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LOM UC: Defend Where They Do Not Attack
Hey, Gilbert actually enters a UC for once! Wait, he's doing a city defense on the one city that doesn't need defending? Boo! Bad Gilbert!
About this creation
Note: This story is presented separately from the photos, as I was unable to do any figure posing before leaving campus at the end of spring break. I apologize for the inconvenience, and invite you to scroll down for the image gallery and building commentary.

Previously:

February 9, 7 AU:
"The moment I heard that, rage filled my heart. I was fine with answering for my own crimes, but Hadran itself shouldn't have to pay."
April 9, 7 AU:
"An enormous dragon with black and glowing blue scales rained fire down upon the watchtower guarding the bridge across the ravine. 'Hadran,' the dragon said slowly in a deep, gravelly voice, 'You have a price to pay.'"
August 20, 7 AU:
"Jabrei and the other elite dragons were holding out in Maple river fortress, hoping to destroy Icewing there. However, Hawthorn had seen first hand the damage the drake could do. He knew Hadran didn't stand a chance."

Present Day...

Liza strode out of the alleyway, shrugging a bundle over her shoulder and keeping her head down. Act like you belong, and, most of the time, no one notices you. Of course, even if someone did look at her, she would still blend in with the crowd. A year and a half with the Outlaw Confederacy had taught her how to fit in almost anywhere. Bright, primary colors were in fashion in Hadran - or they had been when the dragon came, and style had not been on anyone's mind since - and Liza's faded crimson tunic with blue sleeves fit right in with all the other tacky garments on the street. As long as she used her fake northwest-Rainosian accent as little as possible, she would be a living ghost.
Behind her, a head in a deep hood poked into the street, looked both ways, and was followed by a man in a travel-stained burgandy cloak. Fine clothes of the sort seen on the islands of Gobierno and Mercado peeked out from underneath, and the pack on the man's back had a blacksmith's hammer poking out of it.
As this spectacle stuck his hands in his pockets and strode out onto the road with a painfully thick air of nonchalance, he was followed by another figure in a plain brown cloak. This one was a woman, with blazing orange hair that was as bright as Liza's natural color but cropped short in a raider's haircut. She did have her hood up, but her plate armor still clanked with every step she took, and made her look even bulkier and more muscular than she was to begin with.
The next two, who entered the street together, seemed normal by comparison. One was wearing grey robes filled with pockets and a wide-brimmed, pointed hat, but even perfectly ordinary merchants and artisans dressed like that occasionally. Of course, most artisans didn't leave magical objects turned on, to shine faintly through the fabric of their copious pockets. This wizard's companion, who was probably female, was bundled up safely in an all-enveloping brown cloak like the armored redhead, even if it did seem to hang off her bones and throw too much shadow over her face.
Finally, the rest of the party arrived together: a chatty young woman apparently maintaining two different conversations at once, and two men doing their best to hold up the other ends of said discourses. The men maintained reasonable appearances as a farmer and member of the middle class respectively, but the latter did have a suspiciously long and sword-shaped package under his arm. In fact, if the woman's scale mail beneath her green cloak hadn't jingled, they might have been a passable group of citizens.
Liza sighed, thankful that most Hadranians stayed indoors during the dragon's reign.
"Come on," she said to Luke, the middle-class swordsman, "let's get to your father's inn."

LOM UC:  Defend Where They Do Not Attack

True to Liza's word, Luke found both father and inn intact, although the city's current ruler had burnt the houses on the opposite side of the street to the ground. The touching reunion passed by before long, and soon a private council was gathered in a back room to discuss the final stage of the plan. Luke's father spoke first.
"I'm glad that you could show my son the tunnel leading into the city, but you haven't said what you actually came to Hadran for. I would say you came for the druids, but they've left and locked up the college behind them. Really, if you're here to help, it seems that the best thing you could do is tell more people about the tunnel, so that they can get out from Icewing's city."
The orange-haired knight - called Storm - answered with surprising harshness.
"We're not here to help a few thousand people run from their homes when the entire island is under threat. We're here for the good of all of Rainos."
Storm's retainer, the woman named Thalian, rushed to soften the blow. Liza was still surprised by the unusually close friendship between master and servant. In Mythron, people of different classes at the very least maintained a formal distance. At worst... well, there was a reason Liza had joined the Outlaws.
"What Storm means is that we can't justify saving Hadran alone while Rainos is under siege by the dwarven empire."
"So we're here to orchestrate a show-down between Icewing and the dwarves for the fate of Hadran. It should be hugely entertaining," concluded Albertus, the Enalican. He had originally been hired by one of Storm's relatives as an armorer and artificer - hence the strange gadget he was even now tinkering with - but had been reassigned for this mission. When Liza had met him in Meids, though, he hadn't been nearly this sarcastic. Both native Hadranians, Luke and Luke Sr., seemed quite alarmed by the proposition.
"Al!" Thalian interjected. Liza came in with the actual explanation.
"It's not like that at all. Well, not quite like that. Have you heard the proverb, 'To defend and always be victorious, defend where they do not attack'?"
"Yes! That's in the second book of Gilbert's The Handicraft of Battle, isn't it?"
Fertence, the Mythronian wizard, had leaned forward onto the table with his hand raised in eagerness to reference an ancient text. His companion, still wearing her all-concealing hood, put a slender, gloved hand to her face.
"Something like that," Storm cut in. "Anyway, Bartok determined that, since the dwarves have learned to keep their troops out of this area if they don't want to give Icewing a tasty snack, we could use Hadran as a base of operations for a counteroffensive without risk of being attacked. Since the king is still friends with the retired archdruid from a couple years back, he was able to provide us with a way into the college library as well as a guide that could help us remove the curse that brought the dragon in the first place, or maybe even turn it to our side. That's where wizard kid comes in." She gestured to Fertence, who wasn't sure whether to take that as a compliment or not.
"And I'm the one with a way to get us over the walls," Albertus piped up, careful not to let magic get a good word without technology getting at least a nod. He held up a crossbow along with some sort of grappeling hook. The bow was decorated by a yellow warning that read, "Caution! Do not point at eyes or face."
"And Elizabeth was able to get us into the city, and I'm here to handle any horrors the druids might have let loose as security features," Storm wrapped up. Liza nodded in thanks. Jerry, the man who looked like a farmer, seemed confused.
"And... what are Thalian and Del's exact roles, then?" he asked, looking between Storm's companion and Fertence's. Both turned to him.
"Essential logistical and moral support," the hooded figure said, in a voice like a girl's in her early teens and in the air of someone used to giving that explanation.
"'Essential' doesn't even begin to describe it," Thalian muttered, and Fertence and Storm met eyes in a rare moment of mutual embarassment.
"Well, that pretty much covers it," Albertus said, to end the awkward pause. "Just stand by to do something heroic if we accidentally make the dragon really, really angry or something."
Everyone looked at him with serious faces.
"What? I wasn't joking that time!" he protested.

LOM UC:  Defend Where They Do Not Attack

It didn't take long to cross town to reach the Druid's College - again, the streets were fairly empty. Liza was surprised to see how tumbled-down the walls looked, and that they weren't very high to begin with... but, then, the stone part was mostly for decoration. Rumor had it that the statue nearby was actually the remains of someone foolish enough to test them. The real defenses were invisible to the human eye, and considerably nastier than even a stone wall topped with spikes. Albertus walked up to a place where an archway had been blocked up with stone. He produced some metal picks, which began to glow as Fertence recited an incantation from a spellbook. After a minute of fiddling with what looked like a solid stone block, there was a deafening click, and a wooden door appeared.
"Um, good. According to the book, that took the perimeter defenses down over the whole college. Which is fine unless, uh, the dragon finds out, seeing as your druids sealed this place to prevent him from destroying it in the first place. The other good news is, it shouldn't take more than an hour to find the book Lord Darkbeard recommended and try out the ritual."
Then a shadow blocked out the sun.

To Be Continued?

~ ~ ~ Cast ~ ~ ~
Introducing:
- Jerry, Benaiah .'s main character
Featured here, here, and here.
- Luke, master swordsman who saved Jerry from orcs
Featured here and here.
- Luke's Father, not actually an evil space knight
Not featured here.
- Sir Nigel, a stone figure. Sometimes, even in Hadran, a statue is just a statue. Statues are supposed to make desparate sobbing noises late at night, right?

Re-Introducing:
- Elizabeth of Falmore, former servant, former Black Lotus operative, current Outlaw Confederacy operative working with allies in Rainos
Featured here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- Albertus of Worsan, Enalican artificer and armorer in the employ of the (currently) Rainosian knight Ducan MacFiercest
Featured here, here, here, and here.*
- Ermina "Storm" MacStorm, knight of Rainos
Featured here, here, here, and here, always in company with Thalian.
- Thalian MacStorm, Storm's retainer
Featured here, here, here, and here, always in company with Storm.
- Fertence Dreyfus, magical officer of Colonel Ducan d'Colore's Carthalian Regiment, currently in Rainos again for who knows what reason
Featured here, here, here, and here.
Del of Carthal, attendant to and caretaker of Fertence Dreyfus
Featured here, here, and here.

LOM UC:  Defend Where They Do Not Attack

Commentary on LDD and the Construction Process
Since the build is no doubt the part that everyone came for, I'll talk about that first before getting into the section that only the few LOM members familiar with my previous stories are likely to care about.

This is my first-ever uploadable creation in LDD. I did a few models when LDD was new and I was young, but I wouldn't really want to share those even if the files still existed. Normally I work in solid ABS, because practically every technique I've ever invented is "illegal" in some way, shape, or form. You'll be sure to see some floating bricks or sketchy connections on almost all of my other builds. Unfortunately, working in real Lego was not an option this time, because my bricks were four hundred miles away, at home will I was at college.

Once I gave it a try, though, LDD was not a problem. I had to reign in my rule-breaking creativity, but I managed to satisfy the urge to push boundaries by forcing LDD to give me half-plate offsets, curved walls, and even a few angles that probably aren't physically possible. There's a trick to getting a computer to handle all this, and it's simple: mess around until it works! Okay, the truth of the matter is that I started with two 1x2 bricks, hinged the top one twelve degrees, added a pair of 1x1x1 cylinders, and copy-pasted that module into a ring, then copy-pasted that into a tower. From there, I pulled out pieces one at a time, replaced them with other modules that look better in stonework, and finished up with other details such as the buttress and vegetation. That's something of an oversimplification, but it's also all you need to try it on your own - beyond that, you just have to keep messing around until the bugs stop coming.

Believe it or not, it was actually easier to build that tower digitally than it would have been by hand. Not only did I have infinite pieces, I could also build without worrying about the tower falling apart if I wanted to change a segment in the middle of all the other ones. LDD's color selection was also wonderful, since it gave me the freedom to apply accents wherever I needed them and gave me my new favorite stonework piece: the gold bar in light stone grey. Again, though, I said that LDD wasn't the problem.

The real problem was finding a computer to use it on. I connect to the internet and do most of my homework on an iPad (which is ironic, since I'm a computer science major now). Fortunately, my campus has many computer labs, one of which is essentially a designated "gaming lab". Those computers delete all changes that aren't saved to network folders after every use, so I had to spend twenty minutes re-installing LDD every time I wanted to build. To cut a long story short, I couldn't access my project when I needed to, and, as a result, it was little more than halfway finished when I had to muddle together a simple landscape, add Sir Nigel for decoration, and take a few hurried screenshots.

In conclusion: I need both a computer and ready access to my real bricks, but LDD is cool and you should try it sometime.

Commentary on the Story
As you can see, I've used all of these characters before except for four. Three of those four belong to my fellow Rainosian, Benaiah ., because this is a crossover! Theoretically he'll post his part soon, where Luke and Jerry will confront Icewing and may or may not slay him. The reality is that Benaiah is in the MOColympathon right now, so the second part may be a long time in coming. Oh, and the fourth new character may or may not count as a character, but, hey, it's the only actual minifigure in this post, so be nice to it.

The rest of the characters all featured briefly in my LOM story, occasionally doing something important but mostly staying in the background. Despite that, I've had complete backstories for each of them for a long time, waiting for my chance to fit them into the greater saga. Whether or not that ever happens depends on how much I can build and write for the LOM when summer comes, so I decided to risk the spoilers and throw a party with all of them at once.

Finally, I would like to give credit and a memorial to my MOCpages friend Asad ., who has tragically passed out of the MOCpages world. Asad was a Rainosian from the start and a ferociously active builder, and I could hardly believe it when he hit a dark age... but, then, I would be at the same place if I didn't have so much connection to Rainos. Anyway, when Asad left, he left his main character trapped on a pillar while his army fought a losing battle against a dragon for the fate of one of Rainos' largest cities. It was a good story, but it needed a resolution, which is what Benaiah and I are trying to do here. Asad, if you're reading this, I hope you find it worthy.
















*Also, in an alternate universe, here, here, here, and here. Albertus was originally going to be a one-time cameo character in my LOM series and a star in his own, but you can see how that worked out. Still, he's fun to put together.



Comments

 I made it 
  June 27, 2016
Quoting Asad . I just realized the statue bears resemblance to certain past dragon warlords. XD
What a coincidence. :P
  June 27, 2016
I just realized the statue bears resemblance to certain past dragon warlords. XD
  June 4, 2016
Alright, I'll try to make one final moc. Anyway, I've really gotten into the card game Hearthstone, and that kinda replaced a lot of my lego time. Also, I sort of moved over to Eurobricks and GoH. *gasp*
 I made it 
  June 4, 2016
Quoting Asad . Spoiler alert The plan was to make some huge epic moc that showed ice wing completely destroy Hadran and take up permanent residentcy, but I doubt that's what you want. I maybe could build one last thing for LOM, if you want me too.
If you want to destroy the city as your one last thing, that's actually okay with me. Or I can get around to wrecking the place eventually and coming up with some way to get rid of Icewing - after all, he implied that he was driven out of Hadran before. In short, build if you want to, but don't feel like you have to. Anyway, what have you been doing these days?
  June 4, 2016
Spoiler alert The plan was to make some huge epic moc that showed ice wing completely destroy Hadran and take up permanent residentcy, but I doubt that's what you want. I maybe could build one last thing for LOM, if you want me too.
 I made it 
  June 4, 2016
Quoting Asad . Tacky clothes! I'll be! Anyway, I do think the story is worthy. I actually still have the full Icewing constructed in my bedroom.
Y... you're alive? As for the clothes, it's Liza's opinion that all primary colors are SO pre-Unbinding. Anyway, since you have Icewing put together, is there any chance want to do some building and get Hadran out of the bind it's in? :D
 I like it 
  June 4, 2016
Tacky clothes! I'll be! Anyway, I do think the story is worthy. I actually still have the full Icewing constructed in my bedroom.
 I like it 
  May 23, 2016
Great LDD composition, only the roof is a little to "clean" compared to the walls and the other structures. LDD needs a lot of hardware resources also by the builder(LOL), I know that. Even the bricks are for free some fine techniques don't run here... After building LDD for some years I'm now busy with he real bricks, But you may look for some older stuff on my page if you like to... Greets! ;)
 I like it 
  April 1, 2016
Wow, I feel you deserve extra praise for pulling off that stonework with LDD, awesome job!
 I like it 
  April 1, 2016
Wow! I've never seen good stonework on LDD up until this point. Nice "build"!
 I made it 
  April 1, 2016
Quoting Halhi 141 Hey, at least you didn't stay up til 5 AM like Jonny just did. Anyway, nice build and interesting story.
What you said is really funny. I'll tell you why tomorrow.
 I like it 
  April 1, 2016
So much text. ._. Cool story bro, and noice LDD skills, too. :P
 I like it 
  March 31, 2016
HOW? HOW? How can you do this in LDD? Too amazing!
 I like it 
  March 31, 2016
even if its LDD you posted!!!!!
 I like it 
  March 31, 2016
Hey, at least you didn't stay up til 5 AM like Jonny just did. Anyway, nice build and interesting story.
 
By Gilbert Despathens
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