Green Dragon Knights’ Castle . The Green Dragon Knights’ Castle and home of the green wizard; the Pyromancer! Dalv the Dapper has teamed up with Oersoep the dwarf on a heroic quest! . The first half of this MOCpage is an heroic story of Dalv the Dapper, the second part is just some blabbering about some tricks and details because I had a lot more pictures that did not fit the story line, but I did want to share with you. Sorry, I made the photos before I thought of making a story...
After defeating the Lion Kingdom, the minifigs of the Green Dragon's realm entered a peaceful time! With Leo the Impudent, king of the Lions, locked up for good, wealth flowed back into the Dragon's realm. And in the pyromancer's coffers... Trade into luxury goods flourished, now that the trade routes were safe to travel again. Yeah, minifigs were eating deliciously, and, they were making money. It was a joyous time alright!
Except, maybe... Well, it's nothing really... Nothing more than a mild annoyance... The frogs, you see?
"It was just yesterday when I said, I said, 'come on and look at here Thomin, there is them right down there! Yellow and red, making orange tadpoles! Right on our bar!' They are everywhere!"
"An' it goes on the whole night you see? Not just here, you see? In the whole lake! You see? Louder and louder and louder! They all want to croak the loudest!"
A real people person such as the Pyromancer of the Green Dragon realm, friend of the peasants - the conqueror of the Lion! - could defeat a minor hindrance like that with a snap of his fingers! It were just frogs after all...
"Throughout the realm all shall be rewarded with 5 bronze studs on every frog's head collected!" After all any self respecting conqueror would not get his own hands dirty with slime like that...
It was the perfect guise for Dalv to make his way into the Green Dragon's Castle. He and his sidekick Oersoep could pose as frog trappers!
... And then sneak off! Smash the Dragon Guard, defeat the pyromancer, stare down the dragon and then make off with the girl... It still sounded like a lot of work to Dalv, but in the end, the hero's business was a lucrative one!
The lovely Dragon princess - Minelva - was held captive in the castle by her evil stepmother; the pyromancer's new queen. The malicious witch was said to have been the ruthless brain behind the downfall of the Lions.
Well, no one dared say it out loud, of course, but they were aware the war had taken a turn for the better after her appearance in the Dragon court. The pyromancer fell for her in a blink; even faster than the ranks of Lion soldiers did against their combined sorcery.
Coincidently, the courters to princess Minelva's hand in marriage came. In resplendent armours, buffed up to shine brighter than the sun, the exotic knights came to the castle. One after the other. They became a plague of sorts on their own, an even slimier plague than the current one.
But Dalv knew what princess Minelva wanted! Not the posh suitors invited by the witch, no no. She would want a hero, a real hero! One that would whisk her away with the magic of love.
"Oersoep, my faithful minion, I'll go to yonder inn and secure our beds and supper for the night, and you go and pay a visit to yer ol' friend Legrin. He may have some very useful 'frog trapping equipment', heheh"
Ever since the age of the Black Falcons ended, the smithy of Legrin was the place to visit for a minifig wanting to smash another minifig, a dragon, a Deathstar, or, well, frogs...
"Legrin! You'd better be lookin' at pron on that computer! 'Cause if I catch you catching just a single glimpse more or that death-ray-device, I'll have your hide! By the way, there is another frog trapper wanting to do business."
"Ah my dearest Figulin, long time no see! I see the war has been good for you and your husband's enterprise... Any special offers for an old acquaintance? My master and I are trapping a larger reptile than the average frog, you see?"
Dalv went his way to Cedric's Last Stand, the best inn in town! He would see to some bedding and have a hearty meal whilst at it. The inn was named after the hero who was said to have tamed the dragon queen and become the first pyromancer to rule these lands. Thomin the innkeeper swore that this was the place he visited the night before the all deciding victory in battle against the Knight's Kingdom.
"This town reminds me of my last Holiday in the Provence; wet and filled with frogs..." Dalv said to Thomin. "How many studs for a big chunk of breast of that delicious roasted duck, the suite and a bunk for the night, and that silly looking helmet?" Dalv asked as casually as he could.
Thomin put a mug of ale on the counter and his wild beard opened up to a wicked grin. "Five silver, we're filled to the rafters and not even a million gold," he let out a sigh and added, "The Bull wore it the night he stayed here, gave it to my own great-granddad!"
Thomin bended close over Dalv's ear, close enough to tickle his ear with his beard, "which kind are you then? Hunting frogs or hunting tail? If it's the former I can set you up with Lord Alango and his servant... But if it's Minelva you're after, Margrave Mirwin will probably burn down my property." He let out another sigh and stuck his beard literally inside Dalv's ear, "probably with you in it..."
Dalv yelped as he could not keep from laughing out loud any longer, that beard! It was hilarious! This earned him some strange looks from the other patrons and an amazed look from Thomin. If you could make it out between the mass of hair...
Oersoep entered and pulled Dalv away from the innkeeper. In hushed tones he told what he had learned. "Legrin the blacksmith has hammered out more than what we could have hoped for; a blaster rifle! But, sadly, it was sold to some Lord Alango or other..." Time for plan C.
Dalv had just met the fellow; an old man with an obsession for shiny objects and an even stranger, fishy accent. Dalv had bribed the innkeeper enough to have them share the rooms. However, he had not been successful in striking a deal on Cedric the Bull's helmet, if you wondered what happened to plan B.
They were off to Gefolig and Figeog's Bakery and General Supply Shop! They needed to track down where that delicious duck had come from, and they needed some frog trapping equipment to use as an excuse to get past the guards. Besides, the old merchant may have some other useful equipment as well.
Figeog the baker and Gefolig the merchant, were a couple who profited greatly from the victory over the Lion Kingdom. The trade routes were safe again, and more new, exotic products arrived from the far west. During the war they sold just bread and a lot of fish, but now they even traded in magical items! Figeog expected to catch a hefty sum for one such items; he had obtained a sniper-frog!
"That doesn't spell sniper-frog!" Dalv said offended. They could use one though; fighting green dragon knights was easier with a sniper watching your back. If it was a 'sniffer' watching his back, Dalv wasn't sure...
"Okay," said Dalv, "no rifle, no helmet, and a worthless rear defence... Just bloody perfect!" Plans A, B and C had failed... A hero's business was all about accepting loss, swallowing your pride (more oft as not washed down with a jar of whisky) and get on with the show.
The show for today was that Dalv was to be taken into the keep to meet the pyromancer to 'render his services as frog trapper'. Then, he would sneak off at the first opportunity. If bloodshed could be avoided he tried; Dalv was much more a fan of slaying if his enemies were less well armed, prepared, or best; when they had their backs turned.
In the mean time, Oersoep would secure a boat and get out on the lake. Then, Dalv would rescue the princess from the tower, deal with any unsuspecting guards, and make their way to the castle garden. They would get into the boat and get away before anyone would notice.
"Hello!" Dalv shouted, "I am Dalv the Dapper, smasher of Brickzilla, I am the fix to your frog problem!"
The guards on duty grinned at each other, and whispered "looks like another little doggy for the princess to play with". He chuckled and added "that's if the Margrave doesn't slice his throat first". "Let's find out" the other replied, "and let this puppy in!"
They bought it! Dalv heard the chains rattling before they came into motion, and with the ominous groan the wooden drawbridge let out, a haunted feeling crept down his spine. He assured himself once more that the stories of the malicious minded, wicked magic wielding, megalomaniac must be exaggerated...
"So you want to court my daughter?" the pyromancer asked with a calm voice. Alarm bells went off inside Dalv's head; no, he was a frog trapper, at least, one in disguise. The pyromancer was not supposed to know about his interest in Princess Minelva...
Before Dalv was able to respond, the queen burst into the throne room. "Ahh! There you are!" The queen said impatiently. Dalv was not sure if she was addressing him. Things went out of his control...
"I can get rid of the frog plague haunting your town," Dalv tried in vain, because the queen bustled him out of the room before he could blink his eyes. The queen was picking at invisible specks of dust on Dalv's cloak, making irritable clicking sounds.
Without grandeur or any noticeable protocol, Dalv was ushered into princess Minelva's tower room. It did not actually look anything like the prison cell Dalv imagined it to be; the windows were not barred at all and the decorated platter had far too much garnish for prison food...
The look on princess Minelva's face when she met Dalv's eyes, was also strikingly different from Dalv's fantasies. A forlorn gaze with the tiniest embers of radiant hope, it was definitely not. It was annoyance ablaze with cold impatience. "Oh no, not another one, mother!" Admittedly, she did have a sing song voice as clear as mountain dew.
But things were still spinning faster and faster out of Dalv's control... The princess raised her hand, knuckles down, and open palm towards him. 'Well,' Dalv thought, 'at least the badguys are friendly to me...' but out sprang a green slimy ray from out of princess Minelva's hand.
The next thing on Dalv's mind was calm soothing hum, and a craving for dragonflies.
Here are some more photos I couldn't fit in the story line, and some comments on The Build. This is the first time I built something at such a large scale and with so many details. I am building myself up (lol) for my ultimate build; the Heart of Gold, from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but building this was just as well an ultimate.
Pretty soon after starting construction on the Avatar temple I knew I was going to build a castle on those rocks as well. I increased the size of the big rock (again, to the limit of my dark bley bricks and slopes), built the castle, and ended up building a town square beneath it.
The town square is a tribute to the medieval market village (10193). I have intentionally used the same colour schemes for the inn and end the smithy, and copied the waterwheel driven hammer. This set ranks very high in my all-time favourits, competing with the Eldorado Fortress (6272), the Star Destroyer (6211), and the cosmic fleet voyager (6985) although the latter I regret to admit, has never been part of my collection :(
The bakery and supply shop was built last, but I think came out finest. The dark red roof tiles from The Burrow (4840) were eagerly ripped in my desire to build it in a funky colour. The dark red panelling from the Slave I (8097) filled the gap!
The inn to quite long to finish, at a loss for inspiration I made the pump and the stocks before I started on the interiors. I was never perfectly pleased with the bulkiness and I created a challenge in building the inner walls by using jumpers on the outside walls.
I did not think it would hold, but it is actually pretty tight; pull out a minifigs arm first and then its hand, re-connect the hand with a 1x1 technic brick around the arm and it is locked! The minifig's neck goes into a 2x1 technic brick, and stuff a pin-to-stud pin first in its head to put onto the other side of the hole. Snap these bricks together with some plates and you have a minifig in stocks! The arms remain loose from the body, but no one will notice... Just as no-one will notice the jester is put in there on a speeding offense...
I really wanted some pumping action in the pump, but finding the right pump arm was tricky. The "Space Police flick-pin launcher was quickly found, but continuing the arc I believed to be impossible... Until I spotted Count Dooku's lightsaber!
Building the smithy was the best fun! I was able to build a hearth which held four flames; a blazing inferno by minifig standards! The idea for the lantern was a new one (not the hand-candle), a flame fits into the nozzle of a fire-extinguisher-brick-thingy... During this construction I discovered more ways to hold flames!
Over the outer gates are the first new find of attaching flames; into an arm of a T-pin! With a dish under it, you only have to find a place to pin it in, and voila, minifigs can see in the dark!
The front gatehouse opens up in two parts, however useless this may be, because the interior is too small for anything! With these cross-windows I set the trend for the whole castle.
The same goes for the inner gatehouse; it opens up, to reveal nothing... Although it does allow for this shot...
I really wanted to use the dwarf mine gates, but they were just too large... I needed doors for under an 8x1 arch, but I had none. I built some doors with bricks instead.
Putting a flame in the underside of a 2x2 dome is more of a balance trick than a LEGO-tight grip... If I had a penny every time I knocked one out, I'd be rich!
There just had to be a courtyard, limited in space though I was. Keeping it very small did allow me to do some funky paving with round 2x2 tiles... I even managed to stretch the limited space to allow for a small garden!
The design for this hanging bridge was also recycled from the Avatar Temple. I was glad I could put it in again (but the main just had to be a drawbridge!), and wanting that so much may have been what has inspired me to build the free-standing tower.
Using the (2010) redesigned headlight brick and four 4x1 arches this cross-window was quickly put together. However, it does create lots of small, half-plate gaps which need to be covered, and structural integrity becomes a real challenge; the torch inside here actually holds one of the windows in place (out of shot, next to it, a halberd performs the same duty).
The base of the tower is intentionally in old grey, making a really smudgy for Leo the Impudent, king of the Lions.
I am not sure if putting a flame into the bottom of a wine chalice is new, it is a good fit in the new chalices! There are two different casts of the chalice; the old model has a hole running all the way through which is too wide to hold the flame.
The main reason the tower does not play a role in the story is that it is so narrow I could barely squeeze in the ladders, let alone leave room for a minifig and still be able to make a proper photo... No regrets though; without the tower the castle would not have been complete!
Only in the top chamber some furnishing could be fitted as the ladder down runs outside, and there is none going to the spire. The spire can be taken off, and there is even a trap door in the floor, but this really was too small for anything but owls' nests...
I just had to make this shot...
I hope you've had fun watching and reading this! It won't take another half year until I put up a next MOCpage - I sincerely hope not! - as I have some ideas for small creations, before I will eventually settle down to put together the starship Heart of Gold! If you want to leave some ramblings of your own, please leave a comment!