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Part 16: Universal Challenge: Rainos Defends!
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In the Lands of Mythron, a great war has broken out between the sovereign Clandom of Rainos and its former overlord, the Empire of Mythron. Brave heroes from the factions of Enalica and Nerogue have flocked to aid their respective allies, and outlaws across the islands are pillaging all they can. Who will come out on top in this dramatic conflict?
About this creation
:-:-:-:-: The Cast :-:-:-:-:

Steven's Team (Left to Right):



- Captain First Class Steven of Rainos, Bull Clan officer and two-minded hero
- Sergeant William P. Farrer, Bull Clan pilot and Steven's second-in-command
- Private Igor of Rainos, Steven's young cousin
- Elon, elf mace-woman recruited with Argo
- Argo, elf archer who followed Elon onto the team

Mythronian Army:



- Commander Grives of Carthal Castle's garrison (with cape)
- - Various regrettably nameless and expendable soldiers - -

Aboard the Krak (Back to Front, Left to Right):



- Captain Tweedley, ranking officer
- First Officer "Smear" Esmere
- Fertence the Wizzard, magical officer
- Del, maid of the wizard
- Frederick, a Carthalian marine
- - Crewmen and marines - -

- - Galley Slaves - -

- - Rainosian Armed Forces - -

- - Cedric the Bull - -

Important term:

Springald, n. A medieval siege weapon akin to a large crossbow that makes use of elastic potential energy to fire sharp objects through the air with great force and accuracy. The use of springalds in certain conflicts has ended all hope of peaceful reconciliation between the two sides.

~ ~ ~

Day One: Carthal Castle, 19 June 5 AU



Since receiving his promotion at the battle for Tomeu, Steven had led his band back east, steadily approaching the emerald shores of Rainos.



"Halt! Friend or foe?"



A few choice words made them welcome even among their most bitter enemies...

"Nerogue Peace Corps seeking shelter after a week on the march."



...At least, that was the case until they met a man who frowned upon the cult from Tomeu.

"Captain First Class Steven of Nerogue, reporting for - "

"Yes, I can read your papers. What do you want?" a Carthalian officer asked, clearly displeased at something.



After placating the surly guards of Reedus, Steven's manner did not waver. Nevertheless, he could sense Igor sweating behind him.

"Well, sir, my people and I have been on the march for six days and we would like a night's food and lodging if at all convenient."

It was clear that the garrison commander was not listening to the request, because his next question had nothing to do with comfortable beds or warm meals.



"The Nerogue Peace Corps are some sort of rangers that run around and try to make their band look good, am I right?"

Farrer took this one, acting every bit the zealous Nerogue.

"Sir! The Peace Corps patrol the countryside with the goal of pacifying crime and improving relations with the Kingdom of Mythron, sir!"

The Mythronian officer nodded.

"Do any of you have experience at sea?"



By the gods, he's going to impress us into the navy, Steven guessed. What can I do about that?

"Sergeant Farrer and I were the commanding officers of an arms trader before this mess broke out," he answered honestly. "We took our ship into battle this spring when the barbarians tried to invade."

The garrison commander grimaced.

"In that case, I return you to the sea. An officer will escort you to the docks at an hour past dawn tomorrow. One of our... captains... is unwell and his beautiful ship needs a crew."

With a sarcastic salute, the Mythronian turned and left.

- - -

The Rainosian band hardly slept that night, alone in the barracks block that had been emptied by the demands of the coming invasion.



Argo, who normally spent his free hours contemplating his lifelong friend Elon, found himself fascinated instead with all the terrors that could come to pass on the ocean from sharks to seasickness.



Igor, whose five-year juniority to his cousin Steven made him the youngest member of the party, was unfazed by the coming journey. Steven typically found a way to get out of trouble, and night was the time for dreaming... In this case, of Igor's own future glory as a mighty hero.



With his hat over his face and the rough blankets pulled up, Farrer's resting mind was a mystery to all.



The captain (first class) of Rainos, who had been an unprepared kid to beat Igor only a few months ago, allowed his second mind to race, seeking a solution anywhere.



Finally and ironically, Elon was not thinking of invasions, oceans, heroism, or anything of the sort. She was too busy trying to figure out Argo.



- - -

Day Two: Outside Carthal Castle, 20 June 5 AU



At dawn's first light, the "Nerogue Peace Corps" delegation found an exit and marched down to the military docks.

"Look at that rotten tub sitting to the capital ship! They're putting us on that?"



"Wait and see, Igor, wait and see."



"Captain Steven of the Nerogue Peace Corps, requesting permission to come aboard."

The first officer (or at least the best-dressed man on deck) finished haranguing a crewman and waved the Rainosians aboard.

"Are you the first officer? I'm here as a replacement for your captain."



Once the laughter died down, the mate felt obliged to explain.

"No, you want Captain Burner's Gadfly across the dock. You can't miss it; it's the only galley in the fleet with a termite infestation," the officer answered to a renewed burst of humor.



Steven turned the table with another sentence.

"ARRESTED?" roared the mate. By now, the whole crew was watching, including the Carthalian marines on guard.

"Yes, it had something to do with an odorous porcine and a great deal of money. The lieutenant here may be able to provide some more answers."



Argo, in his "borrowed" uniform, gave his captain a panicked look.

"Perhaps it would be better not... details not for soft ears and all that. Now, what were those instructions? Ah, yes: First of all, I am to take command of His Majesty's carrack, the cleverly-denominatedKrak, and all the crew, provisions and arms so affiliated. Savvy?"

The ship's second was not prepared to give up so easily.



"Hold on a minute. I'm the mate aboard this bark, and I won't turn the helm over until I've had proper confirmation, or my name ain't Wallace Esmere!"

The new captain glanced at his paper.

"Oh, yes, and the second order - Captain Walrus d'Smear is hereby and until such time as His Majesty's Admiralty determines otherwise to take command of His Majesty's supply ship, the Gadfly. Looks like they misspelled your name, but never mind that; you got a promotion, captain! Three cheers for Smear!"



Steven guided the flustered mate toward the gangplank, speaking to him in an alternating low and carrying voice.

"You can see to the loading of the Gadfly and follow us in an hour's time. Might be in your best interests to hurry, what with any lingering, unjust associations the brass might have between you and Tweedley... Lieutenant Smith can confirm the orders..." - Argo started. "What? Oh, aye!" - "...don't mind him, he won honors for the richest father... And we will take good care of the Krak for you. Farewell, Captain Smear!"



The officer scurried off, and the Rainosian addressed his ship.

"Wasn't he a fine fellow? Now, the third order: Make sail for Rainos before the sun leaves the water! Chop chop, toot sweet!"

- - -





"Who's commanding my ship?"

- - -



"...And the weapons are stored here, secured by two strong doors with no other possible entrance?"

"Aye, captain."

"Thank you. Return to your duties; I wish to confer with my party."

"Yes, sir, captain."



"Lieutenant Smith, what have you found out about the crew?"

"Do you really have to keep calling me that?"

"Yes. You're a mother's-boy Mythronian officer who is completely out of his depth because his father bought him a commission when he was drafted two weeks ago. Remember that. Now, who is on this ship with us?"

"Thirty marines, crack archers or crossbowmen to a man. I don't think even I could out-shoot them."

"Bad news. What else?"

"There's the so-called 'magical officer' and his servant. He's a wizard, but he's too seasick to be any trouble. There are fifteen crewmen including a cook, and they all think he's a quack. They don't mind you, though; apparently, the last captain really was a crook."



"Found that out in the sailor's bar last night. Elon, what did you find in the way of armaments?"

"Well, there are thirty pikes in here, about twice as many cutlasses, and a ballo- er, daggers. The marines practically clank when they walk even without their armor, but all of the arrows and quarrels are stored in here, so they won't be able to shoot at us for long."

"Let's not give them a reason all the same. Farrer, wha-"

"And then there's the crew. They might not be fighters, but they have enough knives and tools to make a bloody mess."

"Is that all, private?"

"Yes, 'sir'."



"Farrer, can you steer this thing?"

"Think so. The whipstaff's not all that different from a steerboard, except it's got a few more cogwheels down below. I've found out what most of the sails and ropes are called, to."

"Excellent; you can fill me in later."



"Igor, did... What did I ask you to do again?"

"You told me to set up the springald, Steve. It's all put together, and we can shoot basically whatever we want from in here."

"That's 'Captain' to you. Smith here will bunk with the marines, and three of you will hold this room against all comers, understand? One of you sleeps, the second watches the springald, and the third can perform duties on the decks. I'll set up my quarters."



"Is it just me, or did that promotion go to his head?"

- - -



"Ugh..."

"Is there anything I can get you, sir?"



"Yes, you can get me to dry la-"



"Oooh!"



"Actually, I would like a bucket, please, Del."

- - -

Day Three: The Krak, Rainosian Channel, 21 June 5 AU



"Good day! What does the dawn light bring?"

A lookout with a magic glass answered the captain.

"We're catching up on the fleet, sir. We'll be feasting on the heathen beaches soon, sir."

"Never tried a beach; what sort of sauce does one use? Let me see the fleet."






"When will we catch them?"

"Before noon at this rate, sir."

"I see."



Farrer caught the captain by the whipstaff, the long pole that connected to the Krak's rudder.

"What's the plan for when we do meet up with the assembled forces of our mortal enemies, Steven?"

"That's a good point. Drop some sails! We can't protect our brethren's rear if we're right up in the middle of them! Chop chop!"

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

- - -



- - -



"Feeling better, sir?"

"I wish I were dead. Pardon the expression, Del, it's just that life looks easier without organs."



"If you'll excuse my saying so, sir, it's not worth the trade. I'll let in some fresh air for you."



- - -



"Sure is getting murky in here. Wish I could tell what's out there. Elon, what do your elf-eyes see?"

"My what?"



"Er... (Did not think you would hear that...) elf eyes? Don't elves have better sight than humans?"

"Not after spending twenty years in a cave. I'm nearsighted; you should find Argo if you want someone who can see well."



"Captain, there's something to the west. Use the magic glass."





"Enalican galleys? I thought the pirates were extinct!"

"Raider scum? Let me sound the alarm, sir! My men will send them packing right enough!"



"Stand down, soldier! They have an armada; we need to survive long enough to warn our own ships, and direct engagement is not the way to go. Give the order to add sail. In the mean time, Mr. Smith, I want my Nerogue staff on the main deck. Bring your bow."



"Well, 'captain,' what do we do now? Are we going to let the marines put holes in our real allies, or do we run from the fight and show our true colors to the crew?" Argo let the situation build on him before it spread to the others, but Igor interjected.

"Hey! I've known Steven all my life. He never acted smart when we were back home herding goats, but he's never let us down when it counts."

Elon joined the debate.

"Argo - I mean, Smith - is right. Whatever we do is the wrong choice. Sorry, Steven, but there's no way out of this."

Farrer, not normally the quintet's lead vocalist, took charge.

"Everyone, listen up. Steven, you have done some great things since you were the junior crewman aboard the old Weezil, but you're still young. Let me take control this once. Give the order to sail straight for the pirates, then join is in the forecastle. The castle was designed to withstand direct catapult shot; we can hold it until the Enalicans take the ship and we'll still be heroes at the end of the day."



Steven looked up.

"Thank you, Bill, Igor, Argo and Elon. All of you are right; more right than any wise man would ignore. I apologize to you all, but I am not yet a wise man. Mr. Smith, I need your bow atop the mainmast to strike down enemy lookouts - and you know which ones I mean. Elon and Igor, man the springald and prepare to do the same. Bill, I need you at the whipstaff. We're going to fall back to the fleet and fight our battle there."

- - -



"Fleet is within sight!"

"And the pirates?"



"Falling behind but not stopping, captain!"





"Sound the alarm! There are pirates behind us!"





"Bill, you know the plan - don't bring us close enough to give the marines a shot, no matter what I say. If I change my mind, I'll add, 'and that's an order.'"

"Aye."





"Ready... Aim..."



"By all that is sacred!"



"There are pirates? Why didn't anyone tell me?"

"Sir, you can hardly stand. I don't think -"





"Helmsman, what is going on?"

"Nearly crashed into that galley, captain. Won't happen again."



"Another quarrel."

"Did you miss?"

"Stupid boat keeps rocking, but I think I got him."

"I've hit seven by now."

"Shut up, Argo."



"Can't you get us to an opening? My men are needed!"

"Hear that, Farrer? Bring us up on that burning galley. And that's an order!"

"Aye, captain."





"Marines, take aim!"

"Sir, there are no pirates aboard that galley."

"What?"



"By the king, they abandoned the ship and left the slaves," the wizard's maid gasped. Steven arrived on the deck.

"Ready grapnels!" he ordered.



"Pull a burning ship into our side, captain?"

"Fire is the worst way to die, and I will not abandon an innocent crew. Do it!"





"Heave!"

"Drop a plank after me. I'm going down."

"Good luck!"



"Save us!"

"What do you think I'm -"



"Get back, scum!"

Elon retreated.

"Listen, captain, we can take you, too. We're not -"

"A captain dies with him ship, the crew dies with them -!"



"Aah!"





"Grab some treasure and run!"



This should carry this ship away from us... and into the Mythronian fleet, with any luck.

"Cut the grapnels!"



- - -



"This is a dark day for all of Mythron," the marines' commander lamented.

"Cheer up, Frederick," Argo supplied. "We must be the only ship in the fleet to sustain negative casualties, even if we had one kill between the lot of us."

"Hear, hear!" one of the former slaves cheered.



"Yes, but the galley we emptied damaged three of our ships and the fleet is scattered! What do we do next?" the marine continued.

"We press on to Rainos. The pirates won't bother us again; if any are left, they will be more interested in passing around the loot than risking their necks in a second battle. The Krak is one of the fastest ships on the water; we need to get the news to the flotilla approaching Rainos from the north."

- - -

Day Three: The Krak, Rainosian Channel, 22 June 5 AU



"Masts ahead, captain! It's the Eagle!"



The Eagle! Thatís the tub that attacked us when Rainos was trying to invade Mythron Ė letís sink it!

"Take us closer."





A voice carried faintly over the water.

"... majesty's ship... your status..."



Steven took a speaking funnel.

"Mythronian ship! We can't hear you! Come in closer!"

He muttered something to Igor, who headed to the forecastle.



What is that ship doing? For that matter, what isSteven doing?



"Farrer! Captain says to distribute weapons and ammo! I'll take the springald!"



"All hands take arms! Everyone on deck!"



"Captain, they're passing out arms too!"

"I thought something was not right about that ship. Bring us closer."





"...ship, state your intentions!"

"State your own!"


"Spirits, do not let me fail."



"Now it's started..."



"Why aren't they responding, captain?"

"They're coming closer. Marines, ready your weapons! Everyone else, stand by to take cover!"





"Those aren't Mythronians! Fire at will!"



"They're running! Put on all sail and run them down!"





"Keep it up, lads! Better to have our ship burn than remain in the hands of pirates!"



"Their decks are all but clear and the sails are burning. The marines await the order to board, sir!"



"Galleys coming in to starboard, captain! I can't make out their flags!"

"It's an ambush! Hard to port!"



"What is going on, sir?"

"Either we wiped out the crew of a friendly ship due to a misunderstanding, or the northern fleet met the barbarians and didn't fare well. Weighing the probabilities, there's a safe cove on the shores of Rainos where we can disappear for a while and tend to our wounded," Steven answered.

- - -



Day Four: Northeast coast of Rainos, 22 June 5 AU (Midnight)





"Drop lines. All able hands, go over the sides. We're pulling the Krak ashore."



Steven watched the shores even more anxiously than "his" marines. If there were no Rainosians here, then he would have to keep up the charade for another day. Worse, if there were Rainosian forces watching, how much longer would the list of the dead grow?



An arrow hit the water beside him. A handful of similar splashes marked a warning shower.

"Drop your weapons, scum, or learn to fear the name of Cedric!" someone on the cliff-tops roared.



The soldiers reacted swiftly.

"Marines! Return fire!"

"BELAY THAT ORDER! Drop your weapons; I won't see another man killed today," Steven shouted, and the journey of the Krak reached its end.

- - -

Epilogue. Northeast coast of Rainos, 25 June 5 AU



"Captain, I recall giving my clan a general order after the fall of Tomeu to return to Rainos with all speed. Instead, you spent almost two months robbing outlaws in Mythron, napped in the fortresses of our enemies, stole one of Mythron's finest ships, destroyed another of the same and captured a legion of Carthal's finest without spilling a drop of black Rainosian blood."

"Yes, sir."



"I'm not sure whether to promote you again or throw you out of my new model army, since you clearly think you're too clever to take orders."

"Thank you, sir. The latter would be excellent."

"Bah! If I let every self-centered, ill-disciplined barbarian out of my army, I wouldn't have anyone left. Stick around, captain, but treat yourself to a vacation. You'll be hearing from me."



"Well, 'captain' what are your orders? Lieutenant Smith here wants to know."

"Well, if Lieutenant Smith would get back in uniform..."



"Get him!"

- - -













Bonus Pictures



















Builder's Note

Thank you for reading the whole thing! I put a lot of work into this entry (120 photographs and about twenty MOCs) and I tried not to make it too dry or too confusing. Don't expect an entry like this next month; I'm going to take it easy and deal with the parts of life that are arguably more important than Lego role-playing. Any feedback you have is appreciated. Thanks again!

Gilbert DS



Comments

 I made it 
  February 23, 2014
Quoting Halhi 141 I really wished you had added an overview picture of each build at the end, while the builds are good, it falls into the same issue as a few others of your older builds - way too long :P
I should have added each installment as a freebuild leading up to the challenge entry. Maybe someday I'll break it up as part of my farewell tidying.
 I like it 
  February 22, 2014
I really wished you had added an overview picture of each build at the end, while the builds are good, it falls into the same issue as a few others of your older builds - way too long :P
 I like it 
  October 13, 2013
the scenes where good, but, the lack of water hurt this story, the idea of ships battling it out was great, maybe too talkative, but, it had nice touches, like the squeleton lady, it s obvious you tried very hard, you deserve to be commented!
 I like it 
  October 2, 2013
Incredible Gilbert! :D
 I like it 
  October 2, 2013
Wow! Nice builds and story!
 I like it 
  September 30, 2013
Wow! Really well done! I read the whole thing and it was quite intriguing! Very nice! I love all of those builds.
 I made it 
  September 30, 2013
Quoting Stephen Boe Extremely awesome builds, especially the castle with the medium blue. I dom't think your builds are as popular as they should be. :P
The poor presentation probably doesn't help. Thanks Stephen!
 I like it 
  September 30, 2013
Amazing, both the story and the build! I always love seeing your creations!
 I like it 
  September 30, 2013
Extremely awesome builds, especially the castle with the medium blue. I dom't think your builds are as popular as they should be. :P
 I made it 
  September 30, 2013
Quoting Sean B Awesome! So many builds. How log did this all take?
All month.
  September 30, 2013
Awesome! So many builds. How log did this all take?
 I like it 
  September 30, 2013
My goodness that was long! And epic!
 
By Gilbert Despathens
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Part 16: Universal Challenge: Rainos Defends!Pirate


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