On the Teeth-like Rocks, in the Guise of a Western. At the Crest of a Tide, in the Cries of a War-host. That's just where you'll find him - Viking Dragon, and his Viking Longboat:
For when the Vikings go to War, is it not just their Longboats, and their Viking Warriors, that they take to Conflict! For there's also their Dragons, their Sentinels of the Skies ... In Mighty Red and Conquering Green, they match their Longboats - Sails and All. With twist of Silver, Armoured Clad, they match their Longboats - Shields and All. With cries of Roar, Piercing Shrill, they match their Longboats - Drums and All! For this Sentinel of the Skies, and his Viking Warriors, has just made - Landfall ... To Newfoundland have they come, this Western Dragon, and his Raiding Party - the first of their Kind, a Herald of their Viking War Fleet, from across the Atlantic. A Treacherous Expanse, of Open Ocean, that honed these Warriors, in thoughts of Odin: To War, to War! To Conquer, to Conquer! To Pillage, to Pillage! This Newfoundland :) From Scandinavia they spread, in Ages of Dark, with Rays of Light, that Shined the Way - yet always following, the Paths of the Warrior ... For this Viking People, tamed their Dragons, in Ages Past, to Fight for them ... These Viking Dragons, know of Norse - both how to Speak, and Riddle with Script. These Viking Dragons, know of Odin - both being Cruel, Kind and Wise. These Viking Dragons, know Valkyrie - both Wingless Angel, and Souls to Valhalla! For to them, to Die in Battle, at the front of a Viking War-host, donned Valkyrie's Hero: a Dragon's Glory, in which you'd find, the Bodies of the Slain, piled all around them :) For these Viking Dragons, are a Western Kin ... With Dragon Wings, they Soar the Skies, and Dance through Clouds. With Dragon Fire, they Burn the Woods, and Heat the Anvil. With Dragon Teeth, they Drink the Foes, and Grin of Wrath. With Dragon Armour, they Turn the Arrow, and Bend the Sword. With Dragon Claws, they Slash the Ways, and Slice the Enemy. With Dragon Tails, they Wrap the Rocks, and Anchor Themselves. For these Viking Dragons, know of - the Art of War ... A Dragon lands on a Precipice, to survey the Land. A Dragon elongates his Neck, to view Around. A Dragon sniffs the Air, to smell of Foe. A Dragon licks his Tongue, to answer This, of Riddle God: What is this - Newfoundland? Just the Jagged Outcrop, of a Mountainous Rock? Just the Patterned Layers, of an Eroded Sea Scape? Just the Alcove Shape, of a Secluded Lagoon? But with a Sniff and a Lick, does this Dragon know, the answer to this Conquest's Riddle: for he's a Viking Dragon, that's been Bred and Raised, in the Castles of War :) He smells the Tide of Conflict, ten thousand Foes to march on him. He tastes the Air of Battle Lines, ten thousand Foes to come to him. He feels the Power of Enemy Commander, ten thousand Foes to aim at him. But this Dragon does not Cower, for he's a Western Might! He Plants his Feet, and Wraps his Tail, around his Teeth-like Rock. He Focuses his Eyes (through Armoured Helm), knowing well - Horizon Glare. He Roars a Dragon's Defiance, amongst the Cliffs of Armoured Sea - calling in he's Dragons Kin. For this Viking Dragon's, just the Herald, of a thousand Viking Longboats, and their Dragon Sentinels! And if he Falls, before they get here? Then to Valhalla will he go, on the Wings of a Valkyrie, off from Newfoundland - to Odin's Dragon Land :)
This Classic Fantasy Tale, sees a Quest for Treasure, in the Lost Kingdoms of the Dwarves, with a Guardian Fire Drake of the North, who goes by the name of Smaug. It's The Hobbit:
Whilst it had been quite some time, since I'd last read The Hobbit, I was amazed with the amount of humour, that's found within it's opening chapters (particularly the very first - An Unexpected Party). I especially found it funny, when the leader of the Dwarves (Thorin Oakenshield), ended up with several of his fellow Dwarves, right on top of him - when The Hobbit (aka Bilbo Baggins), abruptly opened his front door :) I also liked the fact, that Bilbo initially has no idea, as to what is going on - why are all these Dwarves here? But soon finds himself, pouring over a Treasure Map, wondering where the Secret Door is! Which in-turn, leads to Bilbo and the start of his Adventures - having just been recruited by the Dwarves (based upon the recommendation, of Gandalf the Wizard). And it is this recommendation, that I feel captures the Heart and Soul, of this Fantasy Tale ... As The Hobbit does not at first, appear to be the best companion, for Thorin and his Dwarves - let alone their Quest! For one simple reason: The Hobbit / Bilbo Baggins, has only ever read about Adventures in books - preferring instead, to put his feet up, and have his second breakfast :) Indeed, is this low opinion of Bilbo, held by Thorin Oakenshield, and several of his Dwarves - which plays right into, Bilbo's desire to prove them all wrong :) And as such, did I enjoy the irony (that is experienced), as Bilbo's character, becomes central to the Tale - even gaining a Strength of Character, that supersedes the Dwarves (as eventually, he is more of an advisor to them). I found this particularly true, in three specific places: i) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Darker Fantasy Spiders (otherwise the Dwarves would have been a juicy meal). ii) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Not So Friendly Elves (otherwise the Dwarves would have been captive, in the Dungeons of the Elves for quite sometime). iii) When Bilbo is asked by the Dwarves, to tackle the Dragon Smaug (the Guardian Fire Drake of the North) - as Thorin and his Dwarves, dared not to enter, their own Underground Kingdom ... Yet in all three, do I feel that Bilbo's character, has come a long way - but still remains the same, as that first cheeky Hobbit, who dared to pick the pocket of a Mountain Troll, and land them all in a Stew! What of the Tale's other Fantasy Characters? Well ... There's three, that I quite like ... First: is Beorn (the shape-shifter). I liked the idea of a Man, that could take the form of a Bear - whilst also being able to talk, to an entire variety of animals (from Bees to Horses). I also liked the idea, of Beorn's Gardens and Lands - as he uses his shape-shifting powers, to guard his Domain, against the creatures of Darker Fantasy (such as Goblins and Wargs). I especially enjoyed, the comedy that surrounds the introduction of the Dwarves to Beorn (which is again contrived by Gandalf) - enter two by two, a minute or so after each other, OH! you may as well all come in then! Second: is Smaug (the Fire Drake). Being a Western Dragon, he meets this definition in every sense of his Being - large, powerful, clever (enjoying Riddles), breathing Fire, rows and rows of Teeth, armour as strong as Steel, hoarding Treasure, rending walls and eating all (especially Men and Dwarves). Yet does Smaug, still have a twist of an Eastern Dragon - the ability to speak :) And as such, did I enjoy Bilbo's conversations with him, especially when Bilbo thought, that he could outwit a Dragon! Bilbo dares to steal a Golden Cup - yet Dragons know, every ounce of their Treasure :) For Smaug's personality, is the Darkest of the Dark - it's HIS Mountain, and it's HIS Treasure, that HE stole from the Dwarves, a Long Time Ago. Third: is Thorin Oakenshield. I found that his character, tended to fluctuate somewhat. On the one hand, he will take charge (such as when planning a Quest for Treasure, or meeting a Great Goblin in Battle) - but on the other hand, can Thorin tend to give up in a huff (such as when the Dwarves, are unable to find the Mountain's Secret Door). An interesting character then - as we have to remember, that it was Thorin's Quest in the first place! And of that Quest, does Thorin also wish to retake, his Lost Dwarven Kingdom - of the Mountain. It's a Dwarven Kingdom, where I enjoyed imagining - what it would once have been like, at the height of it's powers: Countless Dwarves - mining Crystals and Gems, Endless Dwarves - Forging Swords and Armour, Robust Dwarves - hewn by the Harshness of the Rocks, Timeless Dwarves - hewn by the Ages of Old, and the Timelessness of Bonds :) And it is these Bonds, that Thorin's most Treasured Treasure (the Arkenstone), is most directly - at conflict with! For the Arkenstone (to me), seems to represent Greed (both Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin's). Thus, was I not too surprised - by the disagreement that arises, between Thorin and Bilbo! Although I was surprised, when Thorin pulls it back, and makes amends with Bilbo, just in the nick of time :) Overall: I feel that The Hobbit, is an enjoyable Fantasy Tale, that successfully incorporates, the important features, from the Sword and Sorcery Fantasy genre. The Swords are the Dwarves, Elves and Men - with the twist of a Hobbit, who could not hope to lift a Sword! But a Knife/Dagger - Bilbo can do that :) The Sorcery is directly from Gandalf, and indirectly from the Dragon's Hoard, and the Dwarves Arkenstone (their Achilles Heel). The Darker Elements, come from the Dragon and the Goblins, together with the Fantasy Character called Gollum (who Bilbo meets beneath the Mountains). Whose Gollum you say? For me, he's a key ingredient, to the popularity of Bilbo - as after Bilbo meets Gollum, does Bilbo's character, seem to tend towards an advisor (for the Dwarves). Thus do I feel, that it seems to be Fate, that Bilbo was destined for Adventure - in the first place :) Finally: an important question arises - is it still worth reading The Hobbit book, after you have watched the three Hobbit Fantasy Films? Yes is the answer to that! The Hobbit book, I found to be much simpler (less extravagant), and as such did it seem - much more magical :) Just one thing remains, where is that Treasure Map? And thank goodness for the Adventurous side - of the Took in Baggins :)
There be those places in this Dragon Land, that still-guard, the Treasures of the Ammonite. Be Runic Glyph. Be Lavas Heat. This Dragon's Rock, with twists of Ancient. This Dragon's Spire, with curves of Tale. This Dragon's Perch, with scribes so Wise. Donned Ward of Power. Known Vault of Lore. This Dragon's Place, with watch so Sentry :) This Dragon's Tower - of Dragon Sentinel:
It's where the Perch's Architects drew their Lore - of Dragons Guard, and Dragons Form. It's where the Sleeping Sentinels spied their Lore - of Dragons Hoard, and Dragons Stealth. It's where the Primeval Watchers scribed their Lore - of Dragons Time, and Dragons Stone. It's where the Foundry's Blacksmiths smelt their Lore - of Dragons Arm, and Dragons War. It's where the Wisest Warlocks chant their Lore - of Dragons Power, and Dragons Myth. It's where the Element's Warriors learned their Lore - of Dragons Dream, and Dragons Muse. Where's that then? Why ... In Dragon Sentinel, of Dragon Land - but of course :) For within this Dragons Land, be thy Dragons Wards - in Midnight's Realm, a Dragons Sentinel! For only in Two Moonlit Sky, can you find the Runes - of Ancestral Dragons Past ... Thy shape of Ammonite, with Twist of Ancestor. Thy way of Tone, with Sound of Sea. Thy rise of Glyph, with Arc of Cuttle. Thy coil of Spiral, with Wind of Sea. Thy curve of Nautilus, with Thought of Lineage. Thy hint of Meaning, with Rune of Fossil ... What's that you say? A Hidden Riddle! These Passer-bys, know not for sure. These Passer-bys, know not look up. These Passer-bys, know not of Power. These Passer-bys, know not of Fire. These Passer-bys, know not of Perch. These Passer-bys, know not of He! As it is with these Dragons, and their Hidden Ways. As it is with these Dragons, and their Magic Wards. As it is with these Dragons, and their Treasured Secrets. As it is with these Dragons, and their Emerald Griffins :) But - what's that you say? He's not a Griffin! Well ... Clad in Armour, clad in Gold - Anointed Guardian, knows of you. Clad in Whisper, clad in Hush - Silent Sentry, watches you. Clad in Timeless, clad in Bound - Runic Keeper, knows of thee. Clad in Talon, clad in Barbed - Tireless Warrior, watches thee. As it is with these Western Dragons, and their Griffin's Role ... Set in Stone, Guard through Time. Cast in Iron, Watch through Age. Bed in Marble, Hard as Rock. Cast in Metal, Hot as Fire. Rest in Bedrock, Wise through Eon. Stirred in Guard, Woke through you! This Dragon Sentinel, of Midnight's Realm - revealed in Moonlight, came for you!
Of all the Chaos Dragons, there is none more spoken of - than Galrauch. What once was Elven Dragon, Golden Drake. Became twisted and deformed, as with the Powers of Chaos! For it was upon the battlefield that Elven triumphed, but just for the smallest Twist of Time ... Having consumed a Seed of Chaos, did Tzeentch (Chaos Sorcerer), work his Magic. Thy Lord of Change, changed this Dragon - from Spire of Light, to Blade of Dark:
This is the first such Fantasy Character/Model, that I have ever constructed - which took me a little over eight years to complete! Well ... Not eight years exactly - more like, I just started to assemble and paint, this Warhammer Figure, at the start of this year :) Whys that you say? Perhaps I to, had become Lost in the Realms of Chaos? Or perhaps instead, it was just that I remembered, where the box was! But then again, perhaps it was only now, that I felt just capable - of assembling this model :) Yes, I think that was it ... For I knew from day one, that this model would be difficult to assemble. Whilst I forget when it was, that I first cleaned/filed the metal edges of this Dragon. I know for-well when it was, that I found myself in the Realms of Superglue! Lost in Time, Lost in Glue, did I reach for - my Dremel Multitool :) For it was indeed, that I pinned this Dragon's Wings, to this Dragon's Body ... And here did I learn a lesson: drill the hole in the Dragon's Body first, insert a cocktail stick, trim it (so it's just poking out), add a dab of paint to the end of the cocktail stick (I used red), press each Dragon's Wing to the Dragon's Body, and with a Rune of Tzeentch - do you know just where to drill the matching hole! And what of the cocktail stick? Well ... Just drill it out :) It was then to the Dragon's Heads (which glued on fine), and the Dragon's Tail (which I lost several evenings to - eventually having to pin). Yet, with both the Dragon's Heads and the Dragon's Tail, together with the Dragon's Body - did I have to use Modellers Putty, to fill the gaps :) Thus, do I feel, that it took me about a month (in the evenings), to assemble this model. It was then onto the Realms of Painting ... I started with a white undercoat, then changed to black (both undercoat and base). I then dry-brushed the Dragon in Dragon Red (Army Painter), and highlighted/refined in Magenta Ink (I really loved that part!). I then found myself painting in Warlock Purple (Citadel Colour), along both the edges, and the folds of Daemon flesh - which I again dry-brushed in Magenta Ink. It was here that I decided to paint the Bones, Talons and Barbs of this Dragon ... Undercoat in white first, then Ushabti Bone (Citadel Layer) over the top. This proved to be a challenge - as there was a lot of Bones, Talons and Barbs! I especially found it awkward, along the Finer Bones of this Dragon's Wings. It was then that I consorted with Tzeentch ... For I was lured into a whole multi-coloured spectrum, for the highlights/details of my Chaos Dragon: Angel Green (Army Painter), Amethyst Purple, Emerald Green, Enchanted Blue, Golden Yellow and Tuskgor Fur (all Citadel). I used these colours for the patches of cracked Dragon Skin, and the various Snaking Cords/Veins. It was then that Tzeentch, spoke to me again ... Before I knew what I was doing, had I picked up a paint brush, and started painting shapes over my Dragon's Wings (where the small faces showed through the webbed skin/folds). Then did I battle, for I realised that these were Patches of Contagion - that looked too disjoint to the Dragon's base colours. I eventually resolved this issue, through the use of Tuskgor Fur - painted around the outside, of these Patches of Contagion. It was then, that I remembered my Dragon's Eyes ... I based in white, then painted over with Dragon Red. I was initially concerned about their shape (as some of the red paint ran), but in the end - this worked out fine :) As for the finishing of my Dragon, did I decide to dry-brush in Shining Gold (Citadel Metallic - the really old one). It was as though, I was Tzeentch himself! For my Chaos Dragon, simply snapped into focus - and I found myself in total awe, at the detail, that I'd managed to work in :) Overall: An amazing Western Dragon, Fantasy Model - that I know is Pride of Place, within my collection of Fantasy Characters. It's a model, that I rushed to collect (several years back), but then managed to forget about (for the most part). But recently, I suspect that Tzeentch started to whisper to me (from the Warp), as I found myself dreaming of Galrauch - especially the Desire to both assemble, and paint him! For me, Galrauch is more a Collector's Dragon :) I spent so long painting him (enjoyably), that the thought of fielding him in battle, just scares me! Indeed, was it here that I knew just when my Galrauch was complete - as I started to obsess too much, about dropping him (whilst painting!). Finally: a unique Warhammer Character/Model, that seems to have disappeared largely, from the Ranks of Chaos these days. Whilst we may never know why that is - perhaps Galrauch sleeps? I do know of one Tale, that this Dragon still Reigns in ... Galrauch roars upon thy Field of Battle - knowing not Now, what he Once was. Galrauch roars upon thy Collector's shelf - knowing just Is, what he Became. For Galrauch is a Chaos Dragon :) Writhed in Power. Writhed in Chaos. Off to War, and Hunt the Elven!
Here do I find a Dragon, that's just as entwined with Fairy Glamour - as is a Fairy and her Queen:
There's no doubt that this is a Western Dragon ... This Dragon is covered in Scales, whose red makes me think of the Fires of the Forge. This Dragon is covered in Barbs, whose path makes me think of the Armies of Old. This Dragon is covered in Ridges, whose gleam makes me think of the Ambitious of King. And yet, do I find that this Dragon - has just bathed in the Realms of Fairy Glamour :) For there's no doubt, that this is an Eastern Dragon ... This Dragon is contrasted in Scales, whose blue makes me think of the Cools of the Sea. This Dragon is contrasted in Barbs, whose stance makes me think of the Sirens of the Ocean. This Dragon is contrasted in Ridges, whose rise makes me think of the Lapping of the Tide. Why has Stefano done this? To pull you into his Fantasy Realm, and bring depth to his Artwork. The pull, comes from the shape of this Dragon: a backward C (donned with Barbs), that helps snake you in - to both this Dragon's head, and his Dragon's body. The depth, comes from the height of the Barbs: being taller in the top middle, rotated towards you - I feel as though this Dragon, wants out of the Artwork! Indeed, does Stefano's choice of background, play right into this effect. As with clever use of lighting, upon the cliffs on the top left, contrasted with the darkness/shadows of the cliffs lower right - does it feel as though this Dragon, has just crept around a corner. If that were so, then it's easy to see that this Dragon, has the subtleties of an Eastern - as it's forked tongue, has just been used, with the Patience of the Wise, to snare it's prey! What of Stefano's choice of colour? Given the fact that this Dragon is in the shade, Stefano has had to be careful - to avoid losing the shape of his Dragon. I feel that this has been achieved, in two specific ways. First: the choice to use predominant red scales, with contrasting blue (curving along the Dragon's back). Second: the choice to highlight both red and blue scales, upon their upper most edge - thereby bringing clarity to the dark (especially around the Dragon's eye sockets, and the top right body/neck curve). Overall: an unusual Dragon, that's reminiscent of Lizard - but with traits both Eastern and Western, that goes hand-in-hand with Fairy Glamour :) As you would expect of the Realms of the Faeries, this Dragon has one further twist - the fact that he has no Western Dragon wings! Even so, this does not diminish from the Dragon's powers - as I feel that he can fly, high upon the Magic Winds, of Dragon Rise, in Dragon Land ...
Ammonites of these Clouds, and Eyes of the Flutterer, what is it that you Feel, when this Fairy - sat upon this Peak?
To the Heavens of this Day, in the Wisps of the Vapours - with the twists of a Tail, posed Evanescent. To the Climb of this Rhyme, in the Thoughts of a Dragon's - with the souls of the Wise, mused Evanescent. To the Rocks of this Realm, in the Seas of the Angels - with the whispers of a Queen, dark Evanescent. In the Spiral of his Thoughts, with the hidden of a Riddle - two Flutters of Mind, Evanescent and Reign. I am impressed with the fact, that Rachel has chosen at least, two themes for this artwork - and that each theme, is in balance with the other. I feel that the first theme, is that of Guardianship. For I detect, three sets of Eyes looking at me - the Fairy's (indirectly), the Dragon's (directly), and in true Fairy Glamour, those large Eyes at the top of the Butterfly wings! Of these, it seems as though the Butterfly's are the most dominant - as I feel as though, they are winking at me :) In doing so, do these Butterfly's Eyes - bring balance to the upper half of the image, as their bounding darkness (aka black), offsets the lighter tones of the clouds, that rise throughout the image. And in doing so, does Rachel achieve an important effect - she brings height to her Fairy :) I feel that the second theme, is that of a Quest to Climb. This Dragon's Tail, wraps around this Fairy's legs - which both spirals me up, and into the centre of the artwork. Yet that is not all, for does the shape of the Mountain, and the angle of this Fairy's legs (and her dress) - both work together, pulling me upwards, and into the centre of the artwork. Why has Rachel done this? To ensure that this Fairy, is the focal point of your eyes :) Indeed, is this a powerful effect to achieve, whilst maintaining balance within the artwork - because of this Fairy's, darker skin tone. Rachel has added balance, to allow you to focus on the Fairy, by darkening the shades of the Mountain. The Mountain itself, plays right into - this Dragon's Riddle. What possible reason could there be, for the Mountain to be covered in Ammonites? It seems to me, that this Dragon's Tail, reflects the Curves of the Ammonites - as does the Dragon's colour. It also seems to me, that this Dragon's Wings are the same as Fairy's Wings - with similar shades and patterns (albeit on a different scale). Thus is there a connection, between the Ammonites and the Dragon, and between the Dragon and the Fairy. That connection is the Mountain. It's the Roots of the Fairy, and the Roots of the Dragon. It shows their Ancestral past. It shows their Celestial future. What of Rachel's choice of colour? Except for the browns of the Fairy, and the whites of the Dragon, I detect two shades of a primary colour - that of Purple. The darker Purple, is found upon this Fairy's dress, which together with the whispers, found upon her Fairy Wings - speak to me of Royalty. Perhaps she is a Fairy Queen? Whether a Queen of Elements, or a Queen of Butterflies - I cannot say ... Perhaps both? On the other hand, does the lighter Purple, the Lavender - speak to me of both the delicate, and the refinement of this Fairy and her Dragon. This Fairy Queen, may very well sit upon the Mountain Top - but in Gusts of Wind, has she fought her way, to be at the Apex of both her, and her Dragon's Power. Overall: An unusual scene of Fairyland, that shows more connections - between Dragon's and their Fairies. I love the fact that Rachel has chosen to represent, a different Fairy to what we might expect to encounter, at the tip of a Mountain, and at the base of the Clouds. As this Fairy Roots on Mountain, the Foundation Power of Dragon Kin, brought her a Scene - Evanescent plus Eye.
Time moves differently, within these Realms of Atlantis - and as I was soon to discover, so can your membership of an alliance! With an order from my Great Dragon, came the seeding of an Outpost. My Commander had decided, to set about the expansion of my Dragon's Empire. Thus was it fortunate, that my First City was surrounded by suitable Wildernesses - as is required, for the building of Outposts:
For quite some time, did I find myself wondering - exactly what an Outpost is? Thus it was, with the Conquer of a Plain, a Water Dragon egg, and my Commander's level of eight - that I began to learn my answer :) After watching the intro to my Water Outpost (much of which I forgot), I was presented with effectively, an empty City and an empty Field. Well now I thought, let's build it like I did my First City. So off my Commander went, building both Homes and Farms - and it was only later, that I realised that having loads of Farms in Outposts, is not (necessarily) the best approach! It took me a couple of weeks to build my Water Outpost, and at the end I had: 23 level nine Homes, 4 level nine Silos (required for gathering resources), 25 level nine Farms - all intermixed with a level nine Water Dragon's Keep, Muster Point and Training Camp. It was then that something dawned on me - I have another Great Dragon! A Water Dragon, who also required his Armour to be reclaimed, before he could be used in attacks on Anthropus Camps. It was here, that some hint of Dragon Sickness returned, as I searched for my Water Dragon's Amour. Fortunately, I was able to use the time whilst Marching, to construct my Empire's second Outpost - my Wind Outpost. Unfortunately, I have yet to find, a single piece of my Water Dragon's Armour! Any ways, as far as my Wind Outpost is concerned - I decided to approach it's construction, along the same paths as I did with my Water Outpost. Thus, I set about building Homes and Farms, but with both a realisation, and a twist along the way :) At the end of another two weeks (or so), did my Wind Outpost have: 24 level nine Homes, 3 level nine Silos (required for gathering resources), 19 level nine Farms, 4 level nine Lumber-mills, 4 level nine Mines, 3 level nine Quarries - together with a level ten Dragon's Keep, level nine Muster Point, and a level nine Training Camp. The realisation dawned on me (by complete surprise): as I noticed, that when I sent my Army to Outposts, that they were NOT consuming my Empire's Food (at least the Food from my First City). This allowed me to build up my First City's Food resources, which in-turn, allowed the construction of my First City to progress (such as it's high level Wall). The twist affected my building strategy, as I realised then, that my Outposts did not require as many Farms - so I changed (albeit a little late), to building for the other resources (the Lumber-mills, Mines and Quarries). It was here, that Fortune decided to shine upon me, as it turned out, that I already had a complete set of Wind Dragon Amour! (I believe I won it from a Chest, and I'm hoping for the same with my Water Dragon's Armour - as I have still not found a single piece, even from attacks on higher level Lakes, with my Great Dragon accompanying). I am glad that I have my Wind Dragon, as I have made great use of him - upon attacks upon Anthropus Camps. I have found it's best to split my Army into two, with both attacks proceeding in sync - one attack led by my Great Dragon, the other led my Wind Dragon. I have also found that my Wind Dragon, can become injured far more, than my Great Dragon does. Thus, until my army contained suitable Ranged Troops, did I attack only medium level Anthropus Camps, with my Wind Dragon. Overall: I have found that I enjoyed building both Water, and Wind Outposts. I became so engrossed in building them, that I failed to realise - that I had been kicked out of the alliance! I was somewhat shocked at first, but after a while, felt somewhat happier - as I'd learn to play this Dragons of Atlantis, by my own Might, and my own Dragon's Fire :) How about you?
There be such things as Dragon Sickness. It creeps right to the Heart, of even the most Stalwart of Dragons. In a moment of Madness, did a Pool of Gold besiege my Great Dragon - a Quest for his Dragon's Armour, and an order for his Commander ... March my entire Army into the Heart of a level 11 Anthropus Camp - and reclaim my Armour! Madness you say? Well ... Here is how my Dragon, and his Fantasy Realm have grown, over the past three weeks:
There are those that say you learn more from your mistakes, then you do from your victories ... In this Dragon's Lust, was this certainly true - for an entire Army lost, on the whim of a Dragon! But, for those that are bold and fearless - a rise in power, unequal to any other (which took less than a minute to achieve). Through this Madness, did I rise my Commander's power, by more than a million! Having no Troops with which to defend my First City (and having just lost 288k power), it was to the Treasure Chests again ... It was here that I found more power through Fortune plus Troops: Thunder Golems (plus 160k power), Storm Drakes (plus 30k power), Dark Slayers (plus 400k power), Steelshard Harriers (plus 20k power) and in Giddying Heights (plus 500k power - from God knows what!). Thus, was my Dragon's Commander - now a Viceroy, with just over 1.25 million power ... But, what of my Dragon's Armour? It is here that this Dragon's Sickness spread, to my Adventurer Tyche - who herself, had a mission of her own: to gather as many ingredients for The Forge (as possible). Now, having become disillusioned with the fruits of longer Adventures (such as Investigate the Sky Temples), it was time to try something different: thirty four Adventures to Scouting the Anthropus. Some might call this Dragon Lust, but with a Quest to Consult the Ancients (for a check of what she had just done), followed by a Quest to Reap What Has Been Sown - did the Forges of this Dragon Land, rush forth with Molten Gold! At first was there Battle Dragon Plating (plus 2k power). At second was there a Minotaur Amulet (plus 2k power). At third was there Armoured Transport Plating (plus 1.5k power) ... At sixth was there a Halberdsman Shield (plus 2.5k power) ... At eleventh was there Swift Strike Dragon Plating (plus 2k power). At twelfth was there ... But, what of my Dragon's Armour? Well, it's not in the Forge! Don't tell me that, go out and find it!! Well ... Even Molten Gold must solidify, thus it was with an Attack upon a level 7 Anthropus Camp, where I first found a piece of Dragon Armour - my Great Dragon's Claw Guards! Then did the Dragon Sickness return ... For it was Quest upon Quest, to attack Anthropus Camps (of medium to high levels) to win the remaining pieces of Armour. At times was this a difficult Quest (particularly in terms of patience) - as it took just under two weeks, to find the remaining three pieces! I was fortunate that there was a level eight Anthropus Camp, and a level seven Anthropus Camp - both within a minute or so's march time (of my First City). I kept hitting both of these, intermixed with some level nines and tens. In each attack, did my Dragon's Commander march his entire Army in (some sixty thousand troops) - and my Army hardly ever lost, any men. I suspect that the main reason for this, was the fact I had countless long-bowman (ten thousand or so), with three hundred Armoured Transports (which they travelled in). Often, did my Army return with few spoils of war (at least in the form of Dragon Armour) - as it was far more common, for them to return with resources (such as food). I'd tried hitting the same camp all the time, but that tactic did not work for me - as it frequently yielded zero items (and resources). As such, my Dragon's Commander also hit camps further away (to allow the closer ones a chance to re-spawn), and also hit level nine and ten camps (to increase his chances - of finding Dragon Armour). I found that I only ever earned one piece of Great Dragon Armour at a time, and that there was several days between each find ... During all of this, did my Great Dragon - wait patiently in his Dragon's Keep! And upon the last piece of Dragon Armour won? An excited Dragon (and player), whose Great Dragon was now fully equipped with: Claw Guards, Body Armour, Helmet and Tail Guard. It was with a visit to my Dragon's Keep, that I became excited - as my draw dropped, when first I saw my Great Dragon dressed in all his Armour! I was more than pleased - as my Great Dragon, now looked like a Battle Dragon! It was as though my Great Dragon, could fight an entire Army - just by himself :) Overall: A challenging three weeks in Dragons of Atlantis. Being part of an Alliance, I found it necessary to ignore any demands from them (I only had time to keep sending my Army out into battle). The Quest for my Great Dragon Armour, often seemed a fruitless one! But, the feeling of satisfaction (when you've won all four pieces) - is something that won't be beaten easily :) Dragon Gold, Dragon Armour!
My Commander's first days within The Alliance were marred with feelings of inferiority - as his Power Levels paled in comparison to his Over-Lords. Added to this, was the fact that no sooner had he joined The Alliance, than the Sentinel informed him of an impending Attack (on his First City). Here is how my Commander, and his Fantasy Realm have grown - over the past week:
That first Attack breached my City's Wall, and the enemy Commander made away with much of my City's Gold and Metal. The Attack Commander also slew all of my Wall's defenders (1692 Troops - including Halberdsman, Minotaurs, Swift Strike Dragons and Battle Dragons). My Commander had not known, that such low points existed! Fortunately (when it felt like he was on his knees), did he decide to open a Treasure Chest (or two). It was here that Fortune decided to shine upon him - as (from the Chests) did he gain: 3000 Storm Drakes and 50 Abyssal Ravagers. These Troops went straight to his City's Wall! Now, having had a long hard day, rebuilding his Resources and upgrading his Resource structures (Farms, Lumber-mills, Mines and Quarries) - did my Commander decide to put his feet up for the Evening (knowing that tomorrow would bring an upgrade to his Dragon's keep). But, when Morning came - it was not pleasant Fires of Dragon, as he had underestimated something: Storm Drakes and Abyssal Ravagers have massive food requirements, and Overnight - they'd eaten all of his Food Resources! Thus, with zero Food was it no Dragon's keep, and more drastically - no upgrades at all ... What could be done? Well ... With some head scratching, did I find a temporary solution: attack Anthropus Camps and Plunder their Resources. But, then was my Commander surprised - as he lost nearly all his Swift Strike Dragons and 9 Abyssal Ravagers when attacking a level 4 Anthropus Camp (I know!). There had to be a better solution (at least until his Army was big enough to dominate). With a question to The Alliance, did an answer manifest: the Transfer of Goods from higher-powered Alliance Members (e.g. with 9 million Food transferred from an Over-Lord, was it more than enough to feed his Storm Drakes and Abyssal Ravagers for a few days). Thus, the debate over whether my Commander should have joined The Alliance (or not) had been answered ... Even more importantly, it meant that I could resume the build-up of my First City (and continue to both grow, and support it's Army). It was here that I first learned about Power: the upgrading of Homes (to higher-levels) resulted in significant Power increases (plus 320, plus 640) - as did the upgrading of Lumber-mills (plus 128, plus 256). Thus, did I begin to understand how my Commander's Power Levels could grow! It was then that I realised (for the first time) that training Troops also increased my Commander's Power - although that was as nothing, when compared to the Power raised when those Treasure Chests gave me 3000 Storm Drakes in one go (aka plus 30 thousand Power). My Commander found that he was raising in Power quite quickly at this time - as he unlocked the Rank of High Commander, then of Legate, then of Elder. It was also then, that I realised that the bar at the top of the game screen (the one that shows your Commander's level) also happens to show how much Power remains - to your next Commander level. As such, my Commander started to obsess about his Power Level! At first, I started to investigate the Trade button. I observed that I could sell City Resources for Dragon Gold! Thus, was I glad that I had decided to build 8 Quarries (and carried out several levels of Masonry Research) - as this meant that I had a surplus of Stone. I wasn't sure what to sell it for - so I tried five-hundred thousand Stone, for fifty thousand Gold. It sold! Interesting I thought, that's one form of Power ... But, is there another? Oh yes, there is - I found it! The Forge ... Now, initially the Forge had confused me - as I couldn't seem to Forge anything. But, once I realised that you have to send your Adventurer out (to gather ingredients for the Forge) - then it made perfect sense! Thus, did my Adventurer (Tyche) start upon Quests of her own: Search the Shadows, Venture into the Mortal Mire, Scouting the Anthropus (really quite useful for low-level Forges) and Consult the Ancients. Whilst Adventuring, I noticed two key-points: first that Tyche was levelling up, and more importantly - that Tyche was bringing back ingredients for the Forge. Thus, to the Forge's Blacksmith did my Commander go. With a strike of a Hammer, did he Forge a Conscript Hammer (plus 1500 Power). With a strike of a Hammer, did he Forge a Conscript Amulet (plus 2000 Power). Well, now I thought - this is Power! Except, he broke his Hammer ... Overall: this has been an exciting week in Dragons of Atlantis. It has seen my City transform (from good foundations to strong foundations), and it has seen my Commander grow in Power (even if I feel - that he still needs more Troops in his Army). With my Commander's ability to Trade, receive Resources (from Allies) and Forge for Power - I have really started to enjoy this game!