Sunday, 15 September 2019

Shadows of Commorragh, Part 1

Prologue

Daisan Verkosian sat behind a stone desk, a gyrinx cub resting on his lap. The Drachon looked at the felid, scratching its head. He then lifted his eyes to meet Yrule Vivithrax's gaze and raised, briskly dropping the gyrinx onto the table. He walked away from the table and the dim light surrounding it. Then, from the darkness at the back of the room, he spoke.
"Yrule, Yrule. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? I had a lot of respect for your business, Yrule. When you've sold us weapons in the past we've always been satisfied. But, now you come to me and ask 'Lord Verkosian, give me your servants' souls'. But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship."


"I want to make a deal" was Yrule's icy reply, his eyes locked onto those of the gyrinx.


"Always straight to business, eh Yrule?" chuckled Verkosian.
"Well... I have something you want. To make a deal, you must have something I want, yes? And it so happens there is something I want... something our mutual friend Lady Anielyn might one day use against me." The Drachon's sarchasm turned into utter spite at the mention of his once lover.
"My informants tell me she has secured a deal with the Hex. The Haemonculi are developing a new elixir for her. Hurrikhaine, they call it in the streets".


Daisan Verkosian paused to walk around the table and then past the Thanarch. Yrule kept his eyes on the gyrinx still sprawled on the table. Then Daisan turned and leaned close to whisper into the Thanarch's hear.
"Find where they are making it, raid the Haemonculi's dungeon and bring me a Hurrikhaine sample. Do this discretely, so that no one can link you to me. Do this, and I'll let you preach the word of your Sleeping God among my subjects".


"So be it. You'll have your elixir, Lord Verkosian". Yrule's voice was even colder than that of the Dracon.
"But mark my words, Daisan. Show once again disdain for Ynnead and I will take what I want from you, whether you like it or not".


"That we shall see", replied Lord Verkosian laughing. "That we shall see".
Yrule Vivitrax lightly stepped away and left the room, Verkosian's laugh ringing loud in his hears.
What the Drachon did not notice was the gyrinx jumping down from the table to follow the Tanarch, its paws touching the floor precisely when every of Yrule's steps echoed through the corridor.


Saturday, 14 September 2019

Free Companies of the Gilded Hand - 10

The Road to Armies on Parade, Part 1

After finishing the Void Phoenixes inspiration has dried out a bit. This was not really helping as I wanted to try Warcry but simply can't bring myself to play with unpainted models. Hence, I went back to my Orcs & Goblins army from the 8th edition Fantasy days. 3500 points and counting of old currency, all locked away and still on their square bases.
The first models to jump at me when I opened the army case were not the Black Orcs I was looking for. Rather, it was Ruglud's Armoured Orcs. As I hefted the metal (!) models I was reminded of my Free Companies of the Gilded Hand and the project to pay tribute to the Regiments of Renown from ages past. And then, inspiration struck me. What if I was to enter the new Themed Army category for Armies on Parade by recreating with my models the cover of the Dogs of War Army Book?


Ruglud's Orcs could take the place of the goblins. All that was needed was a bit of rebasing!


Since I've used red and yellow as the unifying colours for all the human regiments, I touched up the paint work on the orcs so that they looked coherent when put next to them. The same went for Skargat's Ironforged Ogors, the very first warband I assembled for Age of Sigmar and used during the Season of War.


As I was rebasing and painting them, I also cobbled together an Ardboyz warband, lead by none other than Badruk 'eadsplitta, glorious limited edition model from Games Day 2005.


He only needed a new base, while his boyz needed some touches of colour as they had been batch painted in a rather monochromatic scheme. After all, who cares for individuality when you can't see the details of ranked up models?


What I did was adding the splatters of blood on their weapons and picking up some of the armour plates in bronze to break up the dull metal I had painted so long ago.


As 10 Ardboyz makes for a decently varied Warcry roster and as there are exactly 10 names in the Core Book random name generator, the rest of the unit only got new bases and some licks of bronze. I'm not going to use them for Warcry, but who knows, I might play the odd big army Age of Sigmar game and one more unit is always handy!
The next models that will need a new coat of paint will be Gudrun's Grudgebreakers, my duardin privateers, and the halflings of the Kitchen Crew, which you can also see in the posts from the Season of War period. Then, it'll be just a matter of composing my board for Armies on Parade...

Monday, 26 August 2019

The Void Phoenixes, Part 3

It was at the Well of the Dead that the Void Phoenixes came together. There, Yrule Vivithrax, former Drachon of the Obsidian Rose, saw the Warshard of Khaine being Reborn in Ynnead and bound to Autharch Meliniel of Biel-Tan. There and then, seeing a god of old die and be Reborn at the hand of the Opener of the Seventh Way, he found his true calling. He turned to the survivors among those that had fought under him before Eldanesh's tomb and spoke.
"Brother and sisters, like a Phoenix we were Reborn. Now we can soar through the Void to bring fire and hope. Hope, to those that join us in the Whispering God. Fire, to those that stand in the way of Ynnead's rebirth. Ours will not be a war fought in the open, but a shadow war, for it is to the darkest corners of the Aeldari empire of old that I intend to bring Ynnead's word. Who will follow me?"
Not a single word came from the twelve warriors gathered around Yrule. And yet, the Whisper echoed with their voices and those of the spirits anchored to them.
"I will!"



Yrule Vivithrax, the Thanarch (Autharch, Specialism: Strategist, Demeanour: Boundless Ambition)


Like many Kabalites present when Yvraine was Reborn on the sand of the Crucibael, Yrule Vivithrax had joined the Ynnari out of opportunity. There was power among them, power that could be used to climb higher in the ranks of Commorrite society. And yet, as he fought through the bitter wars that took the Ynnari to the Mon-keigh's capital word, true faith blossomed in him. For if a Drachon could commune with the spirits of deceased Aspect Warriors, gain their skills and in so doing prevent his soul from being slowly devoured by She-Who-Thirsts, truly there lied the path to the restoration of the Aeldari. And so he donned the mask of the Striking Scorpion and the wings of the Swooping Hawk and fully embraced the Cult of Ynnead. Since then, he claimed the title of Thanarch and fought ever harder to prove his worth in the eyes of Ynnead and his Prophet.


Lann of the Unyielding Fire (Dire Avenger Exarch, Specialism: Leader, Demeanour: Absolute Focus)


Lann firmly follows Asurmen's tactical teachings, but he has learned much from the Thanarch. He now masters the art of the hidden blade and can use fear as a weapon. And yet, he still remains supremely focused in battle. To Lann there is only the mission and it is to him and his Temple of the Unyielding Fire that Yrule turns for the most delicate missions, knowing that Lann will sacrifice all for their success.


Torc Cegodari (Dire Avenger, Specialism: Veteran, Demeanour: Acrobatic)


Torc bears herself with innate grace, her every fluid movement enacting Asurmen's teachings to perfection. She earned herself the moniker Cegodari 'She Who Laughs at Despair' on countless battlefields, long before being Reborn. Hence on matters of war she remains staunchly traditionalist.


Barahir and Dis'ar (Dire Avengers)


The last surviving members of the Unyielding Fire, Barahir and Dis'ar have enthusiatsically embraced their new faith and the underhanded tactics Lann has introduced to the Temple.


Excrucia Kharavyxis (Howling Banshee Exarch, Specialism: Leader, Demeanour: Dark Flamboyance)


In both her attire and battle style, Excrucia demonstrated tremendous flair, making her a favourite of the Commorrite arenas. She delighted in paralising her opponents with poisoned blades and then slowly dismembering them. Since her Rebirth, she has gathered in herself only the most embittered Aeldari spirits and now it is their wailing that paralyse her enemies. All of this makes her Yrule's favourite terror weapon, the perfect leader when total annihilition is the objective.


Uless (Howling Banshee)


Once Excrucia's sparring partner, Uless as well has learnt to direct the rage and spite of the Aeldari departed against their enemies. The two often fight together, constantly competing for the highest death tally.


Jair and Bhanlhar (Guardian Defender, Specialism: Comms, Demeanour: Cold as the Void - Weapon Platform)


As the Dathedian split the galaxy, Jair's entire family fell to the daemons that breached Ulthwé. In the aftermath of the battle, daubing her weapon platform Bhanlhar 'Avenger of the Lost Clan', she embraced the Seventh Way and swore to eradicate Chaos. All the Void Phoenixes trust her counsel on the battlefield, for she suppresses all emotions and only follows the dictates of purest logic.


Hal'thar and Eärandil (Guadian Defenders)


Renowned artisans on Biel-Tan, Hal'thar and Eärandil have fashioned the armours worn by the Void Phoenixes and maintain all their equipment.


Thresyn Neverbreath (Storm Guardian Gunner, Specialism: Scout, Demeanour: Mistrustful)


Before embracing Ynnead, Thresyn had survived the intrigues of the Dark City by trusting no one but himself. He had never joined a Kabal and earned himself a leaving as a trafficker of information in Low Commorragh. Though he has now found true bothers and sisters, even in battle he still prefers to keep to himself and regularly prawls ahead of the rest of the Void Phoenixes.


Fachean (Storm Guardian)


Fachean always had a taste for finery and, as a Corsair captain, he ruthlessly pursued the fulfilment of his desires. His ship now serves the cause of Ynnead, but he has not lost his taste for the finest things in life.


Inghfar the Wanderer (Ranger, Specialism: Sniper, Demeanour: Mentally Dexterous)


Inghfar has never spoken of his life before he took the Path of the Outcast. What is clear, is that over long centuries roaming the galaxy he has trained his mind to move at lightining speed. He can think, plan and react with a swiftness unmatched among the Void Phoenixes.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Tor Megiddo, Ferrugo Pass, Part 12

Finale: Flight from the Pass

Over the Barrens for days went the Purebred, those that had been left behind slowly rejoining the Tribe. And news they all brought of the Cog-forsaken frenzied spilling out of the Cauldron. But through hidden paths, Eshelon led the Purebred and safe they reached Perishton. Triumphant they entered the shantytown, for they only among all the Yaike Yaike came back with loot and proof of their conquering of the Cauldron. And Great Father Arun was held in awe, for he had bested the fabled Rustking. But for all the glory they could claim, Arun and Mahela knew they were pursued and in council of war they sat.


On the dawn of the fourth day, at the edges of Perishton Eshelon and trusted Yash stood watch, Snapper by the Blemished side.


And against the slanting Light, the Cog-forsaken they saw, to the old refinery coming as if by a beacon called.


Fast from the refinery spread the Cog-forsaken and actinic light flared out of it.


And forward moved trusted Yash and Snapper and back for a moment went the Cog-forsaken.


And yet, to where Arun and Mahela were in council, one managed to slink.


Loud rang the Great Father’s voice as the fight finally broke.


And to protect Mahela, from on high jumped Warfather Jax.


But then as one fought the Cog-forsaken, strong and clear the song of the Skull-cog coming out of them. And Jax and Eshelon fell.


And out of the refinery came the lone para-skitarii, and to flush out their prey his companions moved.


Though Mahela fell screaming, Arun cleared his way out of the encircling Cog-forsaken and onto the shocked skitarii he came.


Snapper and trusted Yash too fell to the frenzied avengers. To Great Father Arun they turned their mechanical eyes and louder hummed their swords.


Yield did not the lone skitarii to the Great Father and soon he was surrendered. And rose and fell the swords, in triumph singing their song of revenge.


And as away stalked the Cog-forsaken, all around humbled Arun gathered the people of Perishton.
Outside in the distance, a dusthound did growl.
And the Red Wind began to howl.