Rise to Might

The combined refugee forces first built a wall around the three tunnels and moved the cannons to the forefront. They then built a tall tower atop the old fortification. A constant watch was and still is kept there.

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Finally, they built the gate. Although the structure was not yet completed it was defensible. Then the secret of attracting dragons to guard a structure was revealed to the world for the first time. If you build it, they will come; where "it" is a bed of gems. The first one to arrive will be a breeding female, to claim the nest. Before this could occur at Redoubt treasure had to be obtained, so the building effort was paused after the nest was built. This shot shows the nest awaiting treasure.

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Filling a dragon nest is always a touchy operation as it is never known for sure when the female dragon will appear to claim the horde. Misunderstandings can occur at this time. The agreement between defenders and the highlanders was modified to allow the defenders to live behind the mountains as long as firearms were never brought there. The sea captain was put in charge of all the troops bearing firearms, since he had the most experience with all types. The castle guards of the Bat Lords happily resumed their duties in this location.

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The Bat Lords stood ready to gallop forth in defense of the new fortification. As you can see, the wise women had not gotten themselves sorted out just yet. The remainder of the troops are busy finding homes or building temples behind the mountains.

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Night-time raids on abandoned castles, archeological camps and small towns were carried out to recover items of symbolic or religious significance as well as to obtain booty of various types.

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Slowly the nest was filled. Tensions rose higher each time a pair of men carried new treasure to the nest. No one knew just when the breeding female would arrive. Finally she came, swooping down on the nest, terrifying the lookout sentry and sending the workers scurrying to leave the nest and remove the tell-tale ladder.

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She nearly got the last worker but he jumped to the safety of the arms of his comrades waiting in the courtyard below. The highest-ranking wise women (frequently called "witches" by ignorant Town Minifigs) can be seen waiting on the platform below the dragon, telling ribald jokes as they wait for the dragon to calm down. When she finally does so, they will climb the ladder and make peace with her on behalf of the settlement.

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Here she has settled in and is being greeted by a drover. It is always wise to make yourself known to the dragon queen of a settlement you frequent, lest she and her mates mistake you for a foe. Notice that the wings of the breeding female are black. They darken to this color, from the non-breeding red, when the female is able to breed. Only the breeding females will guard a nest, but all of the females are attracted to treasure. This is why non-breeding females frequently follow parties of Wild Minifigs in armor, on the off-chance that treasure will be unearthed as it so often is in figure forays.

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The males will then come for the female. These have been vigilant and small remains of their efforts litter the vantage. Eventually five male dragons arrived. This platform is also where the gate guards stand duty. A close up shows two Ninjas taking their turn at guard duty. One is making friends with a dragons. The gate was altered from the Night Lord's castle in order to allow it to rise high enough to let in the Wild West munitions cart (now a traders cart). This third-story platform and the second story rooms below all use baseplate for floors. Each plate is clamped between 2x# plates with a 1x# around the edge.

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The lookout tower. It has been redesigned so that every floor can be reached by ladder or stairway. At the top is the telescope for watching the desert. At bottom of the tower is the old guard room which guarded one entrance through the BUMPs into the protected valley behind. In between, in order from top to bottom, are: the heated resting area for the alternate watchman, the fire that heats the rest area and keeps beverages hot for the watchmen, the eternal torches that beckon lost wanderers day and night, the electronic oracles which have replaced the more traditional figure skull oracles for the wise-women, the dragoness conference level, and hidden in this shot is an intermediate level just before the roof of the guard room. That level is visible in the shot above, where the queen dragon has just landed. Also visible in that picture is the opening in roof of the guard room, where the old ladder has been replaced with a black spiral staircase to permit easier access to the roof level by the wise women in their skirts.

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