods to get any longer so it is necessary to lean forward slightly, to fire. This further lends to the armored-turtle appearance, cannons elevated and blazing.
4.W.C.: A balanced Yin-Yang shot of the BioCannons deployed and effaced.
4.W.C.: Here, oriented upon a flying opponent or two.
4.W.C.: 3/4 effaced and charging for a forward blast.
4.W.C.: And a clean, effaced, shot of the beast, swiveling its Cannons to target a terrestrial target.
4.W.C.: BioCannons deployed, 3/4 effaced, clean shot of the same
4.W.C.: Here's a first look for you at the Cannon pods second function; limited propulsion!
I couldn't imagine something so T-Rex-like being built for elegant aerial battles, like Magmael, but violent 'jumps' recklessly blasting off only to make equally violent impact craters when its mass returned to earth - yeah, that, I could see.
In this profile shot, charging for a Jump.
4.W.C.: Frozen chains dripping, it might Blast skyward, volleying shots from the massive spikeball array or closing with aircraft and flying enemies for Melee with Lament or Talons.
Like an eagle, it could bring even its taloned feet into play, ripping at the underside of craft or Ancients while still tearing with its hands. A technique YOU MAY REMEMBER (hint-hint =P) from another Somniferrian Surface Race... =)
4.W.C.: Brutallistic and utterly unsophisticated, I could see these massive Cannons taking a second or so to Charge, much like Godzilla inhaling in preparation for his terrible Breath Weapon, particles swarming around the field of energy as the radiation condensed in these specialized pods... motes buzzing like bees around an upset Hive...
4.W.C.: A full Effects shot, all weapons deployed and charging. Literal powerhouses, I could imagine the Ancients merely CHARGING their weaponry could cause nearby devastation. With Dominael, this might be more pronounced, as if, along its uncontrolled evolution, it cast aside any safeguards originally built into it - shielding or containment protocols were foregone entirely.
It rewrote its own flesh, prioritizing its own Offense (per Tenebris) and Defense (per Solinar) far above such paltry considerations as the safety of the Citizens it was built to protect. Does a GUN care about Recoil, or Powderburns?...
4.W.C.: Lament inverted, Dominael grips the chains that once bound it in captivity, but now bind it warring halves together. Its body writhes with them, like a tattered cloak about a gibbering Madman.
4.W.C.: Reaching and menacing, its talons gripping the precipice and readied to bound into the sky...
4.W.C.: Here, its Cannonade has locked onto separate aerial foes, targeting independently.
I liked how the hooks on the BioCannons gave them a thorny, organic appearance - guns, yes, but - very clearly ALIVE.
4.W.C.: Swiveled in tandem, the Cannonade bears upon a single targ- wait... what's that?...
4.W.C.: ...(Babe-Ruth-Style, Dominael 'calls his shot')...
4.W.C.: ...(and charges, to prep a very, VERY Warm Welcome for some inbound Enemy in the skies)...
4.W.C.: And, Oh, MY - What do we have, HERE?...
If it isn't Magmael, our first identified Ancient (and perhaps, the first Ancient to reach him that fateful day, launched in response to his birthing cataclysm?).
At last, at long, long last - an opponent worthy of his cold and frenzied Wroth...
The circle of Enmity closed.
The War of Ancients had begun.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? - 'The Second Coming', William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
back to 4.W.C.: With the tail as ballast, even this big fella could manage to support the majority of its weight on a single leg while the talons of the other clutch the edge of a cliff or similar - I owe this, I think, to the back pistons, for distributing mass along those lines.
4.W.C.: A clean Titlesplash effacing.
Bit of trivia; originally, the two pectoral plates OPENED, to allow that chest cannon to be fully exposed for firing ('Guyver-Style'), but the bits included to make this possible just became too heavy, and the center of gravity too high to be manageable, so I streamlined it. He's got weaponry enough, I think.
Perhaps it does fire, after all?...=)
"There were Giants in the earth in those days - and also after - the same became MIGHTY - which WERE of Old - of Renown." -(heavily) paraphrased Genesis 6:4
And here, dear Visitor, your keen and observant Eye may detect no small sum of Similarity, between our Dominael, and the previously taxonomized Umbravore and even Emberhawke... how interesting...
...And that having been noted, the yet ADDITIONAL similarities to be found in some of the morphology Dominael compared to the Trinitaurs, and FrostHulkes?... Is this merely coincidence?
Speculate to the extent your keen mind feels warranted to bear such notions out.
Our Scholars are CERTAINLY debating the matter with no small amount of vigor.
Is there, after all, a common link of Ancestry between the Ancients and the surface races?... Did Dominael (or more specifically, Solinar and Tenebris), seeking to break the stalemate, or perhaps in sheer loneliness and desolation, CREATE, in their own Image??? We may perhaps never know... but the evidence is Compelling...
4.W.C.: A roster-shot, in profile, of all our Somniferrians, (save the notable O.G.R.E.'s absence ( I couldn't fit the bugger on the counter, and I really need two more hands to move him safely XD )). It was my hope that this would help you visualize with a sense of Scale...
...sometimes just throwing numbers out to denote sizes are unhelpful; but if you throw an out-of-the-box Hero Factory fig in the shot, your brain goes 'Oh! I see! It's roughly Three Rockas tall!' Alas, I had none handy, as they have all been cannibalized for Parts. =)
As previously disclosed, there ARE alleged correlations between Magmael, and the surface races of Umbravore and Emberhawke.
But, if so, how are the common traits present across all four 'Surfacers' thus far? Are they linked to BOTH Ancients as ancestors?
Consider that talon array on Umbravore's forepaws. Or the bipedal leg structure matching the skeletal and muscle grouping of Emberhawke's hindlegs (...And Dominael's, FrostHulke's, and Magmael's). Or the 'hidden' dorsal weaponry used by Umbravore, Magmael, Dominael, and Trinitaur?
The use of crystobiology to gather, store and convert Radiation is common in ALL Somniferrian life - was this a result of Evolution in response to environmental stimulus, Common Ancestry, or even... both?
In short and to reiterate; we may NEVER know.
Our research is ongoing. And we thank you for your interest in it.
We can only hope that, if indeed the Ancients HAVE survived, that they are dormant, sleeping far beneath the earth, and that their WAR will lie forever likewise ingressed: entombed never to Rise again. We humbly PRAY that this is so. The alternative is unthinkable - for surely their War, renewed, after centuries of silent contemplation...
...would never stop with merely destroying Somniferria...
It would surely step out into the stars themselves, where their WAR would prove All-Consuming. One by one, the lights in the night sky would go out.
Civilizations would snuff out like candles, while the Angels grew strong and appetites grew stronger. Nothing would be beyond their reach.
And none could Stand, against Them.
In the End,
...what would Remain?
...what, but Them?...
4.W.C.: Again, this is Fiction, folks. I don't take myself too seriously - you shouldn't, either =)
(of all my Composition Shots, this one was my and my Wife's favorite. Really worked out. Tell us what you think.)
4.W.C.: ...and of all the figure shots, this one was my very favorite, with the possible exception of:
4.W.C.: ...THIS one. =) 'Shadows and Light', I s'pose.
Well, all, that's it! You've made it to the end! THANK YOU IMMENSELY for your patronage and Feedback! It means everything. Don't shy away from anything you want to add. I will be checking back often, and - FOR ALL YOU WHO'VE COMMENTED thus far - you will all be acknowledged or answered respectively in the next week - I'm simply outta gas for the night. Need a break. ;)
I have one more project in mind, as far as Somniferrian additions on the eminent horizon, and of course the promised O.G.R.E. overview (egad.). Forthcoming! Cheers and Goodnight!!!