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KnaveOfScribes last won the day on March 10

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  1. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    “There is, on occasion, an entirely correct belief that some things are best forgotten.” Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal. “She claims Ghyran as if only She can create life. Foolish. There are many kinds of life and many ways of creating it. A puppet has a kind of life…” Mother Aldwynter ~ Seranam cursed as the ghuls pushed deeper into the hallowed Darkwood, their croaking cries and stale animal stink filling the cold air. He had pulsed a sending through the rootways as soon as the fleshborn had drawn close to the border, but the Darkwood was vast and his fellow sentinels few in number. The ghuls were strong in number, as their verminous kind always were, and he was alone and thus could only follow and watch as they tainted the sacred forest with their beast-hot presence. To attack alone would be foolish, to simply watch was galling. Deeper and deeper the pack went, scratching at themselves and the bark of the great trees surrounding them, coughing at each other in that crude animal way they spoke. They lit pitch-soaked rags that they had wrapped around fallen branches, the rough torches guttering a rot-yellow light that did little to breach the darkness of the forest. Shadows danced around them and the darkness behind the great boles of the Darkwood moved and shifted in turn. When it came, it was the torch-bearing ghuls that died first. Seranam heard a jagged keening split the cold air as ghuls suddenly sprouted long gnarled shafts from their sinewy chests and bestial heads. They fell, pierced through, scattering burning rags and torches as they did so, some into the snow and others into their own flesh or kin. Greasy clothing and flesh caught light, the ghuls baying in their panicked animal way at the dead and dying, and the spiteful darkness that hurt them. More keening shafts flashed in, finding homes in warm bodies. Some tore entirely through ghuls, erupting in gouts of blood that looked almost black in the moonlight. The pack milled around in screaming confusion, enraged at its own slaughter as more lived were claimed by gnarled and twisting shafts. And then it was over, as quickly as it had begun. The fleshborn lay in the snow, some burning fitfully, others clawing weakly at the shafts that pinned them, others entirely still. Mewling cries and hisses filled the uncaring night air. Seranam stepped forward slowly, bent to pull a shaft from the cooling body of one of the fleshborn. It came free with a sucking sound, the long slender spar of twisted and gnarled wood glittering with venom. It had an unpleasantly organic look, as through grown rather than fashioned as a normal arrow would be. The tree-spirit cursed again, dropping the foul thing and straightened to gaze into the shadows between the trees, searching for any sign of the packs killers. He saw them then, winding between the darkness and the smoke of the burning fleshborn, lit by the gathering wyrdlights of the Darkwood. They crept forward sinuously on the tails of great serpents, skeletally slender lisovyk bodies towering above him. Twisted branches and long thorns crested their carved bodies, all glittering with the same venom as the shafts. Huge bows of twisted wood grew from their arms and as Seranam watched, one snapped a gnarled straight branch from her body and nocked it slowly. “What in the Everqueen’s name are you?” he breathed, his own obsidian blade heavy in his hand. A growing sibilant hiss and the keening screech of the shaft being loosed was his only reply. ~ “And this is how she makes them.” “With ropes of braided corpse-hair and poppets of dead wood.” “With harvested souls from her garden and the shed scales of the wyrm.” “Pierced with iron nails from the timbers of her cottage and marked with the blood of her eye.” ~
  2. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    “Cruelty is learnt, malice you are born with.” Attributed to Kwan-Xi, warrior philosopher of the Jade City of Shyish. ~ “We have become a Court of malice, of madness.” “A Court of the cruelty and harshness of winter.” “The bleak and the broken, the indifference of the wild.” “You’ll find no comfort in our cold boughs.” ~
  3. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    Hello again everyone - how's tricks? A few quick updates today, plus a little painting guide which some people on Instagram asked for - thought I might as well pop it up here as content for the Content God and in case any of you fine folks find it useful. @TheR00zle - Well, she will be a Sylvaneth, technically. I need a second Branchwych for a variety of reasons and there's a model I have in mind for her. @aquenaton - Thanks man, really kind of you to say that @SatanicBrew - Cheers bud, much appreciated. The Crone-touched will be coming soon actually, promise. Progress then. Much has been made. Well, I say much, but its mainly been planning progress. The next 5 Spites are pretty much done - just the mask on the champion and the owl marker to finish, and the snow to add to the bases. I've said it before, but I really love how the Spites look and how simply they are to paint while still looking great. 10 more at least of those to do. Once they are done in the next few days, I'll be greenstuffing the Crone-touched and getting them painted up. After that, I'll probably be adding the second Branchwych and I really should do another Wyldwood base or two, even if the thought alone of that kinda bores me a bit. Ah well. I was also thinking last night, which is always dangerous. The current target for the Darkwood Court is a 2500pt list. But it would be super easy to add another 500pts and get to a nice round 3k. Specifically, adding a Spirit Of Durthu and potentially the Sylvaneth Shadespire/Nightvault warband would easily eat up that 500pts. Now, in terms of the Durthu, it would of course be real easy to just do a standard build with a few tweaks - I've seen a fair few online using the Pendulum spell marker as a weapon and leaves from the Citadel Woods as a shield, and they do look pretty ace. But I kinda like the Court being so small and close to death that it can only let the Warmasked walk as its only Treelord now. And I also like the idea of having another fairytale Slavic-style thing in the mix. Maybe something big and godbeast-like. Maybe something corvid. Yeah, I'm currently considering chopping a Lord of Change into a big old ragged god-crow. Maybe. Yes, I have hobby-problems. Anyways, still mulling that one over. In the mean time, here's a painting guide for how I do the spirit-forms on my Sylvaneth, as a fair few people online have asked for it: Step 1: base coat of pure Pale Blue. Step 2: glaze with 70/30 mix of Black Glaze and Electric Blue, thinned down with Medium of your choice. Step 3: highlight with thinned 50/50 mix of Pale Blue and White. Do this in two thin coats - don't worry if the first looks quite translucent, you want that so that the shading shows through and adds to the ghost-like look. Use the 2nd coat to firm up the highlights and details. Step 4: final highlight with thinned pure White. Again, two thin coats to keep the translucency where you want it and to firm up the opaqueness where you want it. Keep it loose and natural, this is a spectral form after all, not a solid armour plate. Step 5: final glaze with very very thin Black Glaze. Very thin. Use this to shade the recesses a bit and to knock back some of the glare of the pure white highlights. And that's it really. For the Vasili Sisters I actually went back and did a repeat of the final white stage, just to up their spectral feel. That's all for today guys, thanks as always for your comments and interest - always great to see your comments on stuff. Knave
  4. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    “The capacity for cruelty lies within us all. Some are just more comfortable with their malice than others, and embrace the relief of not having to pretend anymore.” Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal. “I don’t care what anyone says, those things are as bad as the Ruin-beasts that they took such glee in tearing apart. Collem Worl, veteran of the Cold Iron Brigade, Free Peoples Militia of Harrowdown. ~ Mother Aldwynter leaned on her crooked staff and watched as the Spites slipped from the breach like half-seen shadows and came back into the cold embrace of the Darkwood. The cold air filled with whispers and hissing laughter that danced around the old woman with a quiet malice. The great twisted boles and branches of the blackened trees that formed the frame of the breach, like some immense dark wooden doorframe, seemed to shiver and move against one another in ways that they should not as the thorned and skeletal Spites emerged from it. One of them, a slender female bearing curling horns upon her brow, stepped forward through the gently falling snow and inclined her head in greeting. “Hello grandmother. It’s nice of you to welcome us back. This cold must be awful for your bones.” There was a playful spitefulness in her voice, a touch of mockery in her glittering eyes. Mother Aldwynter ignored it, as she always did when these maddened tree-folk spoke to her. They couldn’t help their nature, after all. “I welcomed this cold into my iron bones long before you were even a seedling in warmer lands, Nilith.” Mother Aldwynter tightened her grip on her crooked staff, the hanging skulls swaying and clacking against each other above her head. “Now tell me, did you find it?” “Oh come now grandmother, you know we always worry about our elders,” crooned Nilith, reaching out with one slim talon towards the ratty grey hair hanging over Mother Aldwynter’s face. “Tell me, beloved Crone, does your eye still ache? Do you still feel the gentle touch of our Queen?” “Touch me,” snarled the old woman with iron in her teeth and voice, “and I will set you to burn like I did the last of your foolish kin to touch me.” Nilith smiled widely and turned to look at another Spite emerging from the twisting breach. Thick ironbark covered most of his form, lending him a bulk that seemed out of place amongst his slender kin. More out of place still was the graven obsidian mask that covered his head, a howling visage crowned with crudely carved horns. “Ah yes, the Kurst.” The she-Spite sighed dramatically. “Such a shame, he had such a pretty face as well. Still, it was amusing watching him make that primitive little duardin craft that mask for him. I gather his face still pains him as much as your eye pains you.” “Enough, little tree-******. Remember who I am and what I have done for you for you and your kin, and your King. Now, did you find it?” “Well the Anathema’s kingdom is very big, and of course we couldn’t stay there for very long….” Nilith gestured towards the breach, where the Kurst had reached back with cruel hands and was now dragging something through. It wailed as it came through, screamed as nothing in the Darkwood had screamed before, and was wrapped in sheets of blinding ethereal light. It was hard to see exactly what lay beneath the harsh glare of the deadlights it wore and behind the sawing screams that cut through the frozen air, but something twisted in chains of briars and thorns. Something slender and feminine. “But yes Baba,” sighed Nilith, mockingly nonplussed. “We found her.” ~ “We have been called the Gentle Folk, though there is nothing gentle about us.” “You say we sing beautifully, but you would not wish to hear our song.” “You say we are the grace and wonder of life, but we are the pain and cruelty of nature.” “We are the spite and malice of the failed harvest, the stillborn infant, the long winter.” “Hear our whispers and know our madness.” ~
  5. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    “In preparation for our cartographic explorations, it is common to spend a not-inconsiderable amount of time engaged in detailed research of the lands to which we are to voyage. This research encompasses not only historical and current documents, but also the legends and folktales of the indigenous peoples, in order to better understand them and their lives. Our expedition to the Grey Marches was no different and in the course of our research the following tale was unearthed. All the more unsettling for its matter-of-fact delivery, we were unprepared for exactly how literal this folktale would prove to be…." Excerpt from Travels Through The Realms, Unfinished. Dieter van Ganza of Anvilguard. ~ Many long years ago, two young sisters were searching the great Darkwood for food and instead found the crooked cottage of Mother Aldwynter. The old woman who lived within welcomed the two girls and offered them a gift each. The vainest sister demanded a pretty bauble that hung from the dark rafters, while the humblest sister asked for only a few bones from Mother Aldwynter’s cook-pot, so that she could make some soup for her family. The crooked old woman gave the girls their gifts and sent them on their way with an iron-toothed smile. Later that night the bones from Mother Aldwynter’s cook-pot burst into flame where they lay in the family’s pot while the vain sister played with her pretty bauble and the rest of her family slept. The flames burnt hot and fierce, and burned the sisters, humble and vain both, and their parents and brothers and their hut all to the ground. The moral of the story is this: never trust a gift freely given. “….did not realise the danger immediately. Symeon seemed entranced by the trinket dangled by one of the haints and would not be moved, even as he froze in the chill around the whispering haint. As for the other, the one that screamed and thrashed those rawbones around, some devil-cursed flame erupted from whatever they touched and would not be extinguished. We ran from those cursed sisters, ran like children ourselves.” Personal journal of Dieter van Ganza. ~
  6. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    Afternoon folks - very quick update from me, just giving you an idea of what's coming up for the Court over the next few weeks. So in terms of what's next for the Court, it's really a case of a few quick simple units. I've been a bit guilty so far of overlooking the battleline stuff I need to do in favour of fancier units or allies, which is a shame because not only do I really like the Spite-revenant models, they are ridiculously quick to paint. The target 2500pt list had 10 Tree and 25 Spite to do, of which I currently have the 10 Tree and 5 of the Spites done. Another 5 Spites is on the workbench right now, and I've decided to drop 5 of the planned Spites in favour of another Branchwych. This is in part due to the effectiveness in-game of 5 Spites vs a Wych (even if gaming is a very secondary thing now) but mainly due to aesthetic reasons - while the Revenant models are lovely, they are a little limited in terms of options and poses and I think 30 is enough to show variation without repetition. Also I wont go mad painting all that wood. The other reason for doing another Branchwych is that I will probably end up using the Nightvault Briar Queen model as the basis because dear Lord she is lovely. And also pretty fitting as the Maiden... Then of course there's the new Shadespire Sylvaneth warband that'll be out at some point. Exciting. Here's the obligatory terrible workbench picture: Apologies for the quality. But you should be able to see the next 5 Spites, the first 3 Crone-touched Hunters, and two blue ghosty girls who will be the Vasili Sisters. That'll make sense, I promise. The Spites and the Sisters will be fully built and undercoated by the end of today so should be coming up soon. Thanks for all your interest and comments so far folks, always makes my day to hear from you. Knave
  7. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court ~ The Kingsguard

  8. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court ~ The Kingsguard

  9. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court ~ The Kingsguard

  10. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court ~ The Kingsguard

  11. KnaveOfScribes

    The Darkwood Court

    “Silence is always broken.” Attributed to unknown Aelvish philosopher. ~ “How long had they watched our King, their ward, and despaired?” “How long before despair turned to doubt, and doubt to detestation?” “We could never see beyond those carven smiles, those silent masks.” “How wrong we were about them.” “How glad we were to be wrong.” ~