Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 3

Clash in the Mist

Through the woods Kalyustar run, the din of battle growing dimmer as the Red Mist muffled all sounds. 'The Hurricane Bell! There lies safety, Soulchemist!' this time the voice came through forcefully, a scream pushing against the unnatural frenzy that still threatened to seize the wizard.
The skull cliffs suddenly loomed over him. The eerie voice still ringing in his head, Kalyustar took the stone-carved steps two at a time. Once on the platform, well above the roiling Red Mist, the wizard's mind finally cleared and he took in the scene below him.

Both the Raidho Othalas and van Toorn's mob had scattered, unable to find each other in the mist, but still in the grip of unreasonable battle lust. Of the spirits that had fought them, there was no sight.

The air above the Hurricane Bell twitched, as if sucked into a Black Void that for a fleeting moment appeared at the edge of Kalyustar's sight. And then, next to the Wörtbaders, he caught a glimpse of red and yellow feathers and swirling cloacks. How could have Fernando and his men come back?

The Mist thickened again, aetheric shots rung through it and the Kharadron fell on the humans. Among the duardin, now fought a massive warrior, clad in sigmarite armour.

Can you feel it, Soulchemist? The energy pulled in by the ground arond here. Draw it! Indeed, it felt as if sorcerous energies had started to flow around the Hurricane Bell. Kalyustar latched onto the stream and directed it at one of the duardin. In the blink of an eye, the duardin aged and then collapsed, a if time itslef had been stolen of him.

The oaths of vengeance of the duardin mate and the van Toorn's curses drawned a malevolent laughter in Kalyustar's mind. It was then that the wizard realised what was amis. He only had a chance, even if it meant facing the duardin and van Toorn down in the Red Mist.

As Kalyustar stepped down the Hurricane Bell, both duardin an human turned their pistols on him, the Red Mist hanging thick around their heads.

Suddenly, time sped up once again. In a rush of wind, the Red Mist vanished, and the duardin with it. A baffled van Toorn stood facing Kalyustar. In the distance, the last clashing of swords and hammers echoed as the two warbands felt the weight of years gone by.

"Hold, Witch Hunter!" cried Kalyustar "Can't you see? That Mist, and now this Void. They answer to the same master, one that is better not named. Would you let His work go unchallenged, just to see me tied to a stake?"
Van Toorn esitated, giving Kalyustar the chance he needed.
"He seeks what lies beneath these skull cliffs, for it gives great power. Let me help you secure it for Sigmar".
At that point, the voice returned. Is this what you really want, Soulchemist?

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 2

The Mists of War

Kalyustar came to his senses to find himself held by grim looking Wörtbaders. The armed peasants looked at van Toorn in puzzlement.

"But... Herr Hexenjäger... that falling star left a bloody trail in the sky!" said one.
"He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is coming!" added another speaking in panic over him.
"We must hurry or..."
"Enough! Can't you see that was a sign from Sigmar? The God-King will deliver retribution to those that threaten this land! And I can not wait to be in Wörtbab to question this treacherous wizard" van Toorn's damning gaze fell on Kalyustar.
"There is wisdom in these men's words, Witch Hunter. Lunaghast still speaks to me and..."
"Silence!" a fist to the stern cut the word's out of Kalyustar's mouth.
As he gasped on the ground, a red haze creeped in, filling his lungs. The wizard convulsed, his mind and body ravaged by the vanishing voice of Lunaghast and a violent thirst for battle.
A Red Mist now covered the whole Harrowmark.

The Wörtbaders spread around swinging their weapons at the creeping mist, an unnatural frenzy in their eyes. A greenish glow cut through it as the Haunted Gate flickered and the Raidho Othalas emerged from it.

The Red Mist parted to reveal a regal looking spirit surveying the woods from the battlements of the Freebooter's Tower. Below it, his minions advanced through the woods.

"He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named!" the wisper came from the Wörtbaders.
"Prepare your bows and pistols! We'll fight them and we'll send them away from your lands!" the note of aggression in van Toorn's voice resonated with the men, replacing their fear with battle lust.

The Kharadron spread out of the Gate and levelled their weapons at the advancing undead. And yet, the ghosts advanced, material and aetheric shots alike passing through their forms. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named floated down from the Freeboter's Tower and joined his servants.

With a chilling laughter, Lyrd Radclyffe emerged from the Red Mist and riding past Kalyustar schyted through the Wörtbaders.

Kalyustar fought the pain wracking him and harnessed his powers to dispatch the Hexwraith.

Screaming furiously, van Toorn charged and mauled the Deathrattle warrior that had been jarringly advancing towards them. The Witch Hunter then turned towards the distant duardin, a homicidal light in his eyes.

The duardin stubbornly planted their feet and prepared another salvo. Yet, they too were about to give in to frenzy. That much Kalyustar could see through the ruddy haze.

It is the Mist. Run, Soulchemist! the voice came clear, chasing away the pain that was plaguing Kalyustar. Without a second tought, the wizard slinked away into the woods. As he sped up, he glanced back to see humans, duardin and nighthaunt bathed in the seething Red Mist, their battle frenzy growing stronger with every bloody lung-full.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 1

The Well of Souls

The Balemoon had risen every night since Kalyustar had found the shadeglass skull. The voices had come even more often, and by the Balemoon light they spoke of the Shattered Circle, where the souls of those dieing in the region were drawn. There, Kalyustar could find his lost men. If only he could continue to evade van Toorn. He had left the Witch Hunter for dead, but knew that it took more then some spirit hosts to do away with the Azyrite. And then, next to the Balemoon, Lunaghast had appeared. 'Follow the Balemoon now, Soulchemist! Use the secrets unveiled by Lunaghast to rejoin with your men'. Kalyustar looked up at the two moons and knew that was right. His men had died for him, they deserved a new life, a new chance to fight.

The morning mist was lifting as Kalyustar and Lucius left Wörtbad and made for the clearing were the ruined dais known as the Shattered Circle laid, trapping the souls of the departed.

They were almost at the clearing when they spied the Rotmoons in their elaborate armours and ruffs shouting cheerfully in the direction of a crew of Kharadron also converging toward the Circle.
"It seems the orruks are invoking the Code of the sky-pirates" wispered Lucius arming his repeater crossbow.

"We better..."
Kalyustar did not hear Lucius finishing his phrase. The wizard's attention had been caught by the low moaning of a spirit host, floating around as if searching for something.

An enourmous hook wistled through the woods, impaled Lucius and then dragged him towards the Kharadron. Kalyustar barely heard the guttural laughs of the orruks as he found himself repeating a cantrip the voices were wispering.

The spirits heard the cantrip and were drawn in the open, there to be caught by the rays of the setting Balemoon. As their essence dissipated, Kalyustar moved forward and trapped it in the shadeglass skull.

The Kharadron advanced towards the Circle, more of their kind approaching from the east. Kalyustar could not understand why, but they too seemed intent on collecting the souls drawn to the Circle.

Pieter van Toorn slowly advanced through a decrepit graveyard. Although he loathed Lunaghast, he had to admit that the Dark Moon had indeed revealed him where to find Kalyustar. Yet, he stopped, realising the Rotmoons were striking an alliance with the Kharadron.

The main group of Kharadron halted, listening to the orruks' offers. In response, one of the duardins rushed for Kalyustar, menacingly swinging his sky-pick. The wizard took a step back and out of his robes tossed a glimmering vial at the duardin's feet.
"Perhaps you should reconsider your priorities, master Kharadron, if nothing else, for this aether-gold".

Screaming in frustration, Kapitán da Leeva charged in, his pistol firing a mixture of rock salt and screaming gheists. The apparitions dragged the duardin away, leaving Kalyustar at the mercy of the orruk's cutlass.

Grinning, van Toorn prepared to charge. No one but him would have the wizard. The sudden arrival of a Rotmoon halted him on his track. He readied himself to take the charge, yet the orruk never made to him. As the brute stepped into the Balemoon light, he fell to the ground, his soul dragged toward the centre of the Circle.

Spitefully, the orruk's soul took a Kharadron with it. Orruks and duardin's were now fighting to claim control of the Shattered Circle. Kapitán da Leeva pistol continued to spit salt and gheists.

van Toorn let them fight. Their quarrels were none of his concerns. When the Kharadron withdrew, their arcane devices loaded with souls, and the orruks disappeared into the woods, the Witch Hunter gestured to the men that had been hiding in the graveyard.

"Those were the Raidho Othalas, they ship-wrecked during the last storm and..." the man's word died on his lips under the Witch Hunter's stern gaze.
"Keep your local news for yourself. I'm not interested in those Arkanauts, yet. This wizard left me at the mercy of Sigmar's enemies. That's a grievance I have to settle."

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Of Renegades and Comm-link Stations

No, I haven't been super-productive and finished all these lovely models in the 5 days since I've finished Kalyustar. In fact, they were ready before I started working on him, but I hadn't the time to post them. You know, real life getting in the way of the hobby.

The Renegades known as Marduk's Heralds were a project I had in mind since painting the baddies from Assassinorum: Execution Force. I simply kept postposing it as Age of Sigmar was taking all of my the attention. But with the release of the new edition of WH40k and the beginning of our campaign in the Malfactus Rift I returned to it. I wanted to turn the three Chaos Sapce Marines from Assassinorum into a full squad, but I wanted to do it on a budget.

I had a couple of sprues of Tactical Marines left over from my Iron Hands army, all the unused bits from the Chaos Terminator Lord and Chaos backpacks kindly thrown into our commonal bits box by my gaming mates, which made for a really good starting point. However, I was still missing a few arms, heads and shoulder pads. After an afternoon rummaging in said commonal bits box, I fished out Chaos Warriors heads and arms, Chaos Forsaken shoulder pads and a Plague Monk banner giving me all the bits I needed. I didn't have enough weapons to give all the basic Marines the same equipment, but with the new rules mixing equipments is finally viable gamewise, so I didn't bothered at all!

The colour scheme was already set since I painted Marduk Fatebender, so I simply replicated the purple and magenta armour with green, yellow and brown as spot colours.

Marduk Fatebender

The ruined comm-link station, instead, was a new idea that emerged as we were planning scenarios for the Malfactus Rift campaign. In fact, in the narrative for that campaign, this terrain will represent a failing Astronomicon Repeater. Although, with Malign Portents and Dread Solstice having drawn us back into the Mortal Realms, we don't know when we are actually going to play that game!

I've combined a Thermic Plasma Regulator with Ryza Ruins, using an old movement tray (who said they became useless after Age of Sigmar release?) for the flooring. For the antenna I've used various Eldar and Imperium vehicles bits, again fished from the commonal bits box. The cooler (?) I cut to make room for the antenna ended up as some sort of control panel on the platform.

I painted the comm-link station to match my Mancunius Dome terrains, but going for reddish walls to distinguish it from the more hab-block like terrains I already had.

A corner of Mancunius Dome

The rusted metal was painted by stippling brown, orange and metail paints onto the model. In doing so, the antenna came of, but it was good as I then repositioned it, leaving more space on the platform so that taller models can be placed on it.

I'm not sure when they all will see the tabletop, but sure they will.