The Troggoth Hag is definitely a piece I believe every Troggoth army needs. It's amazing as a model and amazing on the table.
I rarely do such detailed eyes and faces but when working on a model that is the centrepiece of your army you want to spend some extra time just to make it special. This is surely the best work I have ever done on a models face and I think there is just a lot of character and emotion on the model.
My smaller Troggoths are just green and blue but for this model I felt like it really needed another color to make it pop more so I asked some people what would be best and after many recommendations I decided to go for a nice bright orange and I think it really fits nicely. This picture also shows well the addition of mushrooms all over the model. Even though my Troggoth army is based on swamp themed bases with lots of water effects the mushrooms really tie it to my Grots and Squigs that are based on more rocky bases but with lots of mushrooms. The base on this model was definitely one of the most fun parts of the process of creating it.
Here we see a detail shot of the base with the small Free Guild soldier hiding from the lumbering Hag. I love the base I did here. The water effects came out nicely and the base that comes with the Hag looks really nice after I added all kinds of fun stuff like mushrooms and skulls to it.
Patriarch Ignatius, supreme head of the religious arm of the Church Of Saint Simeon leads a grand procession of the faithful zealots against the enemies of the Crusade. Bearing relics of the Saint himself into battle the Patriarch whips the faithful into a reckless frenzy before unleashing their righteous fury on the heretical foes before them.
Here are my converted Abhorant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist along with his converted Flagellant Ghoul followers.
Made a map using an awesome tool. Now first is to put the realms in general into context, this is a realm sphere of ashqy and the little circle is the map GW gave us for part of the realm.
Now here is the great parch.
So now we have context here is the map of Gathilee. (Which is in Chamon to clarify)
His eyes were drawn into the flames, the purple fires danced in the brazier and all he saw was better times. A time where he could feel the presence of his lost deity, it was so grand knowing that your god was there. The age of myth to him was a distant memory, one he kept revisiting. He stood on this very altar, his guards hefting him up high as he shouted praise to his glorious lost god. He became lost in that vision, his dulling mind burn alight with pleasure and sensation as he basked in the ancient adulation of the warriors who followed him to new heights of ecstasy. That grand time was slowly torn asunder as the hated god king brought order and stability to the realms. Yet in a sense that wasn’t so bad, they had new enemies to face, to fight.
The only true horror came upon the cusp of the age of chaos, where the followers of the other gods rejoiced there was only confusion for him and the warriors that fought at his side. All they had was emptiness, the love of their god vanished from their minds and hearts. To him it was a fell blow, one that made him fall into a stupor. The warband he fought with and lived with came apart. They floated away hoping to find something to fill the void left behind their missing god.
He sighed and withdrew himself from the vision. He turned and walked to the front of the altar, he looked down to his mutated guards. “Pain, Spite up you get.” Pain who stood at the front nodded. “Yes Master Amare…” Spite said nothing he merely grunted.
The two mutated giants stood up right hefting up the altar with ease, they began walking through the forest he calls home. The Gilded Thicket was west of Balehold, in the past it was a place where people would gather gildweed in the lands of Gathilee. But Amare took this place for himself, he needed a home that could make his mind burn, a place that could fill the void in his heart. He transmuted the grass and flowers with his rites to make them bellow with great fragrances, the gildweed in the forest enhanced this effect.
The very forest also keeps intruders away, those who wander in never leave. The fragrances have clawed into their souls turning them into gibbering fools. Normally if he comes across such people he would either multiate them and feed their carcesses to his braizer so he could relive his dreams or feed them to Pain and Spite. Amare sighed “maybe he will give me a sign one day?” He looked down to his pale body, it was replete with muscle. His very body looked to be wrought by a master craftsman, he knew someone must be sustaining him. To most mortals he would be ancient, he could not even remember how old he as.
He grimaced, if the dark prince was still sustaining him why hasn’t he spoken? Why do his minions not heed his call for answers? Pain and Spite stopped, Pain released a low whine. “Master are you okay?” Amare chuckled Pain was always worried about him, so was Spite but he never voiced such a thing out loud. He assumes that Pain speaks for the both of them. Amare found the both of them so long ago, being beaten and ridiculed by monks who prophesied the coming of the hated god king. He thought such people were fools back then, but now? He could not help but laugh in irony. “I am fine Pain.” he answered. “Both of you take me to the glade.” Both mutants said nothing they trudged onwards. He hoped visiting his favourite spot within the forest will free him from his melancholy, but it never did.
Arriving at the glade Amare was about to smile until he saw a group of horsemen standing in the middle of it. Their golden armour replete with runes of the lost god marked them as fellow followers, but this was his forest and it belonged to him alone. “Pain, Spite….Approach them but do nothing.” Both mutants could easily dispatch them but he could see the knights desired something.
When he was before them the leader came forward, he removed his plumed helm revealing an androgynous visage along with long flowing blonde hair. “Greetings. I am lord Cardoc of the Golden host. I herby of-” “Stow your offer.” Amare interrupted. “This is my forest, get out.” Cardoc didn’t seem offended by his words, but those who followed him where moving hands to blades. Going by his face Amare could tell he must of been nobility before falling to the delights of the lost god. Cardoc gestured to calm his brethren. “Now let’s not be hasty, my king heard of a powerful priest who dwells in this forest. He requires one for his crusade.” “Flattery won’t get you anywhere boy. So tell me...Which are you? Seeker or Invader?” Amare waited for Cardoc’s answer. The golden knight smiled at him “Seeker, but we are not searching for the tangible form of our god like the others.” Amare leaned on the front of his altar, he gave a long sigh. “Alright hurry up, sell me your Golden Host.” “Very well, King Zakai blessed be his name wishes to launch a crusade against these lands. He received a glorious vision of our lord returning once everyone in the realms bow to will of Slaanesh alone. We search for Slaanesh by bringing his word and deeds to the fools that deny him.”
He digested his reasoning it was different compared to most but in the end he assumed Zakai was another upstart lord who was using visions to build an army. He doubted that he was a Seeker as well, he was most likely an Invader using prophecy to build a host. Amare stood up right “tell me Cardoc, do you feel an emptiness in your heart?” The question surprised the knight “I know of what you speak. That awful sensation has evaporated in the face of serving the Golden Lord.” “Liar.” Amare hissed.
He watched the knight frown, his facade of politeness vanished. “I wish to tell you if you refuse King Zakai he has ordered that I should kill you.” The knight’s words caused a great laugh to erupt from Amare’s throat. “So tell me how am I a threat to you the one you serve?” “You aren’t a threat, if you refuse me you are a heretic. It’s that simple.” answered Cardoc.
Being called a heretic was amusing he was about to say something but the brazier behind him began to roar. He turned to see the flames were enlarging, he could hear Cardoc shouting something but he didn’t care. He approached the brazier and stared into the flames.
Instead of old visions of the past he saw the back of a warrior who radiated the majesty of his missing prince, he could feel the hole in his heart being filled. The light of hysh blocked his face, it obscured his form leaving his vision a blur. Amare wanted to reach out he staggered towards the warrior. As he touched the shoulder of the warrior he turned his head slightly to him, he saw only a hint of his face. But the blue eyes captured him completely, the vision then crumbled. He screamed in fury “No! Come back!” he found himself looking down to his hands. The fury gave way to sadness the emptiness came rushing back.
He wondered if this was a message from his lost god? Perhaps it was a sign? He turned and returned to the front of his altar. He looked down upon the knight who was oddly staring at him concern. Amare sighed “maybe you are involved?” “What do you mean?” The knight answered his questions with another question. He creased his brow, the vision only happened soon as this one came to disturb him. He grumbled while lowering his hand from his face. “Very well lord Cardoc, lead me to your king.” The knight seemed jubilant with his answer, but he wasn’t joining his host to serve but to look for someone. The mysterious warrior might be the one who will purge the void that has claimed his heart.
Kronak takes a small vanguard of thunderscorn through the realm gate. Their first step towards finding a way home. They arrive in the realm of Ghyran and quickly discover five other forces to contend with. "To arms brothers and sisters."
We had a small tournament with 500 pt armies we built for the campaign. We played 4x4 tables with a bit of narrative. Realm was Ghyran and each game gave benefits to winners.
It was a bit rough for Kronak and his Thunderscorn. With only three units there weren't a whole lot of clever tactics. It didn't help that I don't think I got a spell off the whole time (at least when it matters)
First game was against Beastclaw Raiders. He had even less models than I did. I think he had a Huskard on Stonehorn and a unit of two Mournfang. He basically ran across the table with both, destroyed one unit of Dragon Ogors. By the next turn I was wiped out. I think I killed one Mournfang.
Game two was against Kharadeon Overlords playing Places of Arcane Power. I went second. My Shaggoth took a side objective out of LoS and the Dragon Ogors ran across the field and fought the dwarves. In the end I had a ton of points and won but all but one Dragon Ogor and all dwarves except the general were dead.
Game three was against Moonclan. It started good. I got the double turn and charged his bounders on one side and his spear grots on the other. Unfortunately I out ran my Shaggoth and didn't get rerolls. Eventually the bounders slaughtered the Dragon Ogors charged and killed the Shaggoth (their charge is rough). Dragon Ogors on the other side did well but I lost on points.
This was my first time playing DO. They are very medium. Kinda fast, kinda tough, kinda killy. I definitely need to figure out how to play them.
Marl Xarks carreer as an Arch-Warlock and Leader of the Great Revoluthing Army nearly ended during his first battle on Hysh. As a young warlock engineer the skyre army of his clan was beaten at the first contact with the Stormcast Eternals. Marl was captured and taken to Azyrheim, from which he managed to escape with the help of a team of eshin skavens. But he didn't leave unchanged. Seeing Azyrheim was an enlightenthing form him and from those days on, he wanted a better future for all skaven. During his Odyssee – that in the end lead him back to Hysh – he managed to gather a collection of rather exoctic "partners" for his cause, and his extrodinary skills as an inventor secured a steady income as well as an arsenal of deadly weapons and servants and something in between. These are the stories of his adventures … or rather of his defeats, the victories of his enemies, disasters and quite a few explosions …
The whole Warband
The young Marl Xark himself
The first Stormrats of the Revoluthing Army
The first Clanrats of the Revoluthing Army
The whole Warband again
I built those over the last months in order to start playing Age of Sigmar via the Skirmish Rules (knowing that it would take me like forever to build a whole Skaven army). The colourscheme is based on my Blood Bowl Team "The Undercity Philosophers" and shall carry the topic of "we are the new generation of Skaven". It is inspired by ancient roman senators: A lot of white and quite a bit of red. I especially enjoyed giving them a trollslayerish fur colour.
I use a lot of Blades from the Sicarian Ruststalker / Infiltrators Set, which I initially bought to convert the Bodies into Skyre Acolytes. I also used quite a few Stormcast Eternals Shields and two Space Wolves Braids, hehe.
And as it turns out: Today is just the perfect day to start a skaven revoluthing army!
So i guess by the 60 notifications and 13 (a good omen) missed messages I woke up to on here it finally happened.
Pestilens review of the book to come, I plan to leave the rest of the content to more educated minds than me.
See you all then
Hello wargamers, lore nerds, dice fiends and 'that guys'.
I figured I'd open up the first post to this blog by talking about something I hadn't put much thought into until recently, player morale. Naturally we nerds like to share our hobbies with others and love to see more people get involved in our not so little game of toy soldiers, but sometimes people lose the enthusiasm that keeps us going through those downtrodden times of broken armies, sub par battletomes or lack thereof.
My local wargaming community is pretty casual. Most people play for fun and like to try goofy lists, a lot of us proxy frequently to experiment with neat army ideas and instances of 'that guy' syndrome are few and far between. We've got our competitive players that only roll up for tournaments and our casual players that play whenever they get the chance, but we've also got a few people who just can't seem to catch a break.
For example we've got a gaming lounge in my town that I frequent for AoS and occasionally 40k. Naturally the owner and the employees are all a bunch of nerds who enjoy warhammer, D&D, magic etc. but don't often get many chances to play since, well they have a business to run. One of the employees, the owners brother, is an ironjawz player. Nice enough guy but is kept busy by work and doesn't get to put his army to the table often. I was asked by a friend (stormcast scum) to come in and fill a spot for a 2v2 game because I play Legions of Nagash and my partner was a Vampire Counts player from 8th edition WFB who missed the AoS train due to a prolonged stay in Japan. So me, the ironjawz player, stormcast scum and vampire weeb sit down for a 3000pt 2v2 (1500pts per team member). My partner had brought a lot of vampires and bloodknights to the table so I showed him legion of blood (he was using grand host originally having not looked into the 3 sub legions) so he made his VLoZD his general, gave it the walking death command trait (6+ automatically damages without wound or save rolls) and then proceeded to roll hot dice all day and demolish 1700pts in units with just the VLoZD... His VLoZD got into combat with some brutes turn 1 and proceeded to mulch all 3 units of brutes the ironjaws player had over the course of the game (with a little help from my skeles in round 2) We where using realmgates so come round 2 the ironjaws maw crusha was warped to the opposite end of the board to deal with some skeletons moving on an objective. By round 3 all the ironjaws player had left was his maw crusha while this VLoZD was sat there belly full of orruk with 4 wounds left. Me and stormcast scum where mostly at each others throats all game over a center objective with my Arkhan taking the heat of the ballistas off of weebs VLoZD. Me and stormcast scum are used to defeats as we face each other almost weekly having a good laugh trying to one up each others lists, but our ironjaws friend was feeling pretty down having just his lonely maw crusher by the end of round 2. None of us had particularly competitive lists that day but apparently ironjaws has been on a bit of a losing streak. That paired with how infrequently he gets to play, it seems like he's losing interest in the game despite how much he seemed to enjoy it when I first met him.
Weeb was loving the game at least. Always glad to see someone get back into the hobby, especially when they join the objectively best grand alliance (totally not typing this while painting the masque of slaanesh)
Anyone else have stories to share about discouraged players? Ever been a discouraged player yourself? Anyone have any ideas on how to help raise the spirits of players feeling down on their hobby?
I finished the dryads and got them based. As I start to see what my painting looks like it the day light I notice that I rush through models very quickly and often leave mistakes that glaringly stare me down every time I get the models out to look at. Given I don’t have a proper place to paint and the lighting is usually bad when I do get to paint through the night until 5 am on my days off of work it becomes evident I need to get a place for myself that I can focus on painting more. I have never been a great painter but I always try to finish armies with the best of my ability but it seems at times that ability isn’t what I want it to be. 10 years of practice and I still try and rush through painting haha.
Anyway up next is the Spirit of Durthu which is something I have looked forward to since the day they announced the Sylvaneth were becoming a Battletome army.
The first hag is coming along nicely. I base coated it blue grey, and it really changed how I looked at the colours. I decided not to use gold for the mask as I have on other models, but to instead go with “cold iron”, like the altar. I like it a lot; it’s less regal and vain, more dark and practical. The magenta cloth still adds some brightness, still in the cool tones. Only the flesh is warm. I considered going for pale blue, as if they were no longer entirely human, but decided it would be looking more undead than my goal. The contrast makes the model easier to read on the table too
I want to place a small dot of plastic in the eye socket to paint magenta, so it gives the facemask more life. Not sure how to do that, but I’m open to suggestions.
The hair will blend to white, like my other girls. The model is about 2/3 complete.
Kronak, awakens. The crack of Azyrite thunder in the distance - was it a dream. Then twice more. The distinct sound he hadn’t heard for a millennium. Not like the barbaric imitation heard in this realm, the realm of beasts. More still. There can be no doubt.
Kronak ascends the roughly carved steps to the mountain peak where his decrepit tower stands. At the top of the tower, he turns his enormous looking glass in the direction of the storm. It creaks from disuse. He sees teal clad warriors at the base of the storm. They look like the humans of this world but larger and much better armed. To his surprise he sees the symbols of the usurper of Azyr. The traitor that drove Kronak and his kin from their home. The way to Azyr has been closed for so long. How could this be? Sigmar only exists in this land as long distorted fables of some of the local human tribes. These warriors are not local.
Kronak continues to watch as these children of Sigmar trek across the plain. He knows nothing of Thostos Bladestorm or his quest. He cares not what they do, only how he can get home. As they attack the fortress held by forces loyal to the absent god Khorne, nothings stirs in him to help. The useless gods that he pledged to so many years ago to extend his own life. Where were they when he was driven from his homeland. Then he senses it. The realmgate the fortress was built around is open. He watches as the forces of Sigmar and Khorne slaughter each other.
Time passes slowly for him as he contemplates the meaning of this arrival and the activation of the realmgate. Years pass as a being for whom time has no meaning contemplates the possibilities. By the time he completes his contemplation, the fortress is loosely manned by these so-called celestial vindicators. They don’t know the meaning of vindication. Soon they will learn about retribution.
“Awaken my brothers and sisters. The path home is clear.”
She strode into the war room, the minions of chaos were hammering at the gates of her city. Her husband was already dead by the second battle. The mutated throngs of the dark gods would not find cowards once the walls fall she wanted to ensure that. Looking around the table she hoped to see the generals of Dasivar to be with her on that front but she was wrong. All she saw were men and women cowering at the end. She ignored them and looked down to the map of the city. “We need to set traps, fire bombs at least to bleed them while they make their way to the palace.” She said firmly.
One of her generals spoke up “we used them up when the first wave hit our walls Lady Catherine.” At the mention of the loss of the firebombs she cursed. “Then we face them directly, we fight and we die. But will curse their masters as we go.” Her words simply caused nervous glances, another general coughed. It was Lady Abigail, her armour was dirty and worn from battle but her gaze was still defiant. “There is another option my queen.” “Oh? What other option is there?” “We could parley, the barbarian who leads them he said if we sta-” “No! How dare you! My husband gave his life, our sons and daughters are giving up their lives and you wish us to surrender!?” The general tried to speak up, but she would not let her. “Enough! Remove your cape, you are no general of mine!” Abigail stared her down and that was when she felt a sharp pain in her side. She looked down to see a dagger has been lodged into her waist, through the gap of her armour.
Catherine staggered back from the table, she looked back slightly to see one of her general’s baring a panicked looked on his face. “I-I am sorry my queen. We’ve all agreed…” “Just hurry up and end it!” Abigail shouted. She strode around the table dagger in hand, the rest of the generals fell upon her. Knives dove in and out puncturing her body again and again. Catherine tried to avoid screaming, she wanted to look defiant but all she could do was spit venom. She called them traitors, oathbreakers and slaves to the dark powers.
That was when a spear of lightning crashed through the ceiling, her eyes were enveloped by a blue light and around her she could hear the screams of the traitors as their skin was burnt away. Catherine smiled in satisfaction.
Her eyes fluttered open, sweat creased her brow. Caterine sat up from the bed and cursed. “I hate that dream.” She groaned in annoyance as she left her bed. She walked to the small shrine of Sigmar that was placed in the corner of her room. She knelt and muttered her morning prayers. Once she was done she looked up and stared at the small rendition of Ghal Maraz, but chiefly she was looking at her reflection in the golden hammer. She ignored her short cropped hair and lean face, she focused on the scars that lined her pale flesh. These scars have been with her each reforging, she expected them to disappear like most of the scars she received during her campaigns but these ones still linger. Caterine looked down to her side, staring at the scar that laid there simply caused her anger to build. She cursed again and stood up right, she strode over to the armour stand that held her gleaming white sigmarite plate.
She thought to call her retainer who was lingering outside but decided against it, as always she puts on her armour by herself despite the difficulty. As she began the long process her mind dwelled on the mortals within the Black Fortress. She couldn’t understand why Garis the leader of their brotherhood started seeking mortal help. Ever since the realm gate wars they have required no one, she actually longed for that time again at least it was far more simple than watching over a city.
For when the city of Haven was founded that was when mortals as always show their true colours. They choose to blacken their hearts again and again, then they have to deal with it. None of them could understand the sacrifice and pain that was required to reach this point and the mortals of today are squandering it.
Finally she reached for helmet, it was plumed and held the comet of sigmar to mark her as Liberator-prime. She turned it over, gazing at the frowning face. In truth the helm matches what they are, when people look upon them they see the face of Sigmar. It was not a face that promised peace but destruction that was what she thought. She then turned it back and placed the helmet on her head and went to fasten the straps. Once the straps were in place she walked over to her weapon stand and picked up her warhammer and attached it to her black leather belt.
She then picked up her shield and held it her hand left hand. Now fully armed she left her chamber and standing in front of her was her retainer, Turid. Her blonde hair was braided and her face was tattooed with ayzerite script. She bowed. “My lady.” “What is it?” Caterine said curtly. The mortal rose, whether she was offended she didn’t show it. She never did. “The White Seraph wishes to see you.” Turid declared flatly.
The summons was a surprise, but why the White Seraph didn’t personally approach her was another minor annoyance. “Very well, I will go and see him. You are dismissed for the day.” Turid bowed again and walked away. Once she was gone Caterine walked the other direction, the commanders lodging was on the third floor, the fourth floor was heavily guarded since that was where the Shimmershift realm gate was housed.
Caterine made her way to the staircase, passing by follow stormcasts on the way. They all gave curt nods or greeted her with single terms such as sister or prime. As she reached the staircase she started to wonder what the White Seraph wanted, it was evident he was going to send her on another errand. One where she was most likely cleaning up another mortal mess.
She then began to go up the stairs, along the way her annoyance increased with each thought of what type of mission was in store for her. Caterine then arrived in a hallway and took the left corridor. The White Seraph’s office was the third door on the right, when she arrived she hoped it was something trivial. She knocked on the door with the back of her hand.
Caterine picked up the sounds of locks moving and as the door opened she caught sight of Lord-Veritant Cardor the White Seraph. He stood aside and gestured in. “Please come in sister.” Despite the grim nature of his work his voice was soft almost warm it was something she has always found strange. She nodded to him. “Thank you brother.” She stepped inside the room, it was replete with book shelves, tables held icons of sigmar and his desk was covered with reports.
Yet what had her surprised was the mortal playing with Cardor’s gryph-hound. He was kneeling and stroking it’s head. It was clear to her he was not part of their auxiliary freeguild. The mortal wore leather armour and had a crossbow was strapped to his back. It was not the single shot kind but the repeater variant held by aelves, she guessed he most likely bought it on the black market despite a the twin-tailed comet charm hanging on it’s side.
Cardor closed the door and walked to her side, that was when the mortal stood up right. The gryph-hound chirped and ran back to his master. “So I assume the reason you called me has something to do with this mortal?” Caterine stated. The White Seraph nodded “yes it is.” he gestured to the human. “This is Adrian flogovar. He’s...a hunter of sort.” Caterine took measure of him, he had a stubble and bags claimed his eyes. His black hair was also dirty as well, it was evident he has been sleeping rough. “What does he hunt?” she asked. “Beasts darlin, I hunt beasts.” Adrian spoke up, she thought it was brave that he pushed into their conversation and calling her darling. “I wasn’t talking to you.” “Well I thought I was going to get help with dealin with a certain situation. Spent almost a week camping outside your fortress, screamin for someone to let me in.” Cardor chuckled “your help has arrived Adrian. This is Liberator-Prime Caterine Whiteheart she will help you, along with her retinue.”
Caterine didn’t like being pushed into a mission she knew little about. She grunted “before we get ahead of ourselves can you at least tell me what is going on?” Cardor sighed and walked around to his desk, he picked up a piece of paper. “Several young men and women have been going missing over the last few months.” Caterine nodded “I see...this relates to our mortal how?” “I am getting to that.” said Cardor. “Over those said months corpses have been found, drained of blood. Plus in the same general area normal corpses have been found as well.” She didn’t like the sound of drained corpses. “So how do the normal corpses relate to the ones that have been drained?” she asked. That was when the White Seraph gestured the paper to Adrian. “These corpses upon examination held crossbow bolt wounds, I assume this was the handiwork of our mortal.” “So he is a murderer?” “No I am not a murderer.” Adrian said flatly. “They were working with those I am huntin. The order of ayzr is useless and called me a madman, the guards are most likely in the beasts pockets so I came to you. I think I finally got a bead on their hideout. Being only a mortal I wouldn’t be able to take all of them on by myself.” Caterine narrowed her eyes at the man. “How did you get the information on their hideout?” “Simple, from the men I killed. Took awhile to get them talkin. I tell you that darlin.”
Cardor sighed again “so it leads to this. Investigate the hideout with the mortal and act accordingly.” She didn’t like this the order of ayzr could be right despite their weakness. Adrian could be a madman, yet the White Seraph feels this must be important enough to investigate. “Very well my lord I will look it into it.”
She then glared at the human due to her helm he did not notice it. But if the situation was serious she hoped he would not get in the way.
Caterine walked through the city with her retinue, Adrian strode at her side. The streets were largely empty due to the storm, most likely the populace think her brotherhood are upset about something. What the mortals don’t understand is that the rain was Sigmar’s tears and the lightning and thunder was his anger. The fact the storm clouds have descended upon the rest of the city and blocked the light of Hysh meant that perhaps the mortal with her was onto something. They marched down the cobbled streets until the mortal had them stop in front of a tavern. It was made from wood and the sign said. Gary’s Grotto. Caterine shook her head. “Is this the place?” Adrian simply smirked at her. “Yes it is, now let’s head inside.”
They walked through the flapping doors and right away the smell of ale and sweat greeted her nose. She looked around, eyes went down to drinks, men and women stopped playing cards and exchanged glances. Adrian paid no mind to this and walked up to the bar counter. Caterine did the same and was right behind the mortal with her retinue. She was about to say something to the bartender who was sweating profusely but the mortal was ahead of her. “So...tell me Gary, what are you hidin?” “I am not hiding anything! Everything I do here is legal!” Gary glanced up to her. There was a scar over his eye and he had a thick brown beard. Adrian shook his head “so...how about you let us look at your basement storage? Sure your not hidin anythin..” “T-There’s nothing there.” Gary stammered out.
Caterine grew tired of discussion and started to walk around the bar counter she could see a door that lead into the back. “W-What are you doing!?” The bartender shouted. “Doing my duty.” Caterine responded firmly. “If you impede me I assume you are hiding something, which will not help you when you are taken to the Black Fortress.” At the mention of the fortress the bartender’s eyes went wide, he then narrowed them. Suddenly the fear vanished. His gaze turned firm. “Stop them!” he screeched.
Everyone in the bar rose from tables, Adrian didn’t waste time he unslung his crossbow from his back and fired into the bartender sending him to the ground. He then hopped over the counter and started firing at the approaching bar attendees. Caterine frowned “advance! Crush the heretics!” They all drew their warhammers and waded into the mortals. Caterine spotted one heretic coming at her with a blade, swinging it madly. She bashed them back with her shield, the cracking of bone greeted her ears as she sent the mortal hurtling towards a table. The human crashing upon the table did not stop the others, even as she raised her warhammer to crush the skull of another mortal. Despite the ease of killing them she knew something was wrong, there was no fear just a frenzy to see them dead. Like they were protecting something.
The melee lasted only a few moments, the men and women they killed were but thugs. She turned towards the counter and Adrian’s head popped up. “What did I tell you darlin? I bet you were doubting me.” “Shut up and lead on.” The mortal shrugged and gestured. “Follow me.” He lead them to the back, there were stairs leading to the underground storage where ale was meant to be kept but Caterine suspected something sinister was at work.
Entering the basement it was full of barrels containing ale, but Adrian led them to a second set of stairs. At the bottom of it was a door that was chained. “So they are hiding something….” Caterine declared. She walked down the steps with her Retinue, the mortal didn’t seem to mind this. When she was before the door she brought up her warhammer and smashed door the with a few blows. Once it was down there was a further set of stairs leading downwards. “Be on guard” she ordered.
She raised her shield and hammer and descended the steps. Reaching the bottom she noticed the walls and floor were cobbled and the hallway was dimly lit up with braziers that burned with purple fire.
They all carefully advanced down the hallway, that was when she picked up the sound of muffled screeching. The sound steadily crept towards them until out of the dark bats rushed out screeching angrily at them. Caterina caught grunts from her retinue but what she found most annoying was the obfuscation of sight. Once the bats and flown by she looked ahead to see two individuals standing before them. One was female and the other was male, both were pale complexion and they wore red baroque armour. The two individuals were also holding ornate blades. “Oh dear sister look at what has happened, rats have scurried into the lair.” said the male. “It is indeed annoying dear brother, I am quite sure mother will be upset about this.” “But mother will be quite happy if we dispatch the rats.” The male smiled showing fangs.
Caterina shouted right away “form up! Vam-” She didn’t get to finish both were charging down the hallway at abnormal speed. The female slid under his legs and a few moments later she caught the sound of an anguished cry, lightning was now crashing up and down the corridor until it turned back the way they came. She was about to twist behind her but the male bringing his blade down upon her shield drew her full attention. “Abominable creature!” Caterina hissed. She pushed the vampire back, he was grinning ear to ear like this was a game. “Do try to keep up tyrant!” the male vampire spat.
He went in again but this time he was thrusting, the speed was too great all she could do was defend. If Cardor was here they would of been able to deal with these creatures easily. “Close your eyes!” It was Adrian, she didn’t know what he was going to do but for some reason she agreed. Her eyes slid close that was when she heard a clang and despite her eyes being closed she caught the hint of a blue light. Once the light ebbed away frenzied screeching erupted in the hallway.
She opened her eyes and the male vampire was staggering back his skin was burnt, his yellow eyes were red with fury and now the creature revealed it’s true bestial form. Caterina took the opportunity before her, she strode forward and brought down her hammer upon the vampire. She sent him thundering to the ground, she didn’t stop there she kept up her assault. Breaking his limbs, caving in his armour and finally she bought down her hammer upon his head silencing the monster permanently.
She looked back to see her brothers and sisters had the right idea, each of them were covered in nicks and scratches from the female vampire’s blade, but just like her brother she was dead. Adrian picked up a round sphere next to her corpse and held it up. “I am glad that I bought this.” Caterina was about to question what the device was, most likely another item from the black market. She thought it would be a good idea to take the mortal in for questioning after this situation was done. “We need to move.” she is said flatly. Adrian gave her a curt nod, her retinue simply fell back into formation.
They continued walking down the corridor, she hoped they would not encounter anymore vampires. She had a feeling that Adrian's device only worked once.
The corridor so far was a straight line but steadily Caterina picked up the sounds of panicked voices. This was when the mortal seemed to turn grim. “We are almost there…” his voice was breaking slightly. She could see he had a personal stake in this. “So tell me mortal, most would not go hunting after vampires. What drew you to this profession?” Her question caused Adrian to smirk. “That’s a long story darlin, one I don’t think I have time to tell at the moment.” If the mortal wanted to keep his secrets that’s down to him, but she suspected she would learn of them soon enough when he is imprisoned within the fortress.
The corridor lead them into a strange underground church. It was replete with bone-like statues and at the altar the face of the lord of death loomed over them all. Caterina would take time to examine this if it wasn’t for the fact a group of young men and women were clustered near the altar. When they approached Adrian came to the front. “Lisa! Come out!” From the group of fearful mortals a young woman with brown hair pushed through, when her eyes fell upon Adrian she held the look of shock but it slowly gave way to fear. Tears started to build in her eyes. “Papa!” She shouted.
Now Caterina could see what this was about, a father seeking to rescue his child at least that was what she thought before Adrian pointed his crossbow at the woman she assumed to be Lisa. “Stay back!” Lisa froze. “I-I thought you were coming here to rescue me?” Adrian started to cry, but strangely his tears to her seemed more real. “Let’s speak about your mother, do you know what happened to her?” Lisa frowned “t-the vampires killed her…” “Liar!” he shouted. Caterina wanted to reach for the crossbow, she had to keep him from killing anyone for the young men and women had information they could use. “Stop!” he shouted. She froze in place, it was evident he was addressing her. “J-Just let me speak to her. Alright d-darlin?” Caterina sighed “very well.”
Adrian smirked. “T-Thanks...I-I am going to ask you again Lisa. What happened to your mother? What happened to my wife...she was stabbed nine times. I was happy coming home to see you after a campaign, I came home to see my wife dead and my daughter missing.” Caterina noted going by what Adrian just said that he was most likely a deserter from a local freeguild, he would have to be questioned about that as well. Chiefly though Lisa was fidgeting. In her eyes the evidence was damning, this looks like a cult than a place where young men and women gathered by vampires and their thralls.
Adrian lowered his crossbow “y-your silence is the answer, t-those monsters most likely promised you immortality right? That you live in finery and that you would never be p-poor again? A-Am I right?” Adrian quickly turned away from his daughter. “D-Dammit!” He squatted and simply screamed his lungs out.
Caterina let the man grieve for now. Her eyes swept over the traitors. “Surround them.” she ordered. Her retinue took positions around the young men and women, one sought to run but a liberator split his head open before he could take a few steps. That death cowed the rest, her eyes then moved to Adrian who was rising. “We are leaving.” “Alright darlin..I am right behind you.”
They did not encounter any resistance on the way back, when they stepped back onto the streets there was a crowd but the sight of her along with her retinue caused the townspeople to flee. Standing outside in the rain she watched Adrian look up. “Maybe this is just a bad dream eh?” He looked down to his daughter then his gaze drifted to her. “I bet you want to take me in as well right?” Caterina nodded. “Yes, you are still a murderer, deserter and traded through the black market. Now drop your weapon.” The mortal was still holding his crossbow, they were a few paces apart. She hoped he would do the right thing. She has been let down many times in the past.
She watched Adrian sigh, he dropped the crossbow and took a step towards her. He didn’t get the chance to take the second, a blue light claimed her sight and thunder roared above her. Once the light dimed, the mortal was gone. She looked up to the skies and now they were clearing, letting the light of Hysh break through. Caterina chuckled to herself. “How strange...is that all it took?” She then faced her retinue. “We are heading back to the Black Fortress, keep an eye on the heretics brothers and sisters!”
The traitors were now trembling in fear, they were right to do so. Their death’s won’t come easy, they will soon learn all the stories about their fortress was true.
He grasped his burnt arm as he ran down the alleyways, flipping over fences and walls with ease. Despite his superhuman vigour the one who sought his death wielded weapons that sap his vitality. He quickly made a corner and planted his back on the wall, he moved his black cloak aside revealing his charred arm. He cursed under his breath looking at the injury. “Dammit Anghel, you got sloppy…” he hissed in a hushed tone. He bought his cloak around himself and continued his escape. He was in the process of gathering new converts among the poorer and middle class districts but the gathering was interrupted by the white tyrants. He has encountered them many times in the past, they were lumbering fools that were easily avoided but the one chasing him now was different. He was a hunter.
The irony of this situation didn’t escape him, he thought the twins were weaklings and fools for allowing themselves to be killed despite being blessed by the soulblight. Now being caught in this situation the blood of Nagash was acting as a hindrance. He grunted in annoyance while flipping over another walled fence. When his feet touched the ground the beggars in the alleyway became startled. They blinked in confusion while they sat in their own filth, Anghel smiled staring at the mortals he could feel his fangs brushing against his tongue. “Well beggars can’t be choosers…” he said in amusement. When he took the first few steps he caught the sound of clatter from the rooftops. He froze and looked up, nothing was there. He grimaced as his eyes came down again, he decided to sniff the air and strangely he could pick up the smell of clean rain water despite the filth that gripped the alleyway. “Clean rain water…” he mumbled. His eyes went wide, he looked up again to see a white giant standing on the rooftop, his armour colour was at odds with the night Ulgu provided like it was pushing the darkness back. The tyrant was also covered in furs and held an axe in one hand and a monsterous crossbow in the other. He jumped from the roof and planted his hand on the wall, as he came down sparks flew in the air.
Anghel moved to run, but the white tyrant pushed himself from the wall and charged into him planting him against the other side of the alleyway. The white tyrant now had his arm against his throat, the pressure was immense. Anghel tried to claw at his gauntlet, but it would spark with lighting causing his hands to rear back. “Caught you at last little leech...” The giant stepped back, freeing him. Anghel didn’t question it he decided to race down the alleyway, before he could take a few steps he was tumbling to the ground. Threads of pain ripped through his legs, he looked back to them to see they were charred like his arm. The white tyrant was walking towards him, his hand crossbow was smoking, Anghel cursed that infernal device.
He looked on ahead he decided to crawl, he had to escape no matter the cost. He barely moved a few inches before a boot came down upon his back. He grunted in pain. He turned his head back slightly to see the tyrant looming over him. “You thought hidin amongst the filth would keep you from me?” The giant looked on ahead. “Didn’t I tell you darlin? I could catch the leech by myself.” The sounds of heavy footsteps thrummed through Anghel’s ears, more white giants pierced the darkness of the alleyway. The ones he escaped from.
They were not covered in furs but wore the simple white plate like all the white tyrants do, just by the form of the leader he could tell she was female. “How many times have I told you not to call me that?” she growled. His pursuer shrugged “I just thought it would be appropriate since we get on so well after all. See? Look.” He pointed his axe at him for emphasis. “I caught the leech alive, I tell you he was quite slippery.” “Adrianus, enough. Let us just take the leech to the Black Fortress.” Anghel found it perplexing how they spoke of him like a simple animal, he gritted his teeth. “I won’t say anything…” He glanced at the beggars and shouted “Look people of Haven! See the tyrants! Hunting me like an animal!” He could see fear in the eyes of the beggars and as his mother taught him even the lowest mortal can bring a cascade of change. Planting one small seed can spark a rebellion.
His pursuer shook his head he raised his hand crossbow and pointed it at a mortal, it barked with blue light as he killed all of the beggars in the alleyway in quick succession. His gaze then came back to him. “What were you sayin leech?” How the tyrant casually executed the mortals surprised him, he didn’t care for their lives they were a means to and end. “You killed them?” Anghel said in disbelief. “Of course.” said the female tyrant. “You tried to show them something other than Sigmar, so they may have been potentially compromised. Now.. you are coming with us.”
The white giants surrounded him, he tensed and readied himself for the hell that was to come.
“Fire again.” The blue bolts crashed into his flesh Anghel shrieked. His pursuer was tormenting him at the order of the tyrant wielding a staff topped with a strange lantern. It didn’t help that due to being crucified on the cell wall each bolt caused him to shudder, making his arms move on the nails that were rammed through his wrists. The nails burned his flesh he wondered what sort of enchantment the tyrants wove upon them. Anghel narrowed his eyes at the lantern wielding stormcast. “So the Cardor the White Seraph personally comes to question me? What an honour.” he said with a mocking tone. The tyrant didn’t seem to pick up on his barb, he walked over to a table and opened up a large tome. “Your cult has been busy.” he said flatly.
Anghel glanced at Adrianus “so are you going to have your dog shoot me if I don’t answer your questions?” “No.” answered Cardor. “He can actually shoot you as many times as he wants as long as he doesn’t kill you.” The hunter looked back. “W-Wait, I can?” The White Seraph simply gave a curt nod. This caused his pursuer to fire his crossbow several times, Anghel lurched on the nails. He couldn’t help but scream as his body burned due to the bolts. The White Seraph then spoke calmly “You will answer my questions and if you do we will kill you quickly. If not…” “Pah!” shouted Anghel “I won’t talk! No matter what you do to me...” Cardor shrugged “if you don’t I will swap Adrianus with the Soulflayer, trust me you wouldn’t want him torturing you. I assume you have heard him correct?”
At the mention of Soulflayer he frowned, the stories were that he could burn souls to ashes with lighting or turn them inside out. “Are the stories true then?” Anghel asked. Cardor chuckled to his question. “Do you want to find out?” A frown was now tucking at Anghel’s lips. He knew death would not be the end, not after what is coming to the realms. “You can’t stop it.” he said flatly. “We are simply keeping your eyes from the grander prize, that’s it.” “Grander prize?” He picked up a hint of surprise in the White Seraph’s voice. “Yes a great one, a cataclysm so great that the dead will ru-” He couldn’t say anything more.
He felt another presence in his mind. “You dare betray me?” The voice was ancient, his voice was like the grating of autumn leaves. Panic washed over him. “No! I would never! P-Please!” “You dare give them some inkling of my grand design? Your mother should of taught you better. Your life is forfeit.” A sense of hollowness ripped through his body, he jerked in his bonds as gouts of purple flame poured out of his mouth. The pain was horrific, he could feel a great skeleton hand grasping his heart. It squeeze it slowly he could feel blood running down his eyes, his vision turned blurry he could make out the White Seraph raising his lantern but the blue light was smothered by a purple haze.
Slowly his vision darkened and eventually he saw nothing save a great skeleton maw that sought to devour him whole.
Cardor stared at the corpse of the vampire. He was mess, purple drool replaced the flames and his eyes were matted with blood. What had him worried was when the blood reached his chest it formed the face of death itself. Adrianus looked back to him. “So...what do we do now?” The White Seraph shook his head. “I think this is far more bigger than a cult.”
The High-King of Aienor rises from his decaying throne, unsheathing his sword and hoisting his barbed hook, the Hunter King sets out to deliver the shattered Sylvaneth from their pathetic queen, Nurgles rot shall prevail no more!
I'm planning to add some water texture to the left side of the base, so it looks like he's stepping into a slimy pool.
in the . background is a sneak-peak of a character I'm working on, nothing as fancy as the Aelves, but still interesting.
I've finished the first month of our painting challenge. Just in time because we have a 500 pt tournament next Saturday.
I didn't go nearly as far as I would like, especially on the Shaggoth. I'm really calling them done for time constraints. The Shaggoth deserves a lot more detail and highlighting. I'll probably come back to it next month. The target for next month is only 250 pts so I should have time.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with them. The pressure to complete helped me not worry about some details and just get them table ready.
Sickly grey-green corpses, red shreds of gore, and dark charred husks intermingled down the steep slopes and littered the floors of the trenches and larger ravines. The sweet, thick smell of cooking flesh rose from mounds where bodies had been stacked and set ablaze. Purple and pink sparks occasionally accompanied sizzles and pops as unnatural gifts were burnt away. Above on one island of greenery amongst the few remaining that dotted the hellscape, Rungi and his council sat in silence, contemplating the cost of their victory. Though it was long after the adrenaline had stopped coursing through their veins, it had not been long enough for the screams of the dying to fade along with those emitting them. It was those screams that now robbed the victors of their speech.
Loremaster Lunn had been maniacally scratching away with quill and parchment until he felt the weight of the other lords’ stares. He slowly laid his materials to the side and waited for the inevitable reproach from Grogan and Norgrim. The simpletons might be strong of arm and back, but they lacked his foresight. Even the runelords failed to grasp that they had unlocked the magics at the core of the realm, the ability to shape worlds to their will… The long-bearded librarian nearly choked on his breath when instead, old lord Grombrisson called across the fire, “What old secrets are ya bout to pull out fer us tonight, Master Librarian?” To his surprise, bright eyes all round the ring of duardin were fixed on him, reflecting the warm dancer in front of them. There was a soothing nature to the red and orange flickerings, something familiar and comforting, unlike the hissing greens and exploding purples from before. “My good thane,” Rungi interjected between Lunn’s sputterings,” what do your scrolls tell you? Is there anything we can do to comfort the wounded?”
“The ruinous powers don't simply create fire that burns away the flesh,” Lunn slowly explained, “it mutates. That which the flames touch is twisted and changed, often beyond function and recognition.”
“But for those who are strong enough to fight this change…” began the young Stormbeard, his words as much a plea as a question.
Lunn could see the wetness in his eyes. Powerful as the lad was, the aftermath of battling warpfire terrified even him. “Young brother, they would need strength that few possess.”
“ ‘Ave ya looked in ‘ere?” asked Smakki, his voice ringing with an optimism few had heard.
“Is this not your private journalings m’lord?” the loremaster cautioned. “I couldn't…” his mouth said tentatively while his hands eagerly received the heavy tome of leather and gold.
“I’s not jus’ mine. That there is th’last surviving record a’my forefathers’ experiments with th’ancestor runes.” Jaws were agape all around the fire, but none more so than Grimwold, whose face seemed to battle between surprise and embarrassment. After all, even he had thought these secrets lost to the ages. “The master rune you used t’wake th’mountains was torn from this ‘ere tome lad. Maybe you’ll find something else useful if’n ya give’t a read.” And with that, the elder of his clan rose on creaking knees from his seat near the fire and staggered away. In a matter of five sentences the usually isolationist runelord had shared the greatest treasures of one of the few remaining runeguilds in the mortal realms. The survival of the Skaudaziwyr and their secret art was now interwoven with the Karakigrom and their crusading king.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Clusters of duardin polished away the stains of battle from their shields and armor or changed the bandages on a brother’s wound. A warm hand on the shoulder or solemn acknowledgement of sacrifice was handed out from lord to warrior wherever appropriate, but words were scarce. Most of the throng had been raised in safety and chased to bed as babes with tales of the evils Chaos had waiting for them. The reality had been far more devastating to the psyche of these soldiers. First encounters with warpfire tended to have that effect. Though he’d never admit it, Rungi found himself waking several times each night, shaking and dripping in cold sweat as he relived the battle and imagined himself among the less fortunate. Though inevitably a blade or slavering maw had managed to slip through the novice warrior shield wall to hit home here or there, by and large the blocks of infantry had been successful in blunting the onslaught of their pursuers while the miners, and later runeguild, had etched the beginnings of a path into the mountains capable of carrying their caravan. But a different fate entirely had befell the ironbreakers. Where others had the the shieldwall these professional guardians had been the shieldwall, repeatedly anchoring themselves in the ravines to allow the Skaudaziwyr time to craft their runes. When the earth had rent open and pillars of unnatural flame had stabbed skyward, it was these great defenders of the clan who had been cooked inside their metal suits.
A great canvas village had been erected to shelter them and provide some semblance of privacy, but the clan knew plenty well the source of the groans and whimpers clawing at their bravery day and night. The king looked around him to make sure he was not followed before stepping through a curtained doorway and into the ward of the burnt. As he strode down the center aisle between two rows of cots, the ground wet with the blood of the afflicted clung to his boots slightly tighter than outside. Wherever they lay, jars of cooling salve and great flasks of hearty spirits accompanied those who hadn't succumbed to their burns. A second partition hung further back, blocking the surgeons grim duties from the view of those trying to recover. Rungi continued on through the tent wards until he reached the back of the hastily erected structure. Here the ceiling opened up to the crisp air once more; billows of steam and smoke rising high into the midmorning sky, only distinguishable from the glittering clouds of the wilds by the fiery orange embers carried with them, every so often.
“Welcome King,” greeted Lunn with his usual, awkward over-cheeriness. Rungi’s jaw tightened with discomfort at the excited nature of one of his trusted advisors in a place as dark and unfortunate as the makeshift burn-ward.
“All around you dawi are having flesh cut from their bodies to prevent the dark gods’ corruptions from burning their identities away,” Rungi slowly questioned, ”Forgive me librarian, but what could possibly be fueling your optimism?”
“Go easy on ‘im lad,” called Smakki from a far corner. “The musty ol’ scroll-keeper is’bout tah save a whole bunch’a dawi.”
Rungi was still looking toward the old runelord, waiting for an elaboration, but the whitebeard had turned back to a fire he was painstakingly growing to just the right temperature. Instead the king turned back to his loremaster to sate his sudden appetite for runelore.
“Lord Smakki is being very generous with his praise,” Lunn blushed undwarfishly. “You have raised a throng of the ages, and many of our kin are protected by ancient runic armor…”
“Yes, the Karakigrom are known for our traditions,” Rungi interrupted impatiently. Behind him a duardin groaned loudly, likely biting into a piece of wood so as not to cry out as a warpfire burn was scraped away. “But I hardly see the connection between honoring our kin with our battle armament and saving our wounded from the corruption of the wicked fires.”
“Ah, but young king where you see armor I see a vessel. Of course you know that runecraft, all but forgotten in Azyr, once allowed duardin to harness the magics around them. What many do not realize is the extent rune craft can be taken to. As we all bore witness, the right combination of runes shaped of the right raw material can move the very mountains.”
The elder librarian, cheeriness aside, had seemingly earned the respect of the rune-guild. All around Rungi, sparks were beginning to fly as armor was rent and reforged. Apprentices scurried about tossing handfuls of kindling into hungry furnaces and dodging the scorching belches that resulted. Alongside them, runesmiths hammered away at glowing characters with everything from massive mallets to precision hammers, sparks launching into the sky with each blow. “Go on…” he mused.
“The Skaudaziwyr have maintained their craft amidst an ever changing landscape, and we are fortunate they have, for through their understanding so too has survived…”
Rungi was growing impatient. It must have shown because Grimwold lifted his head from his labors to interject. “The master librarian is suggesting that we may have rediscovered something of great power, my king. May I show you?” Rungi approached the anvil to see heavy plate with red-glowing runes across the chest-plate. “No doubt you’ve seen plenty of runes of strength and protection, and just the other day witnessed the might of an expertly-crafted master rune. However, here we are adding ancient family runes to channel the strength of the wearer’s predecessors into such common runes. Finally, we’re adding a few forgotten runes of protection and healing, relics of a time thought lost to myth.”
Unable to contain himself, Lunn burst out, “Mind you, my lords, we have never seen this amount of runework successfully balanced before. We are hoping though -”
“Shaddup bookkeeper,” muttered a now attentive Smakki. “Rungi, ye need tah trust in th’old ways. You’ve seen th’powers of the ancestors.” Smakki suddenly whirled himself to face the king, extending forward a layered shoulder plate covered in runes that seemed forged of living fire. “These runes giv’em a map t’their kin in need. D’ya think yer grandpappies are goin’ ta sit round a table when you’re rightin’ a grudge this ‘uge?”
“Our clansmen have never been the type to sit idle,” the king smirked. “You believe you can call all the way to the feasthalls in the underworld?”
“Shysh ain’t as far away as ye might think lad,” replied Smakki in a hushed tone. “ I’s more a matter of givin’m a smooth road t’travel, withou’ too many critters gnawing at’em along th’way.”
Not slowed by the veteran’s words, Rungi was about to give further praise as he walked out of the tent. As he turned though, his words froze in his throat as melt on an icicle. Steel helms were lined on a cooling rack, some with red runes ablaze, others only radiating the heat of their neighbors. Each had a tempered-steel faceplate, expressionless and cruel. They were shaped without emotion, many in imitation of skulls, and served as a reminder that the wearer walked amongst the living in defiance of death itself. The king had grounded his life’s work in the traditions and wisdom his clan had gathered over the ages. From the deepest part of his stomach, he felt a slight rumble as he wondered if Lunn understood the full power of the forces at play here. Only time would tell.
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Enlag Har-Runkal, The Fire Thrasher
Champion of the Har-Smakazi, the Flame-Tested Karakigrom Survivors of the Battle for the Road
Each time a hot steel boot lifted from the earth it left small whisps of smoke rising from a scorched print. Though few connected where it came from, many noses wrinkled at the odd odor of burnt metal emanating from the enriched earth. Enlag Har-Runkal (fire thrasher) strode forward from the ranks of his Har-Smakazi (flame-tested). Even in the bright midday sun, the runes adorning his armor swam with molten heat. Every so often a small flame would flicker to life and dance across the rune-script.
The gathered, whispering crowd parted to allow the fearsome warrior passage. Lunn met him in front of the spent campfire where the king’s council was reviewing the latest headcount of able-bodies. He paced around the figure, ostentatiously admiring the finished masterpiece, even though he likely had seen the resurgent warrior more recently than the other onlookers. “My king, you remember Enlag, champion of the fallen Deep-Guard,” interrupted Lunn as he turned back towards the company. “He now leads the Smakazi, the unburnt from the Battle for the Road.” The elders of the council stared in shock, some muttering vexes against the dark gods while others thanked Grungni by name. For his part, Enlag returned their stares unflinchingly. Whereas every eye in the crowd was pulled wide and wet with tears at the miracle before them, Enlag’s were as stone, unblinking and set directly ahead. If the steel covering him from head to toe was hot from the flaming runes, he showed no sign of it.
Rungi approached the heavily armored figure, noticing the scarring visible on the rare openings of exposed flesh. The young leader’s brow grew several more creases that afternoon. For despite his knowledge of the magnitude of runic magics being harnessed in the tent-forges, and even having seen the extent of Smakki and his kin’s abilities when they had literally awoken the mountains themselves, he could not fathom anyone recovering from the kiss of warpfire. “How do you stand here champion? I have walked through the tents every day and every night for a month. I have seen the extent of the burns. No mortal could withstand the corrosive effects of such an inferno, and yet here your so-called Smakazi stand.”
“Revenger,” began Enlag in a tone so guttural as to cause discomfort to all those who listened, “you have given all of your kin the opportunity to confront those who have stolen our lands, our heritage, and our honor. Alone, the flames of the damned would have been our ruin.” His eyes locked on the young king’s, a white-hot light suddenly projecting more forcefully outward from the already violet glow. “But we are not alone. Our brother runecrafters have enveloped us in runes of fortitude, endurance, and healing, while Loremaster Lunn has helped them find even more rare creations with which to call on our lost ancestors, warriors of renown who are honored by our settling of their grudges against the wicked enemy. My king, it is the assembled brethren of your throng and those who came before who have carried us back from Shysh itself…”
From beard barely long enough for a basic fork to those woven into great styling so that wrapped round their owners, each shined a bit more resplendent that afternoon. The Vengeful Throng had survived the first great test of those who would twist this realm, but the test had only increased as they tallied the cost. And ever since, the hamstrung throng had spent day and night trying to repell advances while nursing themselves back to health. Today, heroes who had given the most stood ready to sacrifice even more, and their fervor had spread to the others who had gathered from throughout the camp.
“When you are ready to lead us into the mountains, we stand ready to repay this debt my lord. ”
Har-Smakazi, the Flame-Tested Karakigrom Survivors of the Battle for the Road
A silence grew in Ghyran… no twitter of birds, no squeaking of mice, no wind… just silence, unless a faint dripping could be heard…
Since the creation of the Nine Realms, silence has reigned in the Silent Cliffs, there is no hint as to why this ominous island was so silent, but it always has been.
No sound can be made there, and so the screams are silent. Ages roll by and the island stays the same, water erodes rocks within hours, the trees wither and grow anew in mere days, days are short, and the night is long.
Deep in the island is a forest, in this forest is a swamp, in that swamp there is a pool, and from that pool a faint nose can be heard, a sound like… dripping…
In the center of this pool stands a tree, a tree that bears no leaves, but it does have something other trees do not have, faces. These faces writhe, pushing up in a vain attempt to escape the skin-like bark of the tree, their screams are silent.
The tree reaches out with a long vine, it snakes out of the pool to the skull, the skull of a ram… the vine detaches from the tree, and then snakes inside the skull, there it contorts itself so it carries the skull with four hideous vine-legs, it crawls to the islands edge, there it finds a boat, in the boat is a man, and from his eyes leak a black ichor, the skull crawls into the boat, onto the man, and then the vine crawls through his mouth, the skull is laid on his face, and the change begins, years upon years roll by, and slowly the tree creates itself in the man, the skull has now melded with his face, half his body is made of wood, and a horrible mass of vines snakes about his feet.
a new victim is on the island, and the tree is ready, it raises it’s avatar from the pool, and it is borne aloft on a mass of thorny vines.
The night has come, the time is now, now is the hunt. He runs in silence, no noise comes from his rapid footfalls or his panicked screams, vines snake around his feet, he falls, and then the tree is upon him, it’s horrible hand reaches his face, and the traveller, is slowly absorbed by the tree.
Now the tree’s avatar has a cloth wrapped about it’s sightless eyes, and the travelers face pushes up from it’s skin in anguish and despair.
All is not dark in the Silent Cliffs, the realm of the Aelves still dimly shines. Atop a towering mountain, surrounded by steep cliffs, is a city, in the center of the city is an overgrown tower, in the tower is a king, a once-proud ruler of a beautiful realm, but it has fallen to decay, swamps surround the city, and the servants of the Great Tree constantly search for ways to overrun this beacon of light, but the Aelves themselves are not much better than the forest creatures they battle, they delight in inspiring fear in their foes, and they do not take to well to strangers…
The Aelven king is a strange figure, he is more like to that of the Great Tree’s avatar than anything else, for his body is partly made of wood, but the does not trouble him, for he is still the king…
The king’s face is shrouded by a chainmail mask that hangs about his mouth and nose, only his pitch-black eyes are visible, like empty windows in a stone tower. Atop his head is a bronze helm, the helm bears to antlers like that of a deer, and at the top of the helm is a long bronze spike. In one hand he holds a rusted shortsword, in the other he carries a large hook upon a chain.
Empty eyes staring forward, the Aelven king looks out into the gloom, his chainmail mask shrouding his smirk, it was going according to his unspoken plan, the Tree was coming.
A figure looms up from the gloom, a mass of thorny vines writhing about it’s feet, the Aelven king speaks with his mind, “well met.” And the tree answers only with the dripping of black ichor from it’s empty eye sockets.
The Aelven king tilted his head, questioningly, then the tree responds, not breaking the silence, “well met Vorotros, your people have been troublesome of late, we still desire the mountain.” “but that is our domain, do you not know that? But I have come with a proposal, the island is ours, but this is but a small space, our realm of silence could be so much greater” said the Aelven king with a wave of his hand, as if showing the Tree all it could conquer, all they could conquer.
“Very well” said the Tree, “We shall arise, we shall bring our blessed silence to the whole of the Nine Realms!”
Just a quick update. I put the Jalopy of Doom on hold to work on my priestesses. (...of Doom).
I’ve never been excited about the hag models. Bigger hair is a fairly reliable way of depicting officers in Warhammer, but these girls just weren’t doing anything for me. I wanted them to be more mysterious, more creepy and even terrifying to the average Johann.
I finally realized the best way fix this was to use the Melusai masks. It definitely set them apart from the rank n’ file welves. Then I replaced their knives with sickles. This gave them a druidic feel. All in all, I think they’re more interesting and unique. It also fits my fluff... the Temple of the Shattered Veil has rejected Khaine to worship Morathi directly, despite not knowing the full truth of his demise. The priestesses are slowly taking on the features of the Melusai, gaining scales and snake eyes. The masks allow them to deal with the other factions of Order, but each hopes to one day shed their humanity to gain the full power of becoming a Bloodwrack Medusa.
I also repainted my Doooomfire Warlock leader. Got some conversion ideas for this group as well, but took me a while figure out the colours. Originally had pink manes, but it was too bright. Turquoise tones it down slightly.
This is how they looked before:
I've made some minor improvements/changes, and since I'm mostly done working on these guys, do you guys have any suggestions on how I should tackle the dryads? I have no idea how I should make them look...