Saturday, 22 July 2017

Free Companies of the Gilded Hand - 5

Karol's Cuirassiers

Karol's Cuirassiers can trace their origins back to the first mercantile expeditions that ventured out of Venithya during the Age of Myth. Back then, the Gilded Hand and the other merchant cartels running the city used to recruit the Jawmoon tribesmen from Ghur to escort their caravans. Skilled riders and archers, they ranged ahead of the Venithyan caravans on their sturdy ponies, spotting threats and chasing away raiders and wild creatures. Over the centuries, many Jawmoon clans settled on the plains outside Iridiumspire, the fortress guarding the land approach to Venithya. Staunchingly traditionalist, they only recruited from their tribes in Ghur and continued to trust into their bows and leather jerkins. During the Age of Chaos, as links with Ghur were severed, the Jawmoon Horsemen kept up their numbers as best as they could recruting from the populace of the lands outside Iridiumspire, sallying forth from its gates every time Chaos raiders were spotted. By the time the Realmgate Wars broke, only a handful of true-born Jawmoons remained, amongst them Karol. Still valuing the hit and run tactics of his people, but aware that better equipment was needed if they wanted to bring the fight to the Chaos hordes, he traded bow and leather jerkin for guns and armour provided by the Venithyan forges, turning his clansmen into the Curaissiers. They fought at the forefront of all the expeditions mounted by the Gilded Hand to reclaim long lost commercial routes, winning great renown and hoping to find a way back to their ancestral lands. Years on, Karol still leads his Cuirassiers. Although they have been to Ghur many times, the lands have been so twisted by the Dark Powers that they could not recognise the landmarks their elders told them about. Their quest continues, their allegiance to the Gilded Hand crucial to guarantee a constant supply of armours and guns.

This time, I've decided to tackle Voland's Venators, the Dog of Wars heavy cavalry.

I could have assembled the Empire Knights straight out of the box and use the Compendium warscroll for them, but I couldn't resist the temptation of kitbashing them with the leftovers from the Freeguild Crossbowmen/Handgunners and turning my Knights into Pistoliers. So Karol, the unit's Outrider, got a Reapeter Handgun, while the rest of the units will get all the pistols.

The head and wolf pelt come from the Knights of the White Wolf upgrade sprue. The rest of the unit will instead all wear feathered helms and no pelts. In this way I'm both replicating the difference between Voland and the other Venators, while also giving a nod to the current Outriders wearing jackets above their armour.

The wolf pelt also gave me an area where I could replicate the white of the shields from the original Venators. With the red of the lance tassels turned into the colour of Karol's sleeves and the barding and armour done in glossy black and brass, the original colour scheme was maintained. Finally, I've used the ribbon hanging from the gun to add a touch of yellow and tie Karol to the other Free Companies.
I'll have the rest of the unit ready soon, but meanwhile Karol will see some action in the twisted forests of the Harrowmark.

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