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Rainos Rogue Challenge Part 3: Dealings in the Dark
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Don’t be alarmed, my building style hasn’t regressed - I’m doing some housekeeping, and that means breaking some older LOM entries into several parts for ease of reading. This MOC was originally posted on July 19, 2013.
About this creation
The Cast
Steven Georges’ Son - Scruffy protagonist
William Farrer - One-eyed former helmsman
Igor - Steven’s rookie cousin
Sven - An expendable soldier
Norel - Druid and leader of his tribe
Argo - Archer
Elon - Mace-woman
Gib - Unbalanced stick guy
Various goblin miners

The Rogue Challenge Trilogy
Part 1: Under the Channel
Part 2: The Hall of Stone
Part 3: Dealings in the Dark

“Six. What do you have?”
“Two. We really need to get smaller dice, Farrer.”

“And you really should have learned not to build fires in open areas when there are enemies about, barbarian,” hissed a voice from the shadows. The green-hatted sergeant yawned.
“Enemies, my foot. Our fire drew you in like moths, and now we are ready to deal. By the way, you really should learn to count your ‘enemies’; there are four of us present.”

“Do not neglect to notice the crossbows, gentlemen,” Farrer continued, “the only truly powerful weapons in this refuse-hole.”
“What do you want from us, human?” the leader of the goblins rasped as his men tried to back away from the lethal points of the quarrels.
“We’re making a deal,” Igor answered. “Whatever you have for one of our crossbows. We figured out why you haven’t driven those dwarves out of here long ago - they have long-range weapons that can hit you any time you light a fire to hunt them. You only have access to rock, ore, and whatever disgusting Zila lizards you kill here, so there’s no bow wood for you to fight back with. As it happens, our crossbows shoot farther than their pathetic little toy, and with the strength to pierce the strongest steel armor. With one of these, you can rule the deep.”
Red eyes gleamed greedily, but the goblin was cautious.
“And what trade do you propose?”
Farrer picked up a spare quarrel and rolled it in his fingers.
“These cost two hundred pounds of silver apiece in Rainos, but considering the situation we will take one hundred ninety and your permission for all Rainosians to come and go as we please for a time period of three months.”

An hour or perhaps three hours two goblins returned with a wheeled chest. Their leader seemed somewhat put-out at his quantity of silver, but he made it up with a squeaky growl.
“You exaggerated your price, human. We have here one hundred pounds of silver, conveniently loaded in a trolley for easy transportation. We also offer open borders to all Rainosians for the time period of twenty-eight days, as measured by the effect of the moon on the tides of the cave pools. That is our best offer.”
“Double the time and you have a deal.”
“Done. And your end?”
“The weapon’s parts are in that alcove above us. It should be no problem for craftsmen like those of your race to reassemble. It has been a pleasure doing business with you.”
Steven grinned in the shadows as the switch took place and their path to Mythron was cleared.

Back in the elves’ warren, the Rainosians secured the services of their guides.
“This bunker has been our home for many years, but I cannot say I will be sad to see the last of it. More importantly, you refuse to take us to Rainos?” Norel, the elfish druid, asked.
“We have orders to make our way to Mythron with all haste, and we cannot go against them. Besides, we have friends there - your home forests in Falmor are now home to a just Rainosian warlord, who will gladly take you in.”
“Alas, the way is longer to Mythron than to Rainos, but we will lead you all the same.”

Laden with zila products and silver, the new company of eight traveled westwards and upwards to the corridor that the map-seller had referred to as “The Drain”.
“Why do you think they called this place ‘The Drain’?” Igor wondered, and Elon answered him quickly.
“It’s a good name. This hole drains the place and keeps us breathing. There’s an ocean above us, and at high tide it comes cascading down alongside the walls. We aren’t flooded because this pit goes all the way down.”
“All the way down to where?”
“Out the bottom of the world, we think. Anything that falls down there… is lost.”

The travelers continued, spiraling up around the drain and into the orcs’ territory. The torch was extinguished by the damp, and Norel was only willing to provide a dim mage-light.
“Hey! Watch your step, or someone’s going to be sorry!” one of the elves snapped as a Rainosian tripped into him. Elon’s night vision found the real cause of the accident.
“Argo, shh! This man has an arrow in him.”
Panic ran through the group as everyone’s fears came true.
“The goblins betrayed us! Kill the light!”

“Hey, uh, Steven? If Norel’s not making a glow, what’s that?”

Another crossbow bolt shattered against the ceiling and a coal-fueled fire roared to life in the tunnel behind the elves and soldiers.
“They have us from both ends – from one with your bloody crossbow, and from the other with that bloody fire! They have us silhouetted perfectly!” Argo ranted.
“No point losing our sight while they keep theirs. Take cover; I’m lighting a torch.”

Steven’s hitchhiking second mind, the reason he had survived for so long in the Bull’s army, quickly found a hole in the goblins’ strategy and jumped into action.
“Tend to Sven. If he’s dead, give me his crossbow and split up his equipment between the elves. We might all need some armor before the day’s done. Now, didn’t you say there were only four goblins?”
“Uh… there are four orcs, but that’s not all they have.”

A stone-rattling roar burst out from the direction of the flames.
“A troll. Great. Argo and Norel, return fire and see if you can keep that crossbowman down. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see him as long as he knows he’s a target. Ah, thank you, Farrer.”
“The crossbow isn’t all Sven had on him, Steve. He also had the trigger mechanism for the one we sold the orcs.”
Steven mentally cursed the dead man.
“So we betrayed them first. That doesn’t change much; hold down the fort while I go visit that troll.”

As he traced his way back through the tunnels by the light of the orcs’ bonfire, Steven wondered who had cut these tunnels and why. If only he could read the name on Farrer’s map…
He glanced at it in the firelight and read, “Ae Mappe of the King’s Way”
Oh, great. Now I can read, too. How will I surprise me next?

It had been hot where the elves had lived in the Halls – that was probably why they didn’t wear much more than Zila-skin trousers, Steven deduced – but the first chamber beyond the Drain was blisteringly so. Clad in black armor and led by a goblin stood a great, horned mountain troll. In one hand it held a flaming flail, and in the other a more conventional battle-axe to make sure whatever job it took was done properly. Considering its bulk, sharp teeth, and sheer power, it probably didn’t really need the weapons at all.

Steven took it all in - the roaring flames, the roaring beast, the angry goblin urging his pet to attack - and reflected on his plan. It was too late to change it now, he thought.

Steven charged his adversary.

The whip came at him, very fast. He was already running up the pile of rubble.

He leapt.

In the air, Steven was conscious of his fingers tightening on the trigger as he looked down on the troll. The bonfire ahead occupied his next second of thought.

He opened his eyes two seconds later, his face slowly crisping in the heat. Somehow he had dropped his crossbow and drawn his weapons. He was also crouching over them with his right foot forward. Perhaps some part of his subconscious had persuaded him to adopt a praying pose as he landed.

“Seriously? I just executed the biggest, ugliest troll in all the Deeps and you get out your sword? Put the chopper down and come with me.”

“Hey, someone’s standing in the light! Shoot!”
“Darn. I missed.”
“Stop that, you fools!”

A cart rolled up to the unpleasantly startled goblins.
“Felmont? What happened?”
“Don’t point that thing at me!”

As the startled goblin lowered the crossbow, Argo stepped out from around the cart with his own bow ready.
“Thank you. Now put your hands up, and your buddy here can tell you what he saw on the other side of the Drain.”

A bitter meeting soon took place in the hall that had formerly been used as the far end of the trap. The elves wanted to slaughter the orcs, but the Rainosians wouldn’t hear of it.
“One of our men broke our pact with you, and you killed him for it. Here is the part he took, although I can see you improvised. You will keep that, and we will take the silver. A warning, however: We are the second of many Rainosians to come this way. Half our nation’s warriors are coming through these tunnels with orders to kill any outlaws they find, and you have no way of resisting them without your troll. I’d make myself scarce if I were you, and I wouldn’t come into Mythron, either. I’m holding back Norel’s elves now for the sake of mending our bargain, but there will be nothing to stop them if they see you again. Also, if you think of ambushing us on our way out, think of your troll first. It has not been pleasant meeting you, and I hope to prevent any repetition of this encounter. Nevertheless, good luck… you’ll need it.”
With that cheery warning, Steven followed his band up and out of the Deep Halls, and eventually out of the entire tunnel system into Mythron… but that is a story for another time.

~ ~ ~

Walls, Forth!

June 16, 2014 Edit:
I was gladdened to find not long ago that some people have actually made an effort to read my sequence of LOM stories. Then I was reminded of the messes I posted in the past. Since it’s summer and I don’t have homework anymore, I decided that this would be a good time to make them legible. This sequence, which was originally a single page, is the first in this wave of revisions - the pictures are (mostly) matched to the text, the text is coherent and no one has to read the entire tunnel journey in one go! More miracles will follow.
End edit.

Oddly enough, fixed structures refuse to march on command. Anyway, I’m here to talk about this – these – MOCs and give you some more pictures. After all of that rockwork, I am now sick of the technique and will be using some plain, white surroundings in the immediate future. I recalled a technique I used for a since-deleted BioMOC page’s storyline for the chamber where the elves and orcs met for negotiations, and then progressed downhill until I hardly used any of the random rock-forms at all in the chamber where the goblins were lurking with the crossbow.
The action sequence had some epic action. Aside from the poor cropping, I’m thrilled with it, especially Steven’s landing pose. Combined with the way his heater (triangular shield, for those of you who are not versed in the secrets of medieval weaponry) and sword strap to his back and come out in times of battle, Steven reminds me of a much more famous hero who wears green, can’t shave, and looks considerably more like an elf than any of my minifigures….
The troll battle was set up for black light, and looks magnificent when so illuminated, but my camera phone refuses to see the world the way I do. I’m including a picture anyway.
I also used heavy, crude walls on the outsides of many of these scenes to prevent light from shining in from behind, as some pictures show.
Many scenes were shot in a closet with a flashlight and a Mars Mission trans-orange cockpit for complete control of lighting.
Most of the floors use 1x6x5 wall elements arranged in SNOT fashion for a smooth surface.
I was very careless on the troll-battle shooting, and sometimes the pictures show the workshop beyond my white backgrounds as well as the trays of bricks I used to elevate the diorama for reasons I can’t recall. Forgive me.
I went for an ancient rather than medieval look for the masonry because a civilization older and madder than Mythron built them.
The elves do not look particularly elfish, but they’ve been living in caves for twenty years or so and I recently swapped my boxer minifigure’s gloves for normal hands and wanted to use the torso somewhere. It ended up on the druid, and the other four had less-ornate pieces from Tarzan and a pair of mer-folk.
I think I’m done talking, because it is 1:13 A.M. where I live and I haven’t started uploading pictures yet. This page has about four thousand words and sixty-eight pictures, according to Microsoft Word. Isn’t that exciting?

…and I end with a preview of the next MOC, which has very simple terrain and a gentle battle with an enchanted giant.


 I like it 
  June 18, 2014
Oh, that's why. I was worried for a second. :P Great story (read through the entire thing). Kinda reminds me of Moria (Trolls, fiery whips, goblins...). Haha.
 I like it 
  June 17, 2014
Nice wrap up to the story. I wonder how many figs fell into 'The Drain' while you were trying to pose them =P
By Gilbert Despathens
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Rainos Rogue Challenge Part 3: Dealings in the DarkCastle

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