Upon completion of their combat training, Ebonguards are put through one last test to ensure they are worthy of the void iron arms they will bear. The “Field of Fire,” as it is often called, simulates the chaos and elemental fury these soldiers may have to face. Oftentimes it is simply left there, but there have been occasions where a mage prisoner sympathetic to the Inquisition’s cause is allowed to add an...extra challenge.
Safety precautions are taken, of course, with an experienced Inquisitor on standby, should the mage get any untoward ideas. It should be noted that this volunteer’s beard is real, but the hat and robes were given to him as a joke.
The Ebonguard are trained to run toward danger, not away from it, and to trust in their dwarf-made armor and their brothers beside them. Flinching, cowering, or otherwise faltering in the face of a mage shows weakness, and they have not made it this far by being weak.
Behind the mage and his handler is a shallow trench, the last hurdle in this test. The caster keeps its flames roaring with magical energy, and the recruits must brave the man-made inferno to reach the arch beyond. Their training sergeants, and their expectant comrades await them.
Smiling proudly beneath his helmet, Marcus Capulet shouts encouragement to the recruits as they leap through the flames. Any excess grease on their new armor has become what they call “naturalized flame,” smoldering and smoking on the surface with what little energy the void iron did not absorb. It feels like ages since he was making that same leap himself, and he remembers how overzealous he had been in polishing his own new armor, the resultant smoke nearly choking him. It was little wonder some of the Ebonguard affectionately referred to junior members as “smoked hams.”
Beyond the trench and the simple, black arch, numerous members of the order wait to congratulate the newly-initiated Ebonguards. They are soldiers of the Inquisition now, brothers (and sometimes sisters) of the order. Their training is complete, they have earned their void iron, and now they are ready to serve the Empire in the hunt for the dreaded Condition.
Apologies for the atrocious lighting, I'm rather out of practice and mistakenly thought last night was the deadline, so I was scrambling to get this done late in the evening. I did not have the time to retake these pictures today, while I still had some sunlight, and thus kept these images, instead.
Overall view of the MOC:
Hopefully the billowing flames in the trench and around that one inductee are clear enough. It was surprisingly challenging to get them to conform to other shapes besides straight lines. Also, I am told that grease smoke is actually black, but did not think it would contrast enough with all the black already in this piece, so I took some artistic liberty as I mutilated a Q-tip for my cheap "smoke effects." (In my defense, the darn thing was surprisingly critical for an inanimate object, and the other Q-tips in the box were glad to see it go.)
Many thanks to my friend JLDAGH for lending me the extra flame pieces in the older style (since the new ones lack the little nubs for linking together, for some reason) , along with all the transparent-orange and red pieces for filler; to Maverick and Scorp for the boundless inspiration and excellent decals; and to Brick Warriors and Brickforge for the awesome custom pieces featured on many of the minifigs. I can offer a list of parts or up-close pictures of the minifigs if anyone so desires. If you are a judge, thank you for your consideration! If you are an onlooker, thank you for your time! It's been a while since I contributed anything to this particular board, and even if I don't place in the contest, this has been a lot of fun.