Thursday, 26 July 2018

Tor Megiddo: Oil & Blood, Part 3

The Scorched Plain

And with these terrains ready, I'll take a break from the hobby until we actually start the campaign.
Since I had already painted the rocks on the Purebred bases as volcanic glass (or is it solidified tar?) I continued the theme on the terrains. On a black undercoat, I gave a basecoat of Abadon Black followed by a light drybrush of Dawnstone to pick up the natural grain of the slate. To achieve the shine, I first washed them with Drakenhof Nightshade and then coated them in 'Ardcoat. The sand on the bases was painted exacty as that on the models: heavy drybrushes of Mournfang Brown, Balor Brown, Wildrider Red and Ryza's Rust over a black undercoat.
As I was working on them, I also reworked some of the fluff from Codex Tor Megiddo, so that rather than being presented by an external narrator, it is told from the perspective of the Yaike Yaike themselves. Thanks a lot to Alexander for his comments and suggestions on an earlier version!

First came Black Cloud
and it hid the Light.
Then came Fell Water
and it drowned the world.

The tree burnt
The sea boiled
The beast roared
The man starved.

Then came Red Wind
And ash and dust rose.
In tunnels and caves
the Yaike Yaike hid.

The weak starved
The strong endured
Many changed.
All hungered.

And then Red Wind left
Out of tunnels and caves
the Children crawled
and on the Scorched Plain they met.

Bonds were forged
and conflicts settled by trial.
And there was trade
of flesh, metal and oil.

Twenty times twenty the Light rose
and Red Wind returned.
Again the Tribes hid
until Red Wind turned northward.

And as Red Wind comes and goes
We, the Stone Children, the Yaike Yaike
meet at the Great Gathering
out on the Scorched Plain.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 13

The Sky Dock Siege

An'sec floated away, screaming in frustration. His shape had just vanished in the distance when the amethyst energies that had built up through the whole battle erupted in a violent tornado. Some distance away from the Freebooter's Tower, the Moonclan Shamans were lifted in the air and tossed around like broken puppets. Inside the Tower, Kalyustar fell to his knees, his mind ravaged by the roaring magical energies. At the Tower'a feet, the Raidho Othalas grabbed the loot and run for shelter. Only van Toorn saw them leaving, his vision still fuzzy as he slowly came to consciousness.
It had taken days for the worst aftershocks of the magical upheaval to subside and allow safe Realmgate travel. Pieter van Toorn stood in front of the Haunted Gate as four heavily armoured figures emerged from the greenish light.
"Witch Hunter... why that sudden call? Venithya and its Free Companies have pressing business in much more chearful and prosperous lands", the one-eyed veteran's tone was one of veiled reproach.
"Then, Lord Captain Rodrik, ask why one of your mages has kept three Companies here, way longer than required for his original task" a flicker of rage passed through the General's good eye "But there's more. Kharadron. As always, they invoked their Sigmar-forsaken Code and turned onto us. Worse, they stroke a deal with the servants of Nagash..."
"And I guess, considering the latest developments, you don't want them to leave the area?"
"Precisely! Whatever is in their caskets goes to your men. But first, we have to find them. I've lost them in the magic storm"
"They are inside the Sky Dock, waiting for a ship" Kalyustar's voice sounded hollow behind his mask. From where he had appeared, the two men couldn't say.
"If this is true, you might have finally proven yourself, wizard" there was an icy undercurrent of menace in van Toorn's voice.
"Yet, you will have to explain your actions to the Gilded Hand Elders" as always, Captain Rodrik was just matter-of-fact. But that did not take away from the implicit threat.
Kalyustar caressed his Skull. "Should we leave these issues for later and deal with pressing matters?"

Captain Rodrik ordered the Fencers and Aurelian's Aurpards to form up together and prepare to advance. The Marksmen and Cuirassiers covered their left flank. On the right, van Toorn preared his pistol.

As Kalyustar had warned, the Raidho Othalas have had time to strenghten their hold on the Sky Dock. Every single access was manned, while their Aetherchemist supervised the defense from the Dock platform.

On the edges of Wörtbad, An'sec, the Ordeshal Riders, the White Lady and her servants approached through the parched fields.

The Rotmoons turned around Fallow End's House and emerged onto the village main square.

Whit chilling screams, the Ordeshal Riders approached the southern wall of the Skydock.

Thunderous volleys rung in all direction. Ineffective against the incorporeal Riders, bouncing off the walls of Fallow End's House, the aethershots turned out to be the undoing of van Toorn and the Cuirassiers.

As the smoke cleared, the Sky Docks were simultaneously assoulted from the north, south and the east. Kapitán da Leeva and Rockeye the Leadbelcher burst into the building, slamming onto the Kharadron Chemist.

Sheltered behind the Rose & Scythe balustrade, Kalyustar watched the fight unfold. With the Witch Hunter gone, it is just a matter of time. Wait and see, Soulchemist, just wait!

Bortagno ad the Ordeshal Riders kept battering at the eastern gate.

On the southern wall, the White Lady burst through the press of bodies to drink deep of the Kharadron Navigator's blood.

Kapitán da Leeva's realmstone-loaded pistol belched a cloud of malevolent gheists at the Aetherchemist.

Down below, the Rotmoons cheered at the balst and rushed forward. Don Grotto hold back to land the boys moral support with his high-pitched shouts.

The second wave of the Free Companies reached the northern wall, the Aurpard's pike striking over the Fencers' heads. The Kharadron numbers were seriously reduced now.

Now Soulchemist! In a fluid motion, Kalyustar lifted the Skull. Amethyst lighting engulfed the Aetherchemist, his soul then drifting back as a purple mist. Kapitán da Leeva frothed with rage at being deprived of the kill, but the Sky Dock was safely under his control.

Pressed on all sides and without leadership, the few surviving duardin dropped their weapons and surrendered to the Free Companies. The Kharadron were let through the Free Companies lines as Captain Rodrik prepared to be charged by the Ordeshal Host.
And then, the undead retreated.
The men stood motionless, trying to understand what had happened. But none of them had noticed the dark shape darting from Kalyustar's Skull to be fondly embraced by An'sec. A faintly visible duardin's face retreated from the gheist's hand, a soundless scream pictured on its lips.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Tor Megiddo: Oil & Blood, Part 2

The Purebred, continued

Over the last week I've added four more models, aiming to have a legal starting gang based on Necromunda rules. This meant adding two Champions and two gangers. The basic components are still the same: Bloodreavers bodies, Genestealer Cultists heads, hair and clothing made of Greenstuff and gear from a range of Imperial kits. This time I also made more use of the Goliath armour plates.

The Warfathers

When a Purebred has proven himself through raid after raid in the wastelands, and only if his body has not shown traces of mutation, the Keeper of the Flesh allows them to mate. From that moment onwards, such skilled warriors are second only to the Warleader and Great Father of the tribe in their right to pick among the tribe loot. Inevitably, they secure the best gear and soon learn to fix it and to bring the machine spirits back from their slumber. Better equipped then the other tribesmen, they constantly vie with each other, hoping to cement their position in the tribal hierarchy and, when the Keeper of the Flesh will see fit, be elevated to the rank of Great Father.

The first Warfather carries a heavy stubber built out of the Space Marine Scout Heavy Bolter with the barrell from a Shoota and the ammobelt and expended shell casings from the Heavy Shoota, all from the Ork Boyz kit. Some sculpting was needed to hide the joint between the gun body and barrel and I simply continued the cloth wrapping to look as if it was tied around the gun body.

Saul suggested the model needed more metal spikes beside the ones on the collar. These were sculpted along the back and on the shoulder pads, with fur sculpted to look as if the spikes are part of an armour worn above it. More ammobelts from the Ork Boyz were added around the waist.

The second Father carries a flamer made using the Escher chem-trower. The tanks have been placed as a backpack, which required some cutting and repositioning of the pipes. The damage done when removing the arm holding the tanks was hidden with a sheated combat blade from the Space Marine Scouts. The spiked handle with skull was originally the end of the axe haft carried by the model.

The right hand with axe was replaced with a hand with granade from the Cadians and I sculpted straps both around the waist and the left arm. Rather then giving the model fur, I sculpted a shawl.

Painting-wise, the palette is exactly the same used for all the other models.

The Blemished

No matter if high or low in the tribal hierarchy, any Purebred that develops a mutation, even the appearence of a single chitinous scale, is faced with two choices: exile, unarmed and without supplies, in the wastelands or amputation and the bequetting of mating rights. To date, only a single individual has chosen exile, and the Purebred never speak of him. For those tribesmen that survive amputation, a further chance is offered if the Keeper of the Flesh has the parts required to graft them with bionics. Their crude implants well greased, they join every single raid called by the Great Father, fighting with a fury unmatched amongst the other Purebred. They will either die or secure more resources for the tribe. Either way, they will have fully redeemed themselves.

For these two models, I fished out two old bionics arms from the metal Necromunda Bounty Hunters. The laspistols are from the Cadian Command Squad and the sword from the Catachan Command Squad.

Again, the palette is consistent with the rest of the warband. For the tribesman with the Catachan sword, I sculpted a shawl, joining it with the fabric wrapped around the Cultists face, as if raised to protect him from the sand.

The model with chainsword had a very small khornate symbol as the buckle of its straps. Since that was easily covered with some puches, I didn't give him a shawl or fur. Instead, the addition of two goliath shoulder pads completed the model.

The bases for all the models were drybrushed with a palette of browns and then oranges. On each base I added some tech-scrap, using vehicles bits, or slate chips painted like volcanic glass. For the Warfather with heavystubber I found a resin basing bit that had expended shell casings and a canteen on it.

Talking about canteens, you might have noticed that every single model has at least one hanging from their belts. I thought that was a nice touch to both further unite the models and to give a sense of realism to them. The one thing that you don't want to lack if out in a desert, is some liquid!

And these, are some pieces of scatter terrain I am preparing. The base is DAS (synthetic sculpting clay, if you are not familiar with it). The rocks are shards of slate tiles that, over the years, have been blown off from my and my neighbours roofs. And then there's people saying that rubbish is useless!