Friday, 20 April 2018

Thy Soul To Keep - part 9

The Beast's Lair

The Raidho Othalas - 64 Renown
The Gilded Hand - 55 Renown
The Rotmoons - 54 Renown

Beast's Lair Battleplan from Path to Glory, with house rules:
  • Turn order (for 4 players) from Triumph & Treachery. 
  • The Beast was Olshovilaag, the Fiend of the Harrowmark with its' own turn - it was the "4th player".
  • When the Fiend's turn started we rolled off to see which of us got to control it for that Battle Round, with a limit that the player who took the turn just before it cannot control it in the next turn.
  • The player that causes the final wound on the Fiend wins the game!

~ 🕱 ~

El Doctoro the shaman woke with a start. He wasn't sure what had woken him but he fumbled in the darkness to get out of his hammock and light a candle. He put on his red-glass lenses and looked around the attic room of the inn where the Rotmoons were billeted. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but something had made a noise. Maybe it was just in his dream? The splitcap mushrooms he ate last night, recommended by Bolet Ghosteater for their power, were probably to blame.

Then he heard it again.

It was like the harsh caw-ing of a crow, but much louder and distinctly unnatural. El Doctoro opened the shutter on the small window and peered out into the dim predawn light. Beyond the edge of the village was the virtually-impenetrable forest: Seemingly endless leagues of dark, tangled, twisted and unnatural woods. Dead trees were warped by death-magic, skull-formed rock formations towered over the forest canopy like grim islands in an arboresque sea.

A huge dark shape suddenly swept past; the lingering impression of black-feathers, skulls, branches, bones, and rocks: A Death-monster, born from the forest itself. A crow-winged nightmare.

~ 🕱 ~

The Rotmoons hurried through the ruins in the forest.

Olshovilaag stirred...

The Pistoleers of the Gilded Hand bravely galloped forward toward the forest lair of the Olshovilaag.

The Raidho Othalas kept their distance, using the houses at the edge of the woods for cover.

Some of the Pistoleers tried to outflank the Olshovilaag.

The revolting creature flapped its ragged black wings and flew out of the trees, it screeched at the nearest Pistoleer and its terrible voice scythed through the unfortunate trooper's soul!

The Fiend then turned on the Kharadron heroes, snapping it's beaked maw at the and clawing them. The fetid stink of its grave-breath was almost overwhelming!

Amazingly the duardin survived, held their ground, and were able to strike back!

The Rotmoons rushed toward the lair of the creature, hoping to loot any treasures it had collected.

Olshovilaag disengaged from the Raidho Othalas, after they poured a huge volley of fire into it's rotting carcass, and turned its attention on the Pistoleers again, shredding another trooper's soul.

The Kharadron blasted it with a second concentrated volley...

The Rotmoons could only watch as the beast seemed to come apart at the seems. A huge flock of ragged black crows burst out of the beast, as if its essence was transmogrified at the moment of it demise. The Wortbad villagers knew that this had happened every time someone tried to kill it, but none of the warbands had listened to the peasants!

Don Snotto squeaked a warning that both the opposing warbands were now turning their attention on the Privateers; it was time to leave!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Lights in the Sky

Bortagno and Dragante sat atop the Wortbad skydock and passed a bottle of stolen grog back and forth. In the darkness a single candle inside a lantern illuminated their gnarled faces. Stars glimmered through gaps in the thin cloud that raced across the sky. Around and below them the blackness of the forest was darker than the heavens above.

"How long has it been since we last saw one?" said Bortagno quietly.

"I... uh... maybe a fortnight? Maybe longer." said Dragante between gulps of rum.

"It don't seem right. I was sure there would be more, and more often here."

"I know, but with all them dead not bein' friendly types, you can't blame them for not coming here, now can you?" said Dragante, Bortagno nodded and accepted the offered bottle.

After his swig he said "But it ain't that they ain't stopping here. It's more that they ain't even passing. We haven't seen a sail by day or a light by night for an age now."

Dragante's forehead creased as he made an effort to remember. But he gave up after a minute or two and took back the bottle.

Bortagno put his small spyglass to his eye and made another sweep around the horizon. As he passed the black shape of Mourning Hill, recognisable even in the darkness from it's three peaks that obscured the stars, he stopped. He took the spyglass from his eye and blinked, then looked again. there was a light! It was faint though - further away than Mourning Hill.

"I think there's a ship!" said Bortagno as he passed the spyglass and pointed. Dragante squinted for a moment then nearly dropped the brass telescope.

"We have to tell the Kapitán!" he shouted but neither of the orruk Bosses stood up. They followed the slow-moving light as it drifted along, just above the horizon for several minutes before they remembered themselves and called down to the other Rotmoons who were milling-about at ground-level.

~ 🕱 ~

Bortagno, newest member of The Rotmoons crew to venture into The Harrowmark.

As I can only use one orruk Boss at a time in AoS Skirmish, I will have to swap out Dragante to use him. But I like the sound of "Bortagno and Dragante". They sound like the comic relief in Shakespeare. Or maybe Samuel Beckett.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Thy Soul To Keep - part 8

At the Behest of Another

The common folk of Wörtbad have been hoarding Realmstone on the instruction of an unknown master. Surely, it would be safer in the hands of capable warriors? (Skirmish Battleplan: Treasure Hunt)

The crew of The Raidho Othala - 59 Renown
The Rotmoons - 50 Renown

~ 🕱 ~

Juan Dee looked over his shoulder one last time then made haste, away from Fallow’s End House. Soon someone would find his message and share the fell news with their neighbours. In a matter of days the work would be begun. He hurried to tell the Rotmoons' shaman El Doctoro that the seed was planted and the crop would soon be ready for harvest.

Mattius Caboteur's heart sank as he read the notice. He wondered if he could convince the other villagers to help with the dreadful task. Fear of the consequences of failure in the eyes of Nagash was a powerful motivator but was it enough to outweigh the dangers of collecting Shyish Realmstone?

~ 🕱 ~

Admiral Grungi Gunnerson and the crew of the Raidho Othala swarmed out of the Realmgate.

Kapitán da Leeva and some of his followers rushed from the Charybdis Occulum toward the ruined barn. The orruk privateer was livid; the stupid villagers had obviously asked for outside help. Their fear had got the better of them in ways El Doctoro had not imagined!

Some of the other Rotmoons followed Walta Rally and Awkwardo, and headed toward the Realmgate.

Dragante took the rest of the crew past the Hurricane Bell.

An Invisible Geist surged out of the skull-cliff of the Hurricane Bell, passed straight through Dragante and stopped his heart!

The Rotmoons were the first to find a cache of hidden Shyish Realmstone (and Kapitán da Leeva was relieved that the day was not entirely wasted).

But the Raidho Othalas find one straight after them!

Tambor, the Rotmoon's drummer, was skewered by an Arkanaut.

The Raidho Othalas opened fire at the Rotmoons: Bold Rikk was shot by a Grundstok Thunderer with an aethermatic volleygun. 

The other orruks in his group were lucky to be missed by the stuccato fire of the volleygun but Percy Percy was blasted by a Thunderer with an aethercannon. Dudoso was picked-off by the Grundstok Gunnery Sergeant.

Garfio was gunned-down by Admiral Grungi Gunnerson himself.

Kapitán da Leeva stepped inside the ruined barn as volley after volley of Kharadron fire whittled down his crew.

Through sheer luck, Awkwardo withstood the vast barrage of focused Arkanaut company pistol fire aimed at him, only to fall at last when a mortar round landed next to him. As a result of this Walta Rally, Anzuelo and Geedo fled.

An Arkanaut spent a suspicious amount of time "searching" through a stack of barrels but found no treasure.

Parche tried his best to hide but the Arkanauts outflanked him and shot him under the skull cliffs.

The Raidho Othalas found their second cache of Realmstone.

The Admiral left one Arkanaut to guard it and the rest of the company charged forward to try and claim Kapitán da Leeva's find... The Kapitán took his loot and slipped into the darkness beneath the trees.

~ 🕱 ~

At the last moment the Kharadron avoided a draw (even though they had killed all-but-one of the orruks!) and won a Major Victory: holding 2 Treasure caches to the Rotmoons' 1.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Olshovilaag - The Fiend of the Harrowmark

Most of the Harrowmark is covered by virtually-impenetrable forest: Seemingly endless leagues of dark, tangled, twisted and unnatural woods. It is a corrupted land: the dead trees are warped by death-magic, skull-formed rock formations tower over the forest canopy like islands in an arboresque sea. The symbols and motifs of death are everywhere. 

Things live in these forests: malignant, spiteful things. It is a brave soul that ventures under the dark bowers, brave or foolish, as few who attempt to navigate the winding pathways ever emerge again. The forests are shaped by the death magic that permeates them and the things that emerge from the shadowy bowers are shaped by the forest.

One terrible example is the dreaded Olshovilaag; the Fiend of the Harrowmark. A massive undead construct made from a conglomeration of monster parts, horns, huge black-feathered wings, lots of skulls, tree branches, bones, rocks and broken weapons. A Death-monster, born from the forest itself. A crow-winged “Terrorgheist". The sound of its beating wings fills the villagers of the Harrowmark with dread. It's screeching stops their hearts and shreds their souls!


This project was a great fun to do and really fast - 9 days from starting building to finishing painting. I wanted to quickly make a large undead creature for a scenario in our Malign Portents campaign "Thy Soul To Keep", but I didn't want to spend any money on it. So I decided to keep it as a "bits box only" project.

A quick rundown of the source for the parts used includes: Flesh Eater Courts Zombie Dragon, Daemon Prince, Island of Blood Griffon, Thundertusk, Rhinox, Mournfang, Kurnoth Hunters, Dryads, 1990s plastic Dragon, Araknarok, Skulls box, AoS Large basing kit, Citadel Woods... and probably a few things I've forgotten! I have a lot of hoarded left overs from other projects but I was also recently given a big box of bits by a good friend. That helped a lot with this beastie!

"Sketching out" ideas!

I had no idea where I was going with this build, and that was quite liberating! I was just rooting through boxes of parts and trying things out. If they worked I glued them on and started looking for the next bit! I knew I wanted something that looked like a huge undead-bird-construct, but I didn't even know how big it was going to be at the end, let alone what it would look like!

I think the hind legs were the hardest part to make, as by the time I got to them I had an idea of what it should look like, but I had nothing in my bits box that worked. So I started assembling the legs a piece at a time, and covered the worst joins with flock once it was done.

The first stage of painting (for nearly everything I do these days!) was a spray black undercoat and zenithal grey basecoat. Then a drybrush all over with Ushabti Bone. This gives me a great pre-shaded base layer to work up from and picks out all the details nicely.

After that I just picked out bone and wood areas, so it wasn't all one colour/texture.

(The name Olshovilaag is a bastardised phonetic version of the Hungarian folklore term for the underworld - Alsó világ.)