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Endless Spells of the Harrowmark


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Back in May we read this snippet in the Endless Spells Rules Preview on the Warhammer Community blog, and it caught our imagination immediately:

Endless spells are one of the unforeseen consequences of Nagash’s machinations in Shyish. Where previously spells would dissipate naturally, many now take on a life of their own, roaming the realms and accumulating power almost indefinitely. Some wizards in the Mortal Realms have even taken up work as bounty hunters, tracking them down and dispelling them, while certain examples are as notorious as any dragon or beast that lives in the woods, like the legendary Phantom Blade that cleaves through Ulgu.

So later this year we are headed to the wild hinterlands of Realm's Edge. 

With each of our warbands led by a bounty-hunting wizard, accompanied by their retinues plus a few local guides, we are going to hunt down and bind Endless Spells for coin and renown. It will be a Malign Sorcery AoS Skirmish campaign called Spellbreakers at Realm's Edge. But more on that later... (we have our Tor Megiddo campaign to play first!). In the meantime I have to build and paint my Endless Spells!

~ ⦽ ~

Inspired the Umbral Spell Portals made by theempyrean_ I realised I needed to make my Endless Spells specifically for The Harrowmark. Death-forest themed magicks of black voids and ghostly blue-white fires, with lots of roots and branches and mud - so basically the same colour palette as my scenery.

So, here is the beginning of my first predatory spells.

The Burning Head





Malevolent Maelstrom





I've started painting them already and I will post an update as soon as one is done!

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The Burning Head

The first of my Harrowmark Endless Spells is completed. I really enjoyed painting it but I've realised I need to take a bit more care in hiding the joins when I make the next ones. I used baking soda and superglue to cover the join with texture, after I had "finished" painting it - which meant I hadn't finished painting after all. I'm happy with the results though and I'm looking forward to the next one!

I've been thinking about coming up with a few names for Burning Heads that might plague the malignant forests, names that the locals might give them after a few weeks of being tormented by one. I might make a list and roll to see which name we use at the start of each game...






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Malevolent Maelstrom
A swirling vortex of Shyishan magic, a tempest that sucks in sorcerous energies and the souls of the dead before exploding in a cataclysmic nova.

I wanted to make it look as though the black void of the Maelstrom was crashing through the forests, and taking earth and branches with it, along with the souls of the dead, ripping them out of the ground as it passed over and through them.





The two Harrowmark Endless Spells so far completed together:


~ ⦽ ~

And I have made a start on the next one. I'm really pleased with how the spirits appear to be "riding" it!

Aethervoid Pendulum





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  • 2 weeks later...

The Aethervoid Pendulum

Sweeping suddenly into existence like a grim reaper’s blade, the Aethervoid Pendulum cuts through armour, flesh, and even the fabric of the realms themselves with equal ease. With a dread invocation, the fabric of reality is torn by the swinging blade of one of the legendary Aethervoid Pendulums, it slices into the realm as if from nowhere, eviscerating everything in its path. A single pass of the pendulum’s blade is enough to decimate enemy ranks, sending out gory showers of severed limbs and decapitated heads as it swings.

~ ⦽ ~

I'm really pleased with how the blade seems to be solidifying from the aether at the cutting edge or dissolving into it at the tail.






All three so far:


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Not an Endless Spell, but for the same Skirmish campaign. I've started work on a Tree of Woe to add to my scenery collection for The Harrowmark. Making a "Death Tree" was something I have thought about doing since the Feculent Gnalmaw kit was announced but, strangely, is was the news of the forthcoming Battletome Beast of Chaos (and a suggestion by Viktor) that got me to actually start work on it.





~ ? ~

There is a long history of "Death Trees" in Warhammer. Beasts of Chaos and the various undead factions often have them portrayed in their artwork:



The John Blanche painting above was used as the box-art for the plastic Skeleton Horde box in the late 1980s. But he is still drawing similar trees! The illustration below is from his recent "Voodoo Forest" project:


I've tried to place the branches of my tree in a way to echo the windswept curves John has used. There is still a lot to do but I am happy with the results so far!

Edited by WarbossKurgan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Most of the Harrowmark is covered by virtually-impenetrable forest: Seemingly endless leagues of dark, tangled, gnarled and unnatural woods. It is a corrupted land: the dead trees are warped by death-magic, skull-formed rock formations tower over the forest canopy like islands in an arboresque sea. The symbols and motifs of death are everywhere.

Deep in the abyssal woodland there are even darker places. Some ancient trees seem to form a locus of evil energy that seeps up, out of the hundreds of graves below, into the heartwood of the tree. Twisted and corrupted by Death magic these Trees of Woe attract all manner of dark creatures, who venerate and worship them as altars to their dark gods.

~ ? ~

As soon as I saw the Feculent Gnarlmaw kit announced I wanted to make a Death Tree from it. It took me a few months to get round to it - is was the news of the Battletome Beast of Chaos (and a suggestion by Viktor) that got me to actually start work on it.

I de-Nurgled the Feculent Gnarlmaw by leaving all the more iconic parts off and greenstuffing over the rest. I added half a Citadel Woods tree and some Sylvaneth left-overs over the "mouth" and filled the gaps with greenstuff.

The paint job was simple enough: Chaos Black spray undercoat, Mechanicus Standard Grey zenithal basecoat. Then I brushed Mournfang Brown on to the bark, and Ushabti Bone onto the the skulls.  I dry-brushed all of it with Ushabti Bone and then painted Leadbelcher onto the metal bands and hoops. I washed the whole thing with Agrax Earthshade and/or Athonian Camoshade, then when that was completely dry, dry-brushed the bark and skulls. The earth was painted Iron Legion Drab and dry-brushed with Ushabti Bone.

The last couple of steps were super-gluing "dead grass" flock and fallen leaves on and giving it a few blasts of Minitorum Varnish.






This John Blanche painting was my main influence: it was used as the box-art for the plastic Skeleton Horde box in the late 1980s.


~ ? ~

A few of the Cleavermaws followed Kaptain Mogrum, the Weirdnob Shaman through misty woodland. A vast number of noisy black crows filled the tree tops and cawed angrily at the orruk pirates as they passed beneath.

Deadwood and Double Barrel looked around nervously as they struggled to keep up with the two shamans. The unfortunately-named Orruk Great Shaman Lost Uzzog, who was the ship's navigator, checked and rechecked his large brass compass, occasionally correcting the direction they were headed, sometimes by a worrying degree. Deadwood and Double Barrel looked at each other and silently despaired every time he picked out a new path to take.


After what seemed like hours of walking, and stumbling over tangled roots, Mogrum signalled the small group to stop. 

Ahead of them there was a tree that was even more contorted and corrupted than the rest of the dead forest. A squat, bloated trunk and sinuous limbs and the every space between  its crooked branches and every knothole had a skull jammed into it. The air around it felt heavy and fetid, the soil was thickly sown with bones.


Suddenly it got very dark and very quiet...

"Um... Boss?" said Deadwood in a shaky voice.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Comprising a pair of shadowy mirrors, the Umbral Spellportal links two points in the forest, allowing wizards to cast their magics at incredible distances. Eldritch sigils can be inscribed into the mist to summon a pair of arcane mirrors, the surfaces of which undulate with shadowy aetheric energy. When looking upon an Umbral Spellportal, those versed in magic see a shadowy reflection of what lies on the other side of its twinned construct; while physical matter cannot travel through the portal, aetheric energy knows no such restriction.

But since any magic can pass through the portal there are more uses for Spellportals than just warfare. Some have existed for years and have become infused with the magic of the Harrowmark forests. Local hedge-wizards use them to communicate and some have made a good living from charging villagers to send messages to their neighbours beyond the woods, especially at times when a skyship carrying letters is late.

~ ? ~

I have nearly finished making my death-forest-magic-mirrors, inspired by theempyrean_'s versions on Instagram.



~ ? ~

I have finally got round to painting a tree-stump, to fill in for a missing tree for one of my Citadel Woods. We have been covering the gap with foresty objective markers, but it has been irking Wailslake. Hopefully this will make him feel better!


~ ? ~

And last night I got carried away with the renewed Harrowmark excitement and started making another foresty thing from my large to-do pile...

The wreck of the sky-ship Gryph-Hound.

I'm going to add a tree to the gap at the front and a lot of arboreal textures and colours to the timbers of the rotting hulk.


Edited by WarbossKurgan
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My take on the Spell Portal for the Harrowmark was very much inspired by theempyrean_'s versions on Instagram but I have tried to make it my own by using the colours and textures of the rest of my Harrowmark scenery collection.





~ ? ~

The crystalline spars of the Prismatic Palisade are formed of misery and despair, hardened into a barrier that bathes those on the battlefield in the gloomy light of Shyish.

The desultory beams projected from this barrier confound the aim of all within sight of it. Knowing the impossibility of looking directly upon the Prismatic Palisade, a canny commander will position their forces in such a way as to shield them from the eyes of the enemy.

~ ? ~

This is a fairly quick and simple modification of the Palisade but I'm happy with the effect.



~ ? ~

The finished Endless Spells of the Harrowmark... so far!



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  • 1 month later...

The Dead Man's Chest

Since his accident Kaptain Mogrum was changed. Where before he had been a brutal, but cunning, Warboss who led his crew from the front, he was always first over the gunwales into an enemy ship, and a vicious, merciless fighter. But he was now a cunning, but brutal, Weirdnob Shaman!

Since his awakening the pirate orruks who followed him fully embraced his change (not least because he killed a lot less of them in fits of anger. Even if he did kill a lot more of them in accidental explosions of Waaagh! energy... on balance it seemed better to them) and from then on they all consider themselves experts in the fields of thaumatology, evocation and sorcery. The nodded sagely to one another as they described the magic around them in great technical detail (often using the wrong terms but they really didn't care). They pronounced judgements on the quality of the wizardry they witnessed and debated the relative merits of various spells.

When they journeyed to the very edge of the realms in search of the wild magic of Endless Spells, their Kaptain issued each of them an ensorcelled black-powder pistol as a focus for binding the Endless Spells. Each orruk then took it upon themselves to add charms and trinkets to their pistol, in order to enhance its power. A selection of teeth, bones, coins, pebbles with holes, crow feathers, gold and silver rings, and polished fragments of glass - all tied on with string or jewellery chains - adorned their foci.

~ 🕱 ~

The Cleavermaws walked cautiously through the dark, tangled forest. At the back of the group two of the pirate orruks guided a floating chest. The iron-bound wooden strongbox looked heavy; with bands of metal riveted together over dark wood, but it was borne aloft on a cloud of swirling soul-energy that glowed with a ghostly blue-green light from within, so the orruks barely had to use any effort to move it. Sometimes it even felt like it was moving them (though they tried not to think about that too much).





~ 🕱 ~

This is my Objective Marker for the Spellhunters Skirmish Battleplan from Malign Sorcery. The Battleplan describes how each warband uses "Binding Rods" to draw the contested Endless Spell to their own objective, to win the game. I have encouraged the others in our group to make their own objective marker on a 40mm or 50mm base, themed to the warband they are using in the campaign.










Edited by WarbossKurgan
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