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Unit Focus: Gothi Priests - How to screech till your god listens

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Melcavuk

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Today I'm looking at who the Gothi priests are and what role they play not only within the Suneater Tribes faction but in the Destruction faction as a whole. To begin their name comes from the very first Grot to discover the Great Prophet of the Suneaters, it was a meagre and mildly deranged grot picking clean the corpses of those who had fallen victim to the blasting sun of the Shattersands that witnessed the mighty ogor climb forth from the Maw of the Suneater. At first young Gothi chose to follow this Ogor through the desert in the hopes of fresh meat when his new found companion fell dead and yet as the days dragged on his insanity began to slowly shift and attune with the strange new power eminating from the Ogor. Those visions that had once been a tidal wave of destructive thoughts coalesced into a burning dagger of righteous destruction, a fine needlepoint to drive through the hearts of the enemies of his god, and as his visions changed so too did the form of the Ogor he followed, no longer did the creature look bedraggled and half starved, instead Gothi now saw him wreathed in rippling tides of flame as a glorious Avatar of the Sungods will.

Gothi was a constant companion to the Prophet from there on out, it was his cunning that aided the might of the Ogor in uniting or dominating the tribes that fell before them, and his constant screeching whining that lent caution where needed to root out those who did not believe in the Suneaters cause that they might make an exampe of them. Where as the Prophet had the raw strength to harness the raging flames of destructive magic it took considerable physical and mental exertion with every effort, such primal energies would have torn any Grot attempting mastery apart in seconds, but Gothi had a different gift. The Great Suneater was said to reside sat on the lip of the greatest Volcano in the Realms, so volatile was the volcano that the deep reverberating prayers of Ogors blended with the seismic rumbling and were lost to the ears of their god, time and time again Ogors would pray to their deity but found no reply, it was however the high pitched, screaching prayers of Gothi that pierced through the rumbling to find the ears of the Suneater. Whilst other priests might pray and beseach their god with kind words and flattery Gothi was not a creature of such finery, instead his prayers were constant nagging, whining, screaching until the god was whipped to fury enough to respond, and in time Gothi mastered exactly what to say to trigger specific furious responses from his god to tailor his prayers.

It is unclear at exactly what stage the first Gothi passed on, various rumours say the Prophet sat on him months into their conquest, others that he survived years before falling into an oil vat and burning alive, what is known however is that rather than face the wrath of their Prophet in telling him his favourite pet had died the Ogor elite simply scraped what they could of the first priest out of the robe and shoved the next most annoying grot to hand into them. And in this way the order of Gothi Priests was born, what started as a bunch of spares for each time the main Gothi died grew and grew, Grots eager for the one role in Suneater society that merited any rank or prestige were willing to risk the beatings and eventual torturous death if it meant gaining just a small amount of power and stature.

Gothi Fyri - 

It is said in Suneater tribes that no Ogor has ever held the rank of Priest to the Suneater, they claim that their deep and booming voices are too like the sounds of volcanoes erupting for the mighty god to distinguish them from the volatile realm of Aqshy and hear their pleas, meanwhile it is the shrill and piercing cries of the Grots that are unlike any other within the realm, able to pierce through the seismic rumbling and volcanic eruptions to irritate the god enough to earn his attention. It has been this way since the very beginnings of the tribe, those grots of particularly loud, shrill or annoying voices picked out from the crowd at a young age and thrown out into the wastelands to earn the attention of their God.

Each is forced to live in exile until they return with a convincing token of their gods favour, though what is considered convincing is often left open to interpretation, some hunt the great phoenixes of the realm to try and carry off a cloak of flaming feathers as the warm (and burning) embrace of the suneater. Others climb to mountains top to pluck a shard of the great salamanders burning rocks from the very lip of a volcanoes edge. Of course many more simply band together in a conniving mob and wait for a more competent grot to complete such a heroic feat, then as their soon-to-be victim heads back to camp the mob descend on them in a flurry of rocks and fists to savagely beat them to death and steal their prize. Such acts often amuse the Suneater enough to let pass... and in doing so he loses but a single priest and gains a handful more as their victims trophy gets divided up between them.

In battle the Gothi Fyri cut small figures, often able to hide behind the ranks of Suneaters that they might search for favour and blessing from the great god, it is this cowardice and cunning that makes them particularly adept at their jobs, often finding the resolve to channel the gods will when it benefits them most. Aside from their divine talents the Gothi Fyri act as mouth pieces for the great chosen ones of the Suneater, barking out their orders in a shrill and piercing cry to the rest of the tribe, though such cries often boil down to the annoying and hardly helpful “He's right you know”

 

Gothi Heralds -
 

Some Gothi priests can be seen riding to battle atop a weedy scavenger dragon known to feast on the corpses left in the wake of the suneater tribes known as the Scorch. The Carrion Drake is a lesser dragon in the realms, lacking in the brute strength of its greater kin and unable to produce volatile breath to drench its foes it instead finds its feasts in the wake of greater creatures, using its acidic maw to burn through cloth, armour and stone to feast on what meats the other predators could not reach. Its cry mimicks that of the deathwails of its victims, known for capriciously toying with its food before it feasts, often if it can seperate a weakened mortal from their people it will strike and retreat, leaving rents gouged in their flesh and relishing the scent of their blood spilling into the dirt as they try and make good an escape.

Time and time again it will claw at its victims until eventually sweeping from on high to feast. It is said the first Gothi to ride a carrion drake subdued it quite by accident, when scavenging weapons and armour from the corpses left in the Scorch the grot opted for an impromptu break to consume mushrooms to sait a growing appetite (and due to immense laziness), cracking open the breastplate of a fallen human soldier he packed it full of mushrooms before starting a blaze beneath the corpse, relishing the scent of fresh meat blending with the narcotic smokes of the mushrooms. Alerted from his mushroom induced stuppour by the cry of a carrion drake above the little grot scuttled across the ground, secreting his small form in a crevice between two rocks and uttering a shocking array of curses as he was left to watch the serpentine dragon feast on his meal. However as the acidic maw sunk into the crumpled breastplate the vicious liquids merged with the mushrooms, the two combining into a heady haze of madcap madness which was quickly followed by the resounding thud of the now unconcious drake landing on the ground beside it.

The Gothi saw he opportunity, this new beast would raise him high above the other grots, its guaranteed status, respect (for a grot atleast) and most of all meant he'd be a good distance further away from getting stabbed, shot, sat on, fallen on or generally crushed on the field of battle

Gothi Heralds fly ahead of the great hosts of Suneaters, where their lesser kin are the spark that will burn down all in their path it is the Heralds task to break the will of the people ahead of the host, they are masters of the long hunt, scratching and screaching at their foes until huge trains of refugees march for the safety and refuge of the mighty fortresses of Order. The Heralds ensure that every human, duardin or Aelf in their path cluster together to hide within their stone walls so that when the main host arrives all of the meat is in one place, in this way they ensure that when the Suneater consumes the souls of the fallen he is now fed meagre scraps but a banquet fit for a God of his magnitude.
 
Prayers - 

1)       Wrath of the Blackened Wyrm – A priest channels his will into the thick black smoke billowing from the pyres, coiling it like a serpent to obscure the Suneaters from their foes. Pick one TERRAIN feature within 15 inches of this priest and roll a D6, on a roll of 4 or more enemy models may no longer draw line of sight through or over that terrain feature.

 

2)       Judgement of the Suneater – The best blades are formed in the hottest of flames, pick a friendly unit within 12 inches and roll a D6, on a 4 or more that unit immediately heals D3 wounds. On a roll of 1 however they are found unworthy and instead the target unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.

 

3)       Volcanic Blows – Pick a friendly unit within 3 inches and roll a D6, on a 5 or more that units weapons are charged with the force of a volcanic eruption. Until your next hero phase whenever your target unit rolls of a 6 or more to hit resolve their attacks at a rend of -2.

 

4)       Under the heel of Gork – Select an enemy unit within 18 inches and roll a D6, on a roll of 5 or more that unit counts its SAVE as its movement value until your next hero phase (A unit with a save of 3+ now has a move of 3) as they feel the weight of Gorks mighty foot pushing down upon them.

 

5)       Burning Blood – Select a friendly unit within 3 inches and roll a D6, on a roll of 4 or more  that unit is enchanted. Until your next hero phase, if at the end of any combat phase that unit has lost wounds in close combat their attacker suffers D3 mortal wounds as their foes blood burns at their skin.

 

6)       Burn it all – Select a friendly INFERNO MARKER and roll a D6, on a roll of 5 or more your prayer has been successful. Roll a dice for every ENEMY model within 6 inches of that marker, on a roll of 6 or more that model suffers a mortal wound as the pyres flame suddenly erupts outwards.

 
Tactics - 
Gothi Fyri are a staple of the Suneater tribes force, their unique prayer is one of the most reliable ways of ensuring the factions Pyres are lit turn after turn to progress through the rewards table for offerings to their gods. Their small size coupled with the "Cunning not Brave" rule make them hard for your enemies to take off the board aslong as you keep them away from close combat. This means you can tailor their second prayer to benefit your force, either healing your mighty warbeasts from a distance to keep them in the fight or giving volcanic blows to large mobs of Ashen Grots to rend through even the toughest of armour. If you opt to take the Draken mount you lose a degree of resilience gifted by their small stature but now gain the speed to keep up with the advance of cavalry and beasts from your list, ensuring that by the time your monsters reach the enemy lines they are still within their first wound bracket and more importantly lighting pyres to boost your army much further down the field.
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Gothi Heralds serve a different function, they are faster than almost anything else within the Suneater tribes giving you a massively mobile model to deliver your boosts as and when you need it. Their bravery debuff aura coupled with their unique Spark of Despair spell lets you weaken the resolve of even the toughest of foes, whilst their ability to pick off specific models in units you fly over and help pickout unit leaders or banners that would otherwise have lived through your onslaught. If you are running a large number of Grots within your list then the Herald makes an ideal pick for General, his unique command ability lures grots out of hiding to pick off weakened foes on the battlefield allowing you too keep your units in the fight longer, and if gifted with the Volcanic Shield relic will always strike before his enemies in close combat allowing you a far better chance to get off your Strike and Circle ability without taking any attacks back from your victims.
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Great work.  Love the fluff and the models. Really enjoying looking at this army.

Edited by TheWilddog
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I really like the 'cunning not brave' ability. The idea of putting a buff on the unmounted version of a unit to make it worth the points is  great one. 

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