Saturday, 25 September 2021

The Lux Umbra - Part 2

The Zhundak Family

Ekhrim Zhundak is the founder and proud owner of the Zhundak Mine of Gleamdeep. That most of the profits of the mine end up into Nirimos Sylai's coffers matters little to him. He knows he's just one pick strike from uncovering a rich vein of umbralith. "Wait and see..." is what he keeps saying, chewing onto his trusted pipe, to anyone questioning the wisdom of staying in the Lux Umbra.

His firstborn Davvid is in charge of the siftig and selection of the minerals mined by Ekhrim. Stubbornly loyal to his father, he too is sure their hard work will soon be rewarded.

Ekhrim's youngest son, Magnir, is still completing his apprenticeship. That he has not yet been allowed to prospect for umbralith on his own is frustrating him, for Magnir has no doubts that it will be him that will reverse the family fortunes.

The Zhundaks, like Godri Snorrisson, were made using old Night Goblin bodies, arms from the Empire Militia and heads from the Knights of the White Wolf. The mining tools come from an Organ Gun, while the pipe is from the Dwarf Quarrelers.

I've also added more rocky outcrops, done like the previous ones and clusters of crystals carved from sprues, like on the base of the Umbral Slitherling. The walkways are again done with coffe stirrers, cocktail sticks and decorated with banners and bucklers from the Dwarf Quarrelers.

The palette for everything was already well established, so I just had to repeat it.

With the Zhundak family and mine completed, I'm going to call a pause on this project. Between the tunnel walls, the settlement structures, Shattered Dominion objective markers and the mine itself, I have enough to play plenty of games without ever having to repeat the same board configuration.

I'll leave you with a gallery showing everything and all the characters I've made alongside the terrains. Hope you'll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Monday, 16 August 2021

The Lux Umbra - Part 1

The Zhundak Mine of Gleamdeep

Like many others, Ekhrim Zhundak and his sons came to Gleamdeep as impoverished fortune seekers, lured by the rumours of rich veins of the fabled umbralith running through the slopes of the chasm below the settlement. They were convinced to struck a deal with the Gleamdeep Council by their clansman Godri Snorrisson. Nirimos Sylai underwrote their mining enterprise, granting the Zhundaks exclusive mining rights on the chasm slopes. Any umbralith they'd found would be theirs to trade as they'd saw fit. For anything else they mined, Nirimos Sylai would act as their sole trading agent. So was the Zhundak Mine founded, nothing but a wooden shack protected by ancestor idols carved by the young Zhundaks and a few walkways criss-crossing Gleamdeep's slopes. Years have gone by and nor the mine itself nor the Zhundaks' fortune have improved a bit. Not a single shard of umbralith has been found. What little the Zhundaks have earned from the sales of other minerals, is inevitably spent in more gear from Snorrisson's Emporium and supplies from the Black Gor Inn, as the stubborn Dispossessed claim they are close to hitting the mother lode that will forever change their fortunes.

I had the Ancestor Idols and miners' cart from Battle for Skull Pass in my bits box and though I knew they wouldn't be ready for the last round of submissions for Animosity III, I decided to add them to my Lux Umbra board.

The cart was partly damaged as I had used half of the luggage sitting on top of it and one of the dragon heads on other projects. So, I've repaired the damage with a chest from the Empire Cannon and accessories from the Dwarf Quarrelers. The banner tops and a couple of bucklers also from the Quarrelers, together with bits from the Organ Gun and a torch from the Flagellants, helped to give a Dispossed feeling to the wooden shack made with coffee stirrers.

With the cardboard offcuts from the mine base and a few others I had laying around, I made some rocks, decorated with slate chips and coated in a mixture of talco, sand and PVA glue.
What's left to do now, is building some walkways, more rocks and the Zhundaks themselves. Then, I could call the Lux Umbra project done.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Animosity III, The Prime Dominion - Part 11

Alti's Purge

"Whitefire Crystals, or something quite similar to them. And this... Swiftwind Dust, I believe". Lady Laelanyel put down the pouches she was inspecting.
"This idol is of duardin make, but a style unlike any I've seen. Still, I can sense power in its runes". Aef-Grimnir was with her, inspecting the haul from the tomb.

"I'll read the scrolls later, but at a first glance it's some form of chronomantic spellcraft".
"Not bad for a quick run through a tomb, wouldn't you agree my Lady?"
"Indeed, Runefather. You were right. We got at least something worth our efforts. Drevakh and his scouts should be back shortly. If the map was right, they'll have located the entrance to the Umbral Web".
"And not too soon. I had enough of this place. The vampire wants it? He can keep it and his non-sense about gods!"
Outside, the Shadowkin stood guard, just in case any of the other mercenaries menaged to find them so deep in the Lux Umbra and demand an explanation for their desertion.
What they were not expecting was to see the gloom start to deepen and figures moving jerkly at its edges. Their alarm cry rung loud.

Lady Laelanyel and Aef-Grimnir rushed to the side of the Shroudmaidens at the entrances of the settlement.

No sooner had reached they their positions, than a familiar voice, both rasping and booming, filled the cave.

"Bow to Alti! From Lux Flumen to Lux Umbra, all belongs to Him! Refuse and die, for I am His Hand".
All around the Wight King, skeletons advanced.

Aef-Grimnir and Vorya squared up to Grallem Vallkern, claiming the first strike in the confrontation.

With unnatural speed and vigour, a clutch of skeletons came upon Iyshak despite his rain of arrows and dragged him down from his perch.

Narlek and Blekiel kept their positions, black shafted arrows embedding themselves into empty sockets.

On the far end of the settlement, Viserhyx joined Lady Laelanyel and Slytha, slowing the advance of the undead sodiery.

Aef-Grimnir axe swung back and forth, felling a skeleton and smashing onto Grallem Vallkern's shield. Vorya's flail and Narlek's arrows found purchase, but the Wight King still stood.

Slytha and Lady Laelanyel rampaged through the skeletons, Viserhyx keeping more from reaching them with his arrows.

Blekiel felled a Grave Guard, but the skeletons it was leading kept advancing steadily.

And yet, so numerous where the undead that two broke through and entered the settlement. And more were pouring into the cave.

Vorya and Narlek both shadowleapt to halt them, least they reached the Shadowflames' stash.

Aef-Grimnir stood his ground, ur-gold runes ablaze as more and more skeletons responded to Grallem Vallkern's summons.

Harnessing the darkness around them, Viserhyx shielded Lady Laelanyel and Slytha. The two, for their part, drew their blades in a deathly dance. But for each skeleton they fell, one more emerged from the darkness.

A chilling victory cry went up as Blekiel was overwhelmed and the skeletons started to climb over into the settlement.

Narlek and Vorya bested those that were already deep into the settlement and prepared to face the next wave.

Outside the settlement, where Aef-Grimnir and Lady Laelanyel were fighting, Alti's servants' advance was stalling. Yet the skeletons dragged down Viserhyx.

Vorya shadowlept up to where skeletons were breaking through, Narlek's arrows thudding on the wood planking as they missed their mark.

With Viserhyx's shield of darkness gone, the skeletons overwhelmed Lady Laelanyel. Unable to cut through the press, Slytha fell back where she could mount another defense.

Aef-Grimnir was tiring, his blows getting weaker and weaker, but yet he did not give a single inch of ground.

Narlek joined Vorya on the platform, but it was too late. Soon both were overwhelmed and swarmed over.

Slytha felled a skeleton and barely managed to hold off a Grave Guard, but another slipped past her and into the settlement.

Then, Alti's Hand's sword blazed with witchfires. As Aef-Grimnir slumped to the ground, the Wight King strode victorius into the settlement.

The skeletons set to tear down the structures around them. Grallem Vallkern looked at them, nodded and moved forward. Alti's work was not yet done. More of the Lux Umbra was still to be claimed.
The Shadowflames capitalised on that. Crawling and dragging themselves, they reached the tunnels where, earlier that day, their scouting party had disappeared searching for their way of escape. A few skeletons turned to pursue them, but with the Wight King gone, much of their energy was gone. Soon, the Shadowflames had lost them in the tunnels.

It wasn't long before the rumbling voices of Tark and Engrin hailed them. Their faces turned pale as they saw the wounds on their comrades. Yet, they brought good news. The entrance to the Umbral Web had been found and Drevakh and Anielyn were opening it.

Lady Laelanyel nodded for them to lead the way. As the Shadowflames approached the portal and went through it in single file, the Mistweaver brooded.

Yes, she had found Aef-Grimnir, getting rid of the burden of his kin's reclamations. But now they were leaving empty handed. Soon, the Fyreslayers would have asked for their payment. And with their hoard lost to Alti's Hand, what did she have to give them?
Yet, she couldn't but blame herself for that. How could have she been so shortsighted? The signs had been there, in front of her as soon as Alti had made his offer. The others fighting for Dornayar had revealed themselves to be dream hunters, idealists fighting for laughable notions of justice and freedom. She had warned them, but they hadn't listen. And where had that led them? To believe there could be any kind of salvation in the figment of a paradise conceived by a delusional Soulblight. Still, she had kept the Shadowflames fighting alongside them and their ideals.
To Chaos with ideals! She stepped into the portal and relished the cold embrace of the shadows.