Sunday, 3 February 2019

Spellbreakers at Realm's Edge, Part 3

Terpsichore's Terror

Laelanyel stopped next to a orruk idol. It beggared belief that such a crude race could manage to erect a lasting structure in the Wilds of Keromuru at the Edge of Ghyran. That the hugly thing stood, while her palace laid in ruins, fuelled her vengeful rage. The Shadegheist bound into her mantle sensed its mistress' displeasure and raged at the air around her. The scraping of timbers on rocks and vines woke the Mistweaver from her revelry. It seemed they were not the only ones to have tracked Terpsichore's Terror.

As she spotted the Malevolent Maelstrom in a clearing ahead, closing towards her, she signalled the Caengan to advance. Over their travels at the Edges of the Realms, the fyreslayers' ur-gold runes had constantly glared, turning them into avatars of flame. They could have bound Terpsichore's Terror with their sheer will, but she had made sure they wore aelfish binding runes.

Across the clearing, an ungainly sky-vessel disgorged a rabble of greenskinz. Kaptain Magrum and the Cleavermaws, Laelanyel recalled. They were getting themselves quite a name as the most unlikely spellhunters in the Realms. Indeed, the Kaptain was a poor magic user, Laelanyel thought as she waved a ghostly green foot out of existence with a contemptous flicker of her miststaff.

The orruk crew, meanwhile, split into two groups and advanced towards the Malevolent Maelstrom, tooting guns overloaded with trinkets whose actual power the aelf seriously doubted.

Tark and Durbak raised their binding runes and dragged Terpsichore's Terror away, clearing the way for Aef-Grimnir and Egrin to charge the orruks.

But more orruks barreled through the vegetation, some getting close enough to the Malevolent Maelstrom to pin it in place. Their guns might have been crude, but they seemed to work.

Laelanyel tried to materialise their fears and kill them, but her spell was brutally cut by the bellowing Mogrum. Aef-Grimnir and Egrin, on the other side, barreled through the first group of orruks and then split to crash onto their crew mates.

Sparks and blood flew all around and were immediately dragged into Terpsichore's Terror. The Malevolent Maelstrom swelled and strained at the energies binding it.

Laelanyel saw the purple wave of energy spreading, scattering the orruks and duardin around like rag dolls. Then she, too, was dragged away.

Spellbreakers at Realm's Edge, Part 2

The Temple of Khazla

The Agloraxi Scrolls, whose last charred copies can only be found in the Great Library of Azyrheim, tell of Arch-Domina Khazla. Like all the wizards of the Aspirian tradition, Khazla sought to unlock the secrets of reality. While most Agloraxi used their knowledge to expand and strenghten their empire in the Great Parch, Khazla sought to shackle the roaring hot energies of Aqshy's End. There, with the help of the artificial Colossi that had raised the Prismatikon, she erected a complex network of obelisks and linteled pillars. Fashioned from the purest emberstone, the Temple of Khazla channeled and stabilised the fiery magic of Aqshy, pushing back the Realm's Edge. Scholars from all the Realms' races came to study there and for centuries the region was known as the Becalmed Piremoor. Until Khorne and Tzeentch turned their gaze upon it. The first out of rage at the magic users, the second seeing the shackling of magical energies as an insult, they for once joined forces. Massed armies descended upon the Becalmed Piremoor, despoiling and shattering the Temple of Khazla. And as the destruction progressed, Aqshy's End claimed back the land, indiscriminately consuming daemons, wisemen and crazied warriors alike. And yet, Khazla's master work could not be completely undone. The core of the Temple and few scattered ruins survived the conflagration. Around them, the Piremoor still endures. Its boundaries constantly shifting as magical firestorms ravage it, the Piremoor is dotted with man-sized shards of vitrified emberstone and pools of tainted, oily water. At the centre, the Temple dais glows hot, eternal flames roaring around it.

Since the background for the Skirmish rules in Malign Sorcery focuses on Aqshy's Edge, I wanted a terrain set to fit it. The volcanic glass outcrops I had made for the Scorched Plain of Tor Megiddo were already a good start and I had half a set of Arcane Ruins lying around, perfect to give a more Age of Sigmar feel to the table. The flames come from two Burning Heads and a Malevolent Maelstrom from the Malign Sorcery set. They were clipped to fit onto the corners of the Arcane Ruins dais.

The bits that came off when clipping proved very useful in hiding how badly cast the obelisk was.

The ruined parts of the Temple were done with the broken pillars and the lintels, modelled as half sunk in the ground, with some metal flames I had found in the bits box. I used slate chips to hide the gaps between the plastic bits and the foamboard and to create charcoal around the flames on the dais.

Then, using again DAS and shards of slates, I modelled three pools of tainted water on wooden bases. The water itself is a few layers of epossy resin mixed with generous amounts of Nuln Oil. As you have probably guessed, they'll double up as tar pits on Tor Megiddo.

The black stone was lightly drybrushed with Dawnstone, washed with Drakenhof Nightshade and glazed in Gloss Varnish. The dais was edge highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet, Fire Dragon Bright and Troll Slayer Orange. The flames were glazed Cassandora Yellow over Corax White and then layered in Troll Slayer Orange and Evil Sunz Scarlet. The sand was heavy drybrushed with Mournfang Brown, Balor Brown, Wildrider Red and Ryza's Rust.

As I was working on the terrain, I also made an objective marker for the Shadowflames to be used in the Spellhunters scenario, using one of the Burning Head skulls, a 25mm base and bits from Craftworld Eldar weapons. The flaming skull was painted like the flames on the terrain, while the trap like the rubble on the Shadowflames' bases.

Finally, I also painted a Geminids of Uhl-Gysh Endless Spell to fit both the Shadowflames ad the Piremoor. I've reasoned that, if the Geminids manifested themselves in Aqshy, they would interact with the fiery magic of that realm. Hence, the Geminids are black and white, as expected, but the energy trail is fiery.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Tor Megiddo: Oil & Blood, Part 13

The Moot

Twenty time twenty days had passed and red storm clouds gathered on the far horizon. And at Windgrip the elders called for a Moot of the Yaike Yaike tribes. And the Children gathered, tribesmen eyeing each other suspicioulsy. And yet, no one drew a weapon while the warleaders and tech-wytches sat in council.

In the shantytown of Notever, Beetle of the Stash Riders squared up to Great Father Arun of the Purebred. The callous Kastorax of the Slipgibbets poured his vicious poison into the hears of Captain Blitzer of the Ashtown Wasters.

Revenge Beetle sought, for the attack on Solitude, and addledly he swung his chainaxe at Arun. The lies of the mutant fell on deaf hears and Blitzer's hammer fell on Kastorax.

The Vulture strode onto Notever and moved to the side of Hijack of the Slipgibbets.

A dire omen this was. Blitzer seized on his stimms, falling to Kastorax feet, there to be punched by the tech-wytche's electroprod.

Arun and Beetle duelled on. And around them the tribesmen started to realise the Moot was over.

Kastorax shouted at his vile henchmen, claiming they had the favour of the ancient Rustman. But the lies of the mutants could not be allowed to endure. Calling on Da-Ar-Vin to guide his hand in cleansing Tor Megiddo, Warfather Jax riddled the hunchback with bullets.

And then, with grenade and pick, the Slipgibbets vented their hanger on anyone around them.

The poisonous breath of the Wasters' dusthound was the downfall of Warfather Jax. He fell, as his Great Father succumbed to the many wounds he had suffered at the hands of Beetle.

But the Stash Rider's triumph was short lived. Cable of the Slipgibbets blasted him with his grenades, leaving him at the mercy of Smilin' Merc of the Ashtown Wasters.

And then, Red Wind returned. And ash and dust rose. In tunnels and caves the Yaike Yaike hid. Great victories had the Purebred seen on the Ashtown Wasters and the Disciples of the Black. Burning defeats they had suffered at the hands of the Stash Riders. And though the Purebred had raged more fiercely than the Red Wind itself at the Slipgibbets, the vile mutants would still have claimed greater respect at the following Great Gathering. In the bunker where the Purebred females were kept safe, there sat Great Father Arun, to counsel with Mahela the Keeper of the Flesh. For Red Wind would have gone and war would have come back.

Tor Megiddo: Oil & Blood, Part 12

The Cargo of Drywaters

Deep in the bunker where the Purebred females were kept safe, there sat the Keeper of the Flesh. The Tarots of Tor Megiddo spread in front of her, Mahela saw a Colossus dumping its cargo at Drywaters. And she knew that on that day glory awaited the Purebred in Drywaters.

Thus the scattered wealth of scrap-tech attracted many to Drywaters. From the east came the clanging of the Ashtown Wasters' armour. From the west, the filthy Slipgibbets advanced. And from the south, the Purebred saw it all.

And men and mutants scrambled around the shantytown, stacking claims on any tech whose spirit weakly flickered. And shots rung and flames roared and grenades burst. And men and mutants fell and run away.

Taken between two enemies, the Purebred suffered much on that battlefield. And yet, a single man did not weaver.

On that day, Yash the Blemished stood his ground. Till the Light was gone he fought, bleeding from many wounds. And as the Tarot had predicted, the precious cargo and glory were his to share with all the Purebred.