Kaliphlin embassy in Nocturnus . . This was built for the 2nd "Guilds of Historica" challenge over on Eurobricks - the challenge was to build an embassy of your guild in another guild's land. It was built and posted on EB back in Feburary, right after Brickvention, but i somehow didn't get around to posting it here in the mad lead up to MocAthalon.
The following is the information i wrote to accompany my entry:
Deep in the Moruth swamplands lies the lands of the powerful Ga'zaar warlocks. The area is well known to be rich in both poisonous and medicinal plants, many of which are also valuble for spellcasting and magical brewing. Some years ago, Lord Sansael's father sought trade agreements with the Ga'zaar warlocks in Nocturnus and an embassy was established there to bring traders of the two guilds together.
The embassy has become known as "The easternmost star" by Kaliphlian merchants and adventurers, a reference to it's unusual shape. The star shaped base is supported on huge wooden pylons, driven into the mud and then encased in volcanic concrete. The neccecery construction materials were brought in on Peregrinian barges at great expense, and constructed with a mixture of local and Kaliphlian labour. The local orc tribes, who helped with the construction, are justly proud of this landmark - it certainly goes a long way to dispelling the myth that all orcs are shoddy builders!
In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the shape of the base also has magical signifigence. The six pointed star contains and directs the energy of the most powerful divinations along it's sacred geometry. (By tradition, all ambassadors assigned to the embassy are powerful mages in thier own right, as they have the neccercary skills in arcane herbology.)
Magical, ever-flowing fountains are present on each point. As well as being wonderful magical conductors, the fountains are also a reliable source of fresh, clean water in the fetid swamp.
There are two ways of entering the embassy. The more important guests and dignitaries can disembark at the small jetty, and enter through the eastern door. (the one marked with the scarab shields) They can then acend the staircase to the open air reception level, where they are recieved with all due hospitality.
The other way of entering is by the spiral staircase underneath the base. Unless the visitors are at least semi aquatic, this can only be accessed at low tide by wading or punting across the mud flats. They are either recieved on the lower floor, or if the matter is one of low skullduggery (or personal hygene on the part of the visitor!), the ambassador might decend to the basement level to conduct business.
The embassy has only minimal staff, being both small in size and remote. Besides the ambassador, there is his assistant, his personal gaurd of 2 (you can see them gaurding the staircase and entry to the top level), four peregrinian gaurdsmen and the boatman.
As a rule, ambassadors to Nocturnus don't tend to last too long, Nocturnus being what it is! However, the current ambassador seems to be bucking that trend. A personal appointee of Lord Sansael, Ambassador Daraith Vensal has been in the post for 2 years now, and already shows signs of "going native". Afflicted with a rare skin condition, he was glad to make the move to Nocturnus, where the sun is not so harsh and irritates him less. He also sees the post as a great opportunity to pursue his magical studies with the local shamans and warlocks. He has a reputation locally as a smart dealer with a ruthless streak and an eye to the long game - and he never lets anyone know what game he's playing!
Ambassador Vensal has his private quarters on the top level of the embassy.
The middle floor is the embassy's private reception area, where local and visiting diginaries can do business in comfort.
The photos above were a revision of an earlier draft - i wasn't happy with the top two stories, so i rebuilt them. :)
Here are the two versions side by side - the old one on the left, the revised one on the right. Overall i think the revisions are an improvement. The shape seems more pleasing now, with a more obviously tapering structure and clearer divisions between the floors. The stairs to the top level have now been relocated to the back of the building, and follow the sides of the building more closely. The use of white has also been restricted to the fountains, columns and window accents on the top floor. The middle floor is more enlosed now, for privacy and warmth. Two of the 6 walls between the columns are solid (although the front contains a doorway), while the other 4 are curtained to evoke a tent-like atmosphere. The only drawback to the revisions is that the ambassador's bedroom at the top is a bit smaller. Still, we all have to make sacrifices in the name of style! ;)