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The Shroud Chronicles - Episode 1 . "Hey, look! He actually went through with it!" :P . --40 Years in the Future -August 16 -6:21am --Territory Formerly Know As Iowa I've been up all night. Again. Yeah, it's been, like, three nights now, and I've only gotten about 5 hours of sleep during that time. Oughta talk Bryan into taking me to the Doctor's sometime. So to pass the time, I've been goofing off with my computers. Built them myself. I found this thing-- Bryan calls it an iPhone-- lying out in the fields this last weekend... The casing is cracked and it's really caked up with dirt, but I've still been able to extract a few files from it; here's one: ...Cool, huh? I'm trying to see how much I can squeeze out of this thing... So yeah, finding this iThing has pretty much been the highlight of my year; Old World music, if not media in general, is pretty hard to come by these days... We pretty much make up our own stuff now. I've always wondered... Y'know, what it would be like to be able to access all that stuff that my grandparents had way back when... like that worldwide computer network they had... Just imagine, people all over the globe, able to-- *CRASH!* What the-- What was that!? *Rumble...* *Crunch!* Ohhh man... Somebody's trying to break in at the back of the house! Heh! They're gonna dig this... *KRA-KOW!* Me: "Get outta here, stupid! We don't like burgulars comin' here!" Stranger: "P-please! I'm n-not stealing; I'm just looking for something to e-eat! I haven't taken-n any of your corn, either!" Me: "I really don't care! Just run the heck offa my prop--" ???: "Andre, that's enough! Put the gun down." Great, Dad's up... ???: "Please, sir, excuse my son, Andre. He can be a little... stupid at times." Yeah, love you too, Dad... ???: "My name's Bryan Anderson, and I own this plot of land... Uh... So, what brings you out our way?" Stranger: "O-oh, hi, uh... I'm Gene F-Franks. I'm, well, trying to get away-y from Boone Mosely." Yeah. Likely story. Bryan Anderson: "Really? You come from Mosely's turf? You didn't get all the way out here on foot, did you?" Gene Franks: "T-that's correct, sir." Bryan: "Wow! That's really just... Incredible! Well, you're safe here; this is MAS territory." Gene: "That is quite a relief, good Mister Anderson." Bryan: "Er, you look pretty starved... We usually get breakfast around this hour... You care to join us?" Gene: "Why, I-I'd love to!" Bryan: "Great! If you take this door right here, you'll be in the kitchen... Andre and I will be with you in just a sec." Darn. I know what that means... Me: "So you find a guy rooting through our trash, and you invite him to eat with us!? What the hey!? You're the one who's so overly-paranoid about strangers showing up here anyway; I was doing you a favor! Bryan: "You fired a gun at him; you aren't even allowed to TOUCH that rifle in the first place! How many times need I beat THAT into your head?" Me: "... 'Kay, I'm sorry I touched your gun, but I didn't fire AT him... I just wanted to scare him off." Bryan: "You completely ignored the situation and did simply what felt right; that's not doing me a favor, Andre." Me: "Ughh, Brya-- I mean, Dad, you still don't get it! I mean, do you really think a geezer like Franks, who clearly has a couple screws loose, could get out of a country that has one of the fiercest border patrols in the history of the stinkin' planet? You really think he is who he says he is?" Bryan: "Son, do YOU have any solid proof that he ISN'T who he claims? Again, you're only seeing what you want to see." Bryan: "Yes, I'm very leery of strangers popping up here-- and for good reason, at that... But that doesn't mean I won't help a man in need. Do you really want to send Gene off to his death?" Yeahhh, guilt-trip me. Me: "Fine, whatever." Bryan: "Great. Now, we've got company for breakfast, so I'm gonna need you to snag some extra eggs from the coop. And Mr. Franks will be recieving a sincere apology from you, too." Me: "Okay, okay..." Now don't get me wrong, Bryan's a pretty straight-laced guy, but sometimes he's just plain out of it. Like right now. I mean, the man won't even let me lay a finger on any sort of weapon; you saw that! Heck, he wouldn't let me eat with a knife until I was thirteen!" So, anyway, this is 'the farm'. We grow corn commercially, but we also keep a few chickens around as our own private meat stash. Saves money. Me: "I'm ba-ack. Hey, Franks, uh, sorry. Dad, where do you want the eggs?" Gene: "Oh, um... N-no problem at all..." Bryan: "Thanks; get 'em on the stove for me, please." Bryan: "So, Gene, how long have you been, uh, running?" --Soooo, to keep you from nodding off to the beat of Franks's stuttering, how about I fill you in on the political scene? So, ever since civilization went down the tubes, most of the people that stayed behind pretty much either turned to anarchy, or they founded their own little "mini-nations". I hear things are different out in the Pacific, but that's how things work just about everywhere else. Anyway, Bryan and I live in one of those relatively-new "mini-nations": the MAS. Stands for Midwestern Agrarian State, if you were curious. Other than the isolation and everyone being poor as dirt, it's really not that bad over here. Us MAS-ers have it better than most. Take Franks, for example. He comes from this area we call the "Grand Moselyan Empire". Mockingly, of course. As the name suggests, it's controlled by a thug named Boone Mosely; they say he runs things over there with an iron fist-- I've heard that they use some type of feudalism to run the place. Since the MAS and Mosely's turf are around fifty miles of each other, we often hear a lot about Mosely's antics. Kinda disturbing to hear about all their exploits: raids, cold-blooded massacres, and-- most prevalent of all-- the kidnappings. Of course, it's really kind of silly to be scared; our security force is one of the best in the region. Mosely would have to be insane to think that his mob could pull stuff right on MAS soil. Bryan: "... Huh! Wow, well, I just can't believe you got out of there in one piece, Gene!" Gene: "Frankly, I m-must admit, I thought-t my time was up." Ooh! Time... time... ...Oh poop! It's almost time for me to leave! Me: "Oh man! Hey, Dad, I gotta run, okay? School starts today; gotta get walkin' if I'm gonna get there by eight!" Bryan: "Don't worry, I'll get you a ride. I need to pick some stuff up in town, anyway." Bryan: "Alrighty, Mr. Franks, I gotta run downtown. You can crash here on the couch if you like, take as much food as you want, and the bathroom's right in past there if you need it. I should be back in an hour or two." Gene: "Y-you're just too kind, good Mister Anderson." Me: "So you're just gonna leave him there..." Bryan: "I'm done talking about this for now, Bryan. Let's go." ----TO BE CONTINUED---- Final Thoughts: So there you have it sports fans! I tried to use half as many pics as the last trailer; I figured it would make it a little more bearable to read. As I've said before, I don't get a ton of time to work on these, but I will try to get these up as often as I can. I've got the general story outline planned out, and trust me-- it's gonna be good! Thanks so much for stopping by, and feel free to leave your C&C below. Til Next Time!

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