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Nightstalker

Member Since 18 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 04:50 PM

Topics I've Started

Short Stories: Among the Stars

11 April 2021 - 01:12 PM

Hello folks,

 

So these aren't by me, but my brother. He's never really posted anything, but I figure folks might find these stories interesting. Again, just trying to get some initial exposure, so feel free to comment. Enough of my prattling, here's the first story! Apologies ahead of time for the formatting.

 

Episode 1: Holy War
 
A storm was approaching the Sunset Caves on the southern half of the planet, Imperiolis. Three Eagle-class gunships, bearing five paladin soldiers each, flew rapidly towards a heretic base located within the caves. Among their number was Jay Hawk, a captain in the Phoenix Legion of the Holy Emperor. He was a dark skinned man, with short top dreads, well-groomed beard, and brown eyes. He bore the power armor of the Phoenix Legion, purple armor with golden trim, and a golden phoenix above fire emblazoned on his chest and large shoulder guards. Next to him was a bald sergeant wearing much the same armor known as Ferren Wolf, a trusted friend, whose piety knew no bounds. The oddity in their group was a woman wearing pitch black armor with a red tabard bearing a flame to denoting her as an Inquisitor of the Order of Purging Flame. Her name was Anya Tauren, a member of the holy inquisition. Inquisitors had no magic, but their faith made them immune to the terrors of dark magic. Together they were to bring Jusara’s righteous flame to the divine forsaken heretics.
 
Their targets were the Disciples of Zin, people who worshipped a powerful demon lord associated with bloodlust. The Emperor, Lady Jusara’s chosen, received a vision of the heretics spreading their dark message throughout Imperiolis. As the message spread, so did the corruption, and with it the fall of the planet. It was up to them to purge this heresy from their world, and break the demon spawn before they could gain a foothold on the planet. 
The three gunships passed over a large mushroom forest above a fetid marshland below. The Eagles passed from marshland to rocky terrain as the ground raised into the mountainside containing the caves. Jay gazed below, just barely making out the heretics. He braced himself as the Eagle leaned in, opening fire with the four guns on each of its wings. Bullets riddled the ground, but the heretics were not without a fervor of their own. They retaliated with manned turrets from below, pelting the gunships with laser fire. 
 
Jay braced himself as a barrage of laser turrets hit them with full force, while Ferren grunted in anger, “Jusara curse them, let’s be on the ground and get this over with!” Jay smiled, not willing to give his sergeant the satisfaction just yet. While he wanted his blade to taste heretic flesh, the landing zone needed to be clear of hostiles. The other Eagles fired a hail of rockets which erupted around the gun turrets, sending dirt and viscera into the sky. With their turrets eradicated, the initial heretic forces were routed, causing them to flee into the caverns.
 
“This is Captain Jay to all Phoenix Units disembark and form up, today we punish those that would oppose Jusara’s Justice!” 
 
“Aye Captain!” They called back. Before they landed Anya confronted him, “Don’t forget Captain we need their leader alive or else we won’t know where else this heresy has spread to.” She said as she removed the hammer and bright red pistol from her belt. Jay simply nodded, “Worry not, sister, we remember our mission. Let’s get on the ground before my sergeant trains his blade upon us.” He gave her a smile that she did not return. 
 
Shortly after, they landed and the purple armored paladins disembarked with weapons of war drawn. Sergeant Ferren gathered a squadron of paladins, “Purge the heretics, purge their scum from our planet forever!” He said as he marched through a cave on the easternmost side with four other paladins, while another five took the westernmost cave.  Jay rallied Anya and his three other paladins to the cave in the dead center of the mountain.
 
He marched alongside his fellow paladins, with his submachine gun drawn in his left hand while his power sword was ready in his other hand. The caves were surprisingly well lit, massive, with iron catwalks that made paths throughout. As he suspected, the heretics were waiting for them behind several barricades. They began to open fire with their laser rifles, but Jay was prepared concentrating his will to produce a shield of light. Their laser blast deflected from the shield as they advanced toward the heretic’s front line. He dropped the shield after the initial barrage, allowing he and his paladins to return fire. Anya blasted a heretic through his chest which disintegrated his lungs and splattered red mist onto the ground. A paladin hurled a bolt of white fire at a heretic who ran screaming towards the other heretics. Their terror at the oncoming wrath caused their discipline to shatter, causing them to fire wildly scoring a few hits on each paladin’s overshields.
 
Jay leapt over the barricade with his sword aimed at a heretic’s throat. He skewered the heretic, splattering blood on his pristine armor. More and more fell to his assault as he transitioned from one heretic to another. Anya was not far behind, smashing a second heretic’s brains all over the cavernous walls behind him. The others screamed, but it there was one at the rear of their formation that would not go quietly. “AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! LORD ZIN CURSE THE INFIDEL!!!!” He roared as his brothers were blasted to pieces. He pounced at Jay, turning into a monster as he did so, but Jay stepped underneath the crab claw that jutted from the man’s neck. Anya approached with hammer raised, but he clawed her with a transformed left arm which sent her flying back against the wall, a gash opened across her armor and three cuts across her face. His right arm turned into an abomination of flesh and spikes as he aimed and shot, sending spikes through the groin of one paladin and the chest of another. Both dropped with screams of pain and their blood drained onto the floor. 
Jay stabbed the beast through the back utilizing a little of his holy magic to light his sword with holy fire. The abomination roared as the heretic’s face turned into a raging creature with mounds of teeth. It bent down to take a crunch of the captain, but he back stepped and lunged forward, stabbing its mouth. It roared in anger as another claw sprouted from its back then charged toward him. It aimed a strike at his neck only to be stopped by a railgun round through its shoulder and a hammer blow to its back. The demon fell to the ground, leaving Anya, Jay, and the remaining paladin standing amongst the carnage. “Sergeant, report!”
“Captain, we’ve lost two already. These heretics have summoned demons to fight for them. Be wary, these scum even turn into monsters themselves. We’re following the caverns down to its heart. This won’t be easy, all the better to use Jusara’s wrath against them.” He said before signing off. “Squad three where are you?” He heard multiple gunshots, “Under fire sir, we’ve got one injured, but I think they’ve been waiting for our assault.”
 
‘Proceed with caution.” He turned, cut the link, and looked at Anya, “We have our work cut out for us.”
 
“Indeed, let’s be about this hunt before we lose anymore.” She said as she walked further into the caverns. The trio progressed down the halls, under stalactites only to encounter more of the same men and women dressed in a mixture of dark robes and armor. Each fight was more difficult than the last, but the well-lit tunnels worked against them. The three were able to aim with clarity, cutting the heretics down with ease. The fighting came to a head when they proceeded down a small flight of steps leading into the unconstructed caverns. Pillars and natural platforms hid heretics with heavy, assault weapons. The lights were dimmed here with the exception of a raised mound of earth where a heretic stood in front of a green portal. He spoke in an ancient language that sent tremors throughout the room. Squad three had four paladins who laid down suppressing fire on the heretics, but these were better trained than the heretics at the entrance to the caves. Jay opened fire and caught a sorcerer on the shoulder, only for Anya to place a finishing blow into his chest. 
 
His paladins lit the cave with holy, lightning bolts for brief seconds. Heretic sorcerers cast green fire amongst the paladins in retaliation. Lightning bolts struck a few of the heretics and sent them falling from the heightened mounds. They fell with a sickening crunch, as the paladins of third squadron advanced. The sorcerer closest to them sent a torrent of green fire, which cooked them alive and their screams filled the caverns. Jay could smell his brothers’ flesh burning and roared his fury as he opened fire with his submachine gun. He took down three heretics while heretic summoner in the back continued to chant. He roared his fury as his eyes lit with white fire and so did his comrades as they rallied to his side. Shots bounced off of his armor as he approached and slashed through his foes. A sorcerer aimed his green fire at Jay, but he was quickly intercepted by Anya. He cast the flame at her instead, but the flames sizzled at her feet. “Your dark magic means nothing to me heretic, now die!” She slammed hammer into his skull with a sickening crunch that left the broken man limp before he could even scream.
 
With the paladins rallied, Jay’s magic kept them protected from the dark magic of the sorcerers as well as the bullets from the heretics above. Paladins fired with clarity to take the enemy down one by one. They approached the final handful of stalagmites as Jay roared, “Bring them down brothers and sisters, may Jusara’s wrath take them and their filth!” 
 
Before they could mop up the rest, the heretic summoner roared, “ZIN’S WRATH BE UPON YOU ALL!” As he finished, a large sword pierced him through the chest and pulled him through the portal. A beast as large as the room they were in walked through the gate. It was a giant black creature with scales, red eyes, and four arms, each ending in swords. It had the head of a goat with giant black horns and a mouth on its stomach full of teeth. A savage roar emitted from its mouth as it knocked down stalagmites and skewered two of the heretics while the last one was gunned down by a paladin with an assault rifle. 
 
“Bring the beast down!” Jay yelled as his paladins threw lightning bolts and holy, white fire at the creature, who bore down on them. He charged alongside Anya to open fire, but the bullets bounced off the creature’s hide as if they were nothing. The beast slashed one of the remaining two paladins of squad three in two, leaving his entrails splattered over the floor. Jay was there before the monster could claim any other lives. He parried a blow from one arm and ducked under the strike of another to cut a large gash into the creature’s leg. Anya bashed away another of the beast’s arm, only to follow up by leaping atop the beast’s knee and bounding to its shoulder. She landed a blow with her hammer which sent the beast staggering back. The other two paladins launched white fire at the beast who cried out in fury as it died a slow death. Its howls would have thrown any normal man into fear, but they were paladins, scions of Jusara’s might. 
 
Jay looked up to where the portal was, and behind the green glyph was a large steel door. Just before he could move ahead, he heard the shuffling of boots from behind him. He turned to find Ferren and two other paladins with him. The sergeant looked up at Jay, “Jusara forsaken maggots had the place trapped! We’ve lost far more than I’d expected. Behind this door is the evil we seek, I can feel its vile nature from here.” Ferren said as he headed toward the door, but Anya stopped him before he could go further, “Let me handle this. That curse may very well take your life.” 
 
Anya led the way and placed her hand against the green glyph as its cursed magic enveloped her in a pool of green flames. Her faith kept her through the worst of its magic, her immunity as an inquisitor kept the magic from killing her. With the curse gone, Jay marched alongside the remaining paladins as they walked into a hall of sterile looking halls with green fire torches that cast dim light on their path. From there they could hear the chanting of heretics down the halls and to a large circular amphitheater covered in glowing bright green runes. The priest at the center looked up at Jay and the party of paladins, “I am Hyman Aldrich, leader of this sect of the Disciples of Zin. My work here is done and Lord Zin has his sacrifice. Our deaths, power the bloodlust that will feed the disciples across the galaxy and usher in a new age of blood and death!” He cackled wildly. 
 
Jay did not let him finish, opening fire across the heretics in the amphitheater. Two of their number fell, as they were riddled with bullets. Ferren was amongst the heretics before long, using his axe to cut through foes as though they were butter. His two paladins followed suit switching to melee to rush the enemy before they could truly organize. “Squad three stay here and cover us.” Jay said as he and Anya sped their way down the theater while Hyman opened a green portal. Demons of all shapes and sizes began to pour through the portal, seizing the opportunity to gain their freedom. “For Jusara!” Jay roared as white fire emblazoned around him and his comrades. He and his comrades fought with their lives, quickly becoming overwhelmed by the demon horde. The remaining two of Ferren’s paladins were pulled into the horde, ripped to pieces and eaten by several disfigured, Cerberus demons and a few goblinoid creatures. Ferren crushed the dogs with his axe and moved on, summoning a lightning bolt to his left hand to throw at one of the heretics, which sent his corpse flying back. 
Blood and guts covered them, as they cut through. The two paladins at the top continued to pepper the heretics with fire while Jay and Anya fought through wave after wave of demons. Soon enough Ferren was with them, but the other paladin fell back and drew her assault rifle to aid the others in keeping suppressing fire on the heretic forces. Anya bashed in skulls left and right, transitioning from one strike to another to keep the trio from being crushed outright.
 
Beside her, Jay let his sword rip through his enemies and tried to focus on Hyman. He charged the priest, but a demon in the form of a knight, stepped in front of him. He fired with his submachine gun first and riddled the knight with holes. The demon was undaunted as it clashed blades with Jay. He parried the first blow and struck at the knight’s neck. His blade lodged into its neck only for it to launch a thrust unfazed by his strike. Jay dodged but not in time enough to avoid the blow entirely. The knight’s blade stabbed him though the shoulder which caused him to let out a howl of pain. Both pulled away from one another as they reset their fighting stance. Jay just barely made out Anya and Ferren, keeping the horde at bay, but they would not last long. Both were slowing down, as was he. Hyman had to be captured immediately, or they would all die here and this insurgency would spread over Imperiolis. 
 
They could not fail, nor would they, Jay thought to himself as he rushed the knight once more with his white fire slicing low then high, parrying a strike towards his midsection. He spun into a strike that knocked the sword of the demon aside. He followed with a slash that severed the demon’s head from its body. Once it fell, there was nothing keeping Hyman from him and suddenly the opportunity was before him. Jay charged through the creatures as his paladins struggled to stay alive. He cut Hyman’s arm off which broke his concentration and shut the gate to the underworld for good. With the gate closed his paladins began to turn the tide, but not before they suffered greater wounds. It was only a matter of time before Hyman’s heretics were killed and left to litter the amphitheater as corpses.
 
There were few survivors, but each paladin knew the risk they faced. Jay knew that the life of a paladin was not easy, but he hoped that more would have made it out alive. “Anya we have your prize, I hope the loss of my paladins was worth it.”
“Fear not paladin, my order will have all of this scum’s secrets before long.” She said, “For now, thank Jusara that we have our lives, and let us report back to the church at Haven.”
 
“My lady, I am more than willing to tell you about the will of our lord. To spread death and destruction across the galaxy. This is only the beginning, before long our kind will be on every planet throughout the system.” He laughed till Ferren struck him with the butt of his axe and knocked him out, “Be silent heretic. Let his speech be for the Inquisition, we paladins have no use for his filthy mouth.” 
“Captain Jay to Eagle team, we are ready for extraction.” He said as he had the three paladins clot Hyman’s wounds with healing magic so as to keep him alive throughout the journey. 
 
Five survivors of fifteen was a hefty price to pay, but for now Imperiolis was spared of heresy and the destruction of Zin. Together they headed back to the Eagles where they were ferried back to Haven. They were all worse for wear, armor chipped, blood lost, and new scars gained. For now he and his paladins would rest for there were more battles to be fought, this war was not over by a longshot.
 
----
 
Jay stood in a very different environment from the dank caves that he fought the heretics in. He stood in a luxurious room with a square red carpet, beautiful couches of red velvet and gold supports. The large window in the far corner of the room had an open view of the rest of Haven. A large bed was behind them atop a polished wooden floor.  The man standing in front of the window wore purple samurai like power armor with a chain katana blade at his hip. His helm was robotic like, machine parts mixed with his flesh, and his pack would generate extra shielding. He had phoenix’s emblazoned on his chest and shoulders. This man was Gabriel Hashirama, Commander of the Phoenix Legion. Jay bowed before him, “We captured the heretic Hyman Aldrich and eliminated the heretics within the Sunset Caves. He told the Inquisition that his disciples were across the entire galaxy.”
 
“I expected as much, seems the Emperor was right to entrust this task to the Phoenix Legion, and my trust in you was well placed. There will be little rest for you and the sergeant, we will deploy as soon as we know where this heresy has spread. Now go and prepare yourself as I intend for the Phoenix Legion to be at the front of this war. We will spread Jusara’s light to the farthest corners of the galaxy and remind them why our lady’s justice reigns supreme. Go get what rest you can and may Jusara’s light guide you.”
 
“Yes, my lord.” Jay said and left Hashirama to his thoughts. He looked over the entire city of Haven, the most holy city on Imperiolis and home of the Holy Emperor. To think such filth existed amongst them all along. How many other planets left the light of Lady Jusara and the Emperor? He knew one thing for sure, he would find and hunt them all down, “Hide while you can, but the light will always find you.” He said. He turned to head to a console on his desk of gold, their war had begun anew. The time of peace was at its end.    
 

Brickfair Virginia 2020: The Brickfair Build that Never Was...

12 June 2020 - 12:45 PM

Hey folks!

 

Due to the current events of the world, BFVA 2020 is cancelled! Sucks that I don't get a fun vacation, but don't worry, I still got a fun LEGO related thing in mind to share around that time. More details on that a bit later though!

 

Hope everyone is doing well in these hectic times. When I have more info on that THING, I'll leave it here!


Hero Forge: Colored Miniature Review!

29 May 2020 - 10:46 AM

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First off, huge props to my brother for letting me post these pictures. These are pictures of some of his OC characters. With that aside, let's get onto the review.
 
Hero Forge is a lovely little company that allows you to create some of your own minis for things such as DnD, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, or any other commonly played tabletop RPG. Link below:
 
 
Recently, within like the past 3-4 months, Hero Forge ran a Kickstarter to support colored minis. These are minis that come fully colored and don't require the customer to do any painting. This is accomplished by using a coloring tool, which is currently in beta right now, and coloring your mini. Both my brother and I backed them and got access to this tool. He went ahead and ordered several of them, and well, the pictures above are the results. So, let me answer a couple of questions that you might have, in case you're wondering whether they might be worth it in the future, when these features go live.
 
How much does it cost?
- The price may be subject to change when no longer in beta, but the current cost of one figure runs about $45. It seems costly, but when you compare it to a premium figure, which runs about $30, the difference is really do you want to paint the figure or not.
 
How durable is the mini?
- It is just as durable as the other plastic options!
 
Why do the figures look a tad fuzzy?
- My terrible photography aside, there is like a slight rough, grainy like feel to it. It varies from figure to figure, but it isn't too heavy. At least to me it isn't...
 
About the colors...
- Again, this will vary from figure to figure, based off of how they are colored. For example, metal colors when using the tool look really shiny and reflective, but they don't actually come out that way. That might be able to be manually fixed with metallic paint, but chances are that they will improve overtime. Glass colors also don't appear to come out 100% correct at the moment either. Other than that many of the other colors, shades, etc. come out pretty solid. Both him and I were impressed at well they managed to to do on their first batch!
 
Are there any flaws?
- Yes. Your figure will have faint layer lines and look like there's a weird gloss over them. That comes from the printing. I have no doubt that the more of these figures they print, the better they will get towards improving the quality.
 
Other things to note
- When using the coloring tool you can go quite deep with eye colors, nail colors and other small, intricate details. Keep in mind that these are small on the actual minis and may not fully appear the way you expect them to. Again, that's because they are small details!
 
How long does it take for them to get printed?
- The orders may take several months to fulfill, but I will note that Hero Forge typically under promises and over delivers.
 
Do you think they're worth it?
- Yes! For $45 dollars you get to create a one of a kind character that you cannot order anywhere else. Oh, and did I mention that the coloring tool is not even 100% complete yet. There are still tons of features missing, so it is only going to get better. Also, as someone who has a bunch of minis to paint (stares at the pile of shame of WH40k figures), this gives me the chance to basically design the perfect character without having to worry about taking the time to paint.
 
That about does it for some of these figures. Feel free to ask me anything if you have questions! If you also want to see it, I'm more than willing to show screenshots of the coloring tool!

Dwarf "Fury" Siege Tank 2.0

20 April 2020 - 09:46 AM

Sooo... hey there!

 

With BFVA2020 more than likely cancelled, I decided it was time to start this lovely little project. Because of how scatter brained I am, I decided to do this with Stud.io on Bricklink. Surprisingly, it works pretty darn well.

 

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Here's what I have so far for the main cannon. I've been taking inspiration from a couple of sources:

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I'm trying to give it a nice war like feel, but not leave it too blocky looking. One of my biggest concerns is not having it look too modern.

 

That aside, the barrel can move up ever so slightly for some elevation. A roll, telescope, ladder, and hatch were also added for additional details. And no, there will not be a minifig sized interior. There will be decals eventually, but that's going to be further out.

 

I'd love to hear any feedback, especially criticisms!

 

Hope you enjoyed!

:lego_smile:

 

- Nick