Monday, 30 December 2019

Free Companies of the Gilded Hand - 11

The Road to Armies on Parade, Part 2

Horribly late, but not because I failed to finish my board for Armies on Parade. Rather, the hype for Shadows of Commorragh made me forget to post about the trip of the Free Companies of the Guilded Hand to the Manchester Warhammer store.

As planned, I updated the colour scheme on Gudrun's Grudgebreakers (tribute to Long Drong's Slayers) and Steve 'Seagul' Boffin's Kitchen Crew to match the rest of the Free Companies.

I've also rebased a few objective markers I had done for Mordheim as they'd been perfect to represent the chest and scattered loot from the cover of the Dogs of War Army Book. Obviously, since then they've seen some action in Warcry games.

What was left to do, was to set them on the board. I decided to use my Ruins of Phos, the first set of scenery I did at the dawn of the Age of Sigmar.

I'm really proud that the board captured the spirit of the Dogs of War Army Book cover by only using models developed with gaming, rather than a painting competition, in mind. Alas that was a reference only hoary hobbist could get. So, while with a couple of guys we spent the morning reminishing about the Dogs of War army, the popular vote went to more current, and definitely better painted, Age of Sigmar boards. But who cares, I had fun!

And in case anyone was wondering, Kalyustar was on the board as well, just lurking in the back. That wizard always had a certain attraction for forboding locations.

In fact, you'll soon see him walking again through the twisted woods of the Harrowmark. Stay tuned!

Shadows of Commorragh, Part 8

The Fall of the Phoenix

The Whisper still echoed with the pain of Excrucia's resurrection when Yrule's call reached Lann.
"I've failed, Lann!" the Thanarch's voice was heavy with pain and frustration. "Daisan's skin is not in my hands. We only have one chance..."
"Hurrikhaine. I see, Thanarch" Lann replied. "Rumours are that the Hex are doublecrossing Lady Anielyn. They are smuggling it through Venomport, hidden inside one of their slaves."
"Take all the brothers and sisters you can. That slave must be ours!"
"Will you be joining us?"
"I'm wounded and far away. It all rests on you, Lann of the Unyielding Fire. Go and may Ynnead's blessing be with you".

Lann's party emerged from the webway portal on the edge of Venomport. Torc Cegodari and Jair fanned around the portico of the landing pad, Bhanlhar floating behind them.

The Bleaksouls prowled the darkeness on the far side of Venomport, their numbers bolstered by heavily armed Kabalites.

Inghfar the Wanderer emerged from his concealed position and trained his long rifle on the Bleaksouls.

Torc and Jair took cover inside the portico, their weapons ready. Uless advanced to block the approach to Inghfar's firing nest.

Lann and his disciples made it for the landing pad, where the Bleaksouls' kabalites were priming their weapons.

Bahreneq and Izurad stepped into a webway portal and found themselves far away, lost at the Sorrowshards still thrumming with the soul energies of the recent conflict.

Lakbyrn slinked to the left flank of the Void Phoenixes, while Yariaq and Jaenis boldly advanced to the ruins where Inghfar and Uless were waiting.

Morghdrax emerged from the portal on the landing pad and Jair welcomed him with a salvo of heavy shurikens. The Hekatrix revelled in the pain, but in his ecstasis he let Lann charge him.

Lakbyrn sprang out of cover, but Torc was ready for him. Her shurikens halted his charge and the vile Parched dived behind a broken pillar.

Inghfar and the kabalites traded fire, but the sheer volume of shots aimed at the ranger proved too much.

Glaive and Hekatarii blade clashed on the landing pad and Lann finally claimed his revenge on Morghdrax.

Uless let out a piercing scream and charged Yariaq and Jaenis. Though stunned by Uless' wail, the Wytches hold their ground and managed to fell her.

Mocking screams filled the air as the Shards of the Broken Heart advanced on the flank of the embattled gangs. Dark light beams, shurikens and poisoned splinters crisscrossed the cold streets.

Ravneth was suddenly confronted by one of the Hex's Medusae, but he relished the pain brought by the creature's psychic blast.

The Shards moved through the webway portals. Derashi materialised on the landing pad and leapt into the combat between Lann and the kabalites.

Kaerathir, instead, found herself far from the action at the feet of a statue of Khaine.

Barahir and Dis'ar stepped into the ruins to protect the fallen forms of Uless and Inghfar from the attentions of Yariaq and Jaenis.

With her outstanding grace, Torc moved back to rejoin Jair, all the while firing and finally halting Lakbyrn's advance.

The Shards' dark lancer found his mark on Jair, leaving Bhanlhar to hover uselessly next to her.

As Ravneth approached, Lann dealt swiftly with Derashi. The kabalites basked in her pain and withstood the Exarch thrusts.

Yariaq smashed through Barahir's defense and leapt for the portico where Torc was firing from.

Ozunhar, the Hex's slave, emerged from the portal on the landing pad. His senses heightened by the Hurrikhaine brewing inside him, he sprinted away, but one of the Bleaksouls' kabalites jumped after him.

The portal on the landing pad flashed again and Kerathir lashed at Lann. The Exarch's shimmershield deflected the agoniser, but then Ravneth slid his blade on Lann's back.

The kebalite halted Ozunhar's flight and braced himself to protect the Hurrikhaine.

Torc was close, but as she trained her avenger catapult on the kabalite, a second Medusa emerged from the darkness in front of her. Engulfed in a psychic blast, the veteran Avenger was soon surrounded by the Shards' Sslyth and Yariaq.

Kerathir jumped back through the portal, taking away the bounty of soul energy she had collected on the landing pad.

Though wounded, Torc managed to fall back. Ever disciplined, the veteran laid a supressing fire as she retreated, halting Ravneth and the kabalite on the edges of the landing pad.

No longer able to sense the slave they had been sent to protect, the Medusae wandered aimlessly, their one eyes flashing and scarring the ruins around them.

Hidden on the comms tower, the Shards kept firing with glee. Blindly pouring fire onto the port, they hit Yaenis, giving Dis'ar a chance to withdrew.

Spiritripper's Market was busy as usual, lowly Drukhari and Parched going about their dark businesses as if the feud over Hurrikhaine had never happened. Yrule turned away from the oval window. Lann and Excrucia stood behind him. All three wore the scars of the recent conflict.
"What news?" He asked to neither in particular.
"Lady Anielyn is hitting back at Verkhosian. The Drachon is on the back foot, too busy to come after us. It is the right time lo leave this accursed place." Lann's reply was plain and matter-of-fact.
"And how do you plan to do that?" Excrucia's voice was cold, her hanger barely contained. "The Bleaksouls are rising up to High Commorragh. The Shards are muscling into their former turf. They're cutting us out of any webway access! And they're paying for this with the souls they've stolen from me!"
"There was nothing in your hands, Excrucia." Yrule cut her short. "All the power you had came from Ynnead. And to Ynnead it must return."
"Thanarch, you mean..." Lann didn't dare to finish the sentence.
"Yes, Lann of the Unyielding Fire. We'll stay here, we'll lay like the ashes of the Phoenix. When the time is right, we'll rise again and we'll bring those scheming wretches into Ynnead's embrace."
'And vengeance will be mine', thought Excrucia, careful to keep her mind locked away from the Whisper.