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2013 MO R1: The Fortune-Teller's Shop
For the 2013 MocOlympics, in the category The 12 Signs of the Zodiac.
About this creation
403 ABY

The regiment was worn out. We’d lost 46 men at the Battle of Seally Canyon, good men every one of them, and 13 wyverns too. Besides that, supplies were running low, and saddle welts were coming up on most of the wyverns’ necks. Everyone was in need of a rest, so I ordered the whole squad to Beaubien to rest up.


Beaubien was a nice town, and hadn’t been touched much by the invading dragons. The city walls were plenty thick, too, so the men would be safe during their leave. We touched down at 1900 bells, and most of the regiment left for the saloons and the hotels. I strolled along the parapet that overlooked the main stables, taking in the air.

Up from the rest of the city came the sounds of guitar performers strumming their instruments and vendors hawking their wares, and a visiting Aetherian blockade runner flying overhead. From inside a tavern came the roar of laughter, already sounding slightly tipsy even at this hour of the afternoon. The aroma of spicy, steaming chiretas came drifting out of the tavern, too, and I started to go inside.

As I reached the door, it was flung open from inside, and out hurtled Ramon Berenguer, my aide-de-camp. He skidded to a halt in front of me.

From out of the bar came a husky, red-haired Aetherian archer, who dived onto Ramon. “Try t’ flirt w’ my lass, will ye?” he grunted. “Try a bit o’ this! And this, ye little chicken pot pie!”

I moved on.

I had heard of an excellent fortune teller along this street from one of my lieutenants a few weeks ago when we were at North Ponil. The lieutenant had been killed in action a few hours later, but he had told me she was among the most powerful of the gypsy mages who owned shops around the city.

I stopped in front of a sunken door with a carving of a lion hanging over it and black iron railings leading down the stairs. This was where he had said the shop was, yet I paused for a moment before I went down. I heard the cathedral bells strike 6, and I felt curious to at least see what the fortune-teller was like. I felt a certain string of guilt for the idea of going inside stirring in the back of my mind, but it was overpowered by a pull inside the shop.

Suddenly, I made up my mind, and stepped down the stairs into the shop. After all, I thought to myself, I can always leave if she tries to cheat.

It was darker inside the shop, but it only took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust. It was low-roofed, and the fireplace gave insufficient light to illuminate the entire room. Next to the door stood a small table of elaborate, foreign-looking glass bottles with clear potions inside.

As I hung up my sword and scabbard on the rack, I noticed a stuffed cockatrice head. I wondered how she shipped a cockatrice all the way from Corfu, but then I noticed the fortune-teller herself standing in the back of the shop.

"Welcome, stranger,” she said in a low, accented voice. “Are you one who wishes to know what you will encounter?”

“Yes,” I replied. “What’s your fee?”

“I have no fee,” she said. “You must decide for yourself if my predictions are to be valued.”

At least she isn’t cheating me, I thought.

As I stood before the ball, the room grew dim, as if a great cloud had rolled across the sun. I looked across to the fortune-teller, but she did not even seem to acknowledge the change.

“What must I do?”

More softly still, she said, “Place your hands upon this ball, and all things both good and evil shall be clear to you.”

For a moment, I wondered if I should continue. She had said there was no fee, however, and it would be interesting to see what happened. Then, she leaned over across her ball towards me.

“Do you fear to touch?” she whispered.

I placed my hands on the ball.

From the ball surged a powerful green light, bathing us both in its gleam. The woman began to chant in a strange tongue, and I felt the ball beneath my palms begin to pulse. Warily, I thought about letting go, but I didn’t want to just leave before anything exciting happened.

As her chant faded away into my mind, I felt my blood beginning to pulse along with the ball. I tried to resist the movement, but I could only slow it, and I looked at the fortune-teller to see if this was a mind-trick she was playing. Her face was twisted into a grimace, but she made no attempt to pull away.

She saw me looking, and in my head her voice echoed: “Relax. Release yourself. Let go of your body.” I relaxed, and immediately the convulsions of the sphere became much stronger, bringing with them the momentary loss of my senses.

I felt as though my body was floating through a mist, in which I could not control my motions but didn’t need to. I looked to my left and saw, coming through the floor, an enormous lion.

Rearing on its haunches, the beast roared. The roar seemed to be on another planet, yet it echoed through my ears again and again, the green glow coming from its jaws encircling and enveloping me.

I seemed to be crawling through a vast emptiness, with the lion pursuing me. No longer did the creature seem fascinating or mysterious. It was malevolent, and it was chasing me. I called for help, but the words jammed in my throat, as if I had been crying. I felt an impulse to stop fleeing and give myself to the lion, but I stifled it and kept going.

I crawled into a garden, bathed with red light as from a forest fire. I collapsed onto the path, hearing the monster behind me but unable to crawl further. “LORD!” I called in desperation. “LORD!”

From behind me, I felt myself being lifted up and set gently on my feet. The red glow vanished, replaced by a pure white light. I turned around and saw, standing in the garden of the Moreruela Abbey where I grew up, Abbot Frolian.

“Luis,” said the abbot from where he stood behind me on the path. “My son. Do not fear, for I will bring you aid in your distress. Be strong, and I will help you, says the LORD.”

"Father Abbot!" I called to him.

With a strong rush of wind, Abbot Frolian and the monastery faded away.

I found myself back in the fortune-teller’s shop, but my head was clear now. As the beast lunged for her, I leaped back, away from the ball.

I snatched my sword from its scabbard and lunged towards the monster. Snarling, it tried to paw at me, but it backed away for a moment. That was all the time I needed.

Turning, I swung my sword at the crystal ball with all the force I could muster. With an unearthly screech, it shattered, and the two halves rolled on the floor.

I swiveled to confront the lion once more, but it had vanished. All that remained in the room was a foul stench of sulfur, manure, and polluted smoke where the creature had stood.

Leaving the door open behind me, I left the shop, shivering at the memory of the demon’s menace. I had come closer to an unspeakable horror than any man should ever have had to go. With a prayer of thanksgiving already in my heart, I started for the basilica, determined to offer a new altar to the chapel of St. Benedict.

The End


All the minifigs from the scenes.

Yes, judges, I’m following the rules— all the scenes were in this one MOC. Also, the lighting effects aren't from Photoshopping or Gimping, but courtesy of a flashlight with green and red LEDs.

Coincidentally, this is the largest MOC I’ve posted yet: 29 pictures. Thanks for looking through them all!

The mighty 2013 MocOlympics!


 I like it 
  September 19, 2013
Great inside photos - I felt like I was part of the story!!!!! But then that's my grandson!!!!
 I like it 
  September 19, 2013
cool story, very enjoyable! I never knew what to expect.
 I like it 
  September 16, 2013
Thank you for your entry into the 2013 MocOlympics! Your total combined score from all the judges is 29. ~Chris.
 I made it 
  September 15, 2013
Quoting That Steam Guy so, you are my adversary for round 2....
Evidently so...
 I like it 
  September 15, 2013
so, you are my adversary for round 2....
 I like it 
  September 14, 2013
Interesting build and good story. I think that you really on words more that LEGO to tell the tale though - never forget that LEGO is as much an art as prose, and has all the subtle nuance you need. Personally, I think that if you'd focused on building the bit where the lion comes out, maybe with it emerging from a mist while the fortune teller screams and the man is in the middle of drawing his sword you'd evoke a better emotional response. However, this is well done, and I like the overall build.
 I made it 
  September 11, 2013
Quoting Delatron 3000 As a bit of a storyteller myself I can admire this for the writing as well as the building - it's immersive and full of clever details - is this set in the Temeraire universe? I enjoyed the build too and can sympathise with all the photos required to tell a tale! Well done and I hope the judges reward your efforts.
Thank you so much for your compliments! In answer to your question- this was purely from my imagination, although I suppose it does have some similarities with that storyline.
 I like it 
  September 11, 2013
As a bit of a storyteller myself I can admire this for the writing as well as the building - it's immersive and full of clever details - is this set in the Temeraire universe? I enjoyed the build too and can sympathise with all the photos required to tell a tale! Well done and I hope the judges reward your efforts.
 I like it 
  September 11, 2013
Nice work!
 I like it 
  September 10, 2013
Great details! I rather enjoyed the descending stair case and the "beast". Nicely done!
By Thomas of Tortuga
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Added September 10, 2013

LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop 2013 MO R1: The Fortune-Teller's ShopInns, taverns, and other buildings

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