Thursday, 31 May 2018

Oil and Blood, Tor Megiddo - part 2

I have started making some "civilians" for Tor Megiddo - some mutant merchants and traders to hang around the shanty towns of False Hope and Malady. They will just be background models to make the settlements feel lived-in, they probably won't be active in the actual games.

They all need some baggage of one sort or another added - packs, water flasks, pouches, etc. Once they are painted I will try to make some kind of dreadful post-apocalyptic marketplace for them to sell their revolting goods from from.

Although I am making them as non-combatants this one is a kind of bodyguard for the merchants.


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Oil and Blood, Tor Megiddo - part 1

Kastorax crouched in the shadow of a large rocky outcrop and watched the distant colossus crawl along the canyon floor. The giant walking machine lumbered along in a cloud of orange dust. At this distance no sound reached Katorax but the Techwitch knew its thunderous footsteps would be shaking the ground beneath the colossus. His augmented eyes whirred and clicked as he zoomed out and adjusted the focus, and brought a wider field of vision into view. A swarm of smaller vehicles accompanied the colossus, a mismatched collection of smaller walkers, grav and wheeled bikes, a tracked crawler and a wheeled truck.

As he watched a group of them peeled off from the colossus. Muzzle-flashes flickered from the lead elements and Kastorax followed the direct of fire and saw what they were shooting at: a pack of junk-skimmers raced over the nearest ridge! The convoy’s defenders outnumbered them three-to-one but the junk-skimmers powered toward them at full speed.

One of the wheeled bikes disappeared in a sphere of white light and Kastorax jumped: he knew suddenly why the junk-skimmers were so confident in their attack. They had an archeotech weapon! A second wheeled bike was immolated, then a third and a grav bike made four. The rest of the pack scattered and fled back to the colossus.

A cloud of black smoke and a stab of fire from the walking hulk was followed a few seconds later by a thump and a deep rumbling boom. The colossus had fired its main cannon. The kinetic round smashed a junk-skimmer to bouncing fragments but the other skimmers kept coming. They probably knew they had a minute or two before the cannon would be ready to fire again. A white sphere of light formed on the colossus’s front left leg and the monstrous machine pitched over at a precarious angle. A second white flash enveloped the cannon turret and a bloom of dirty yellow fire erupted as the magazine exploded. The colossus was ended.


Kastorax was gone from his shady lookout. He hurried back to the rest of his warband and their vehicle with uncharacteristic energy, born of excitement and greed. He wanted one of those archeotech energy weapons more than anything he could ever remember wanting!


We are planning a Necromunda campaign, set in the rust-coloured deserts of Tor Megiddo, as a follow-up for the "event game" that took place in Helsinki last year (and is now featuring in White Dwarf in a series of 3 or 4 Blanchitsu articles). The campaign is called "Oil and Blood" and should start in about a month or two.

I plan to tie in the background to the Rhossum Secundus event game that is happening in Warhammer World this weekend. I know it is set on a different planet, but in my "headcanon" it is the same world as Tor Megiddo, though maybe on a different continent, as it seems to fit the spirit of that world perfectly. As I understand it, it's a kind of spiritual sequel: John Blanche liked Tor Megiddo and wanted to try a "big machines" themed game with a very similar feel. So he invited a group of like-minded gamers to each create a "colossus" and its crew. Details like choices of colour schemes and the style of the Techno-Barbarian gangs that have appeared for this game feel like the next evolution of the theme. From my point of view it feels like it is fleshing out the world a little more. Opening out the horizons to reveal a lot of possibilities for story-telling games within the Tor Megiddo setting.

So the Slipgibbets will actually get to see some action on the tabletop! I still regret not posting them to Helsinki so they could have featured in the background of the Tor Megiddo game, as NPCs or even inactive bystanders. And on that topic, I have started making some non-combatants for Tor Megiddo - some mutant merchants and traders to hang around the shanty towns of False Hope and Malady.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Shadows of Commorragh - part 1

Commorragh, the Dark City, is the massive city-state within the Eldar Webway that is the primary home of the Dark Eldar, or Drukhari, race. It is said to be impossible for outsiders to find, and anarchy and terrorism are a well-established way of life for its debased inhabitants. It is widely believed to be hidden deep within the inter-dimensional labyrinth known as the Webway, described by the Eldar as a "dark stain" growing within their holy pathways.
Commorragh is no mere metropolis, for it is to the greatest cities of realspace as a soaring mountain is to a mound of termites. Its dimensions would be considered impossible if they could be read by conventional means, its population greater than that of whole star systems. If anything, Commorragh is more like a vast collection of satellite realms and cities linked by myriad portals and hidden pathways.
Viewed from one perspective, Commorragh is a loose collection of far-flung nodes spread throughout the arteries of the Webway like a malevolent virus. Its clustered concentrations are in reality scattered across the galaxy, thousands of light-years apart in places. Yet these locations are linked together by shimmering dimensional shortcuts. Within the Webway, the immense distances between each sub-realm can be crossed with a single step.
The Dark City is known to have "wandering shadows that tear apart the unwary" and is bathed in the crimson half-light of the Ilmaea, or "black suns," dying stars taken from realspace by the Aeldari at the height of their technological prowess and installed within their own sub-realms within the Webway to provide Commorragh with light and power.
~ 🜩 ~

Wailslake suggested a new Inq28 / Xenos28 project to our group and it has really captured my imagination. He really likes the idea of INQ28 games but he wants to try something that doesn't have the Imperium and humanity as the setting. He suggested creating a campaign based around the same sort of scale of game but with Aeldari factions fighting in Commorragh.

I immediately loved the idea of cut-throat Drukhari cult warfare and intrigue in the murky depths of the Dark City. It's a real change of pace for me, a long way from Orruks! (Though it is still definitely well within my comfort zone as far as haunted cities go!) I fear he has unleashed a great terror onto my hobby plans though as this project will need some very exciting scenery!

~ 🜟 ~

I have no solid idea of exactly how I'm going to make suitable scenery for this, but I want to make a dark and foreboding board with lots of different levels, and plenty of ruins and signs of decay. I want it to have a dark green-sh palette and include the trademark Drukhari curved blades and elongated pyramids. I don't want it to injure players while we use it but "razor sharp" seems to be the by-word for Drukhari design!

~ 🜾 ~
Low Commorragh
Around the titanic central spires of the Dark City are the trading districts of the old Eldar empire. The lowliest of ports was once an architectural masterpiece millennia ago, but the ravages of civil war have not been kind. Low Commorragh now consists of a mixture of shattered ruins and scavenged former glories. Numerous dilapidated fortress complexes and barter-ports now spread out in every direction. The lesser Kabals riddle the extremities of the angular black spires with opportunistic growth. The labyrinthine depths of the outer zones are so congested that a traveller could travel for months on end without so much as a glimpse of a stolen sun. Many areas that have been twisted beyond recognition by the tremendous upheaval of the Fall are haunted by scavengers and spectres. Within the pitch-black catacombs of Low Commorragh there lurks far larger and uglier creatures than the Dark Eldar, for they are prowled by the lost, and the feral thrive there.
One could not possibly visit all the outer districts of Low Commorragh in a single lifetime, for they are many and varied. Attempting to catalogue them would prove fatal, for the Dark Eldar are highly territorial and tend to kill intruders on sight. One such outer district is Hidden Blade, a crucially placed Kabalite stronghold that sticks out between Port Carmine and Nightsound Ghulen. Port Carmine is second only in violent reputation to the Port of Lost Souls, the largest port of the Dark City that is the principle spaceport from which slaves are brought into Commorragh and raiding parties despatched to bring further captives. Port Carmine is a violent realm, suffering from constant gang warfare between rival Kabals. The immensely tall spires of the starport sprout outward for miles, each host to a fleet of ornate spacecraft. Port Carmine's central docks play host to the spectacle of two major Kabalite fleets at full anchor, the Slashed Eye Kabal and the bloodthirsty Stolen Conscience, locked in a never-ending struggle for dominance. Around Port Carmine lay the war-torn ruins known as the Sprawls. Their bleak streets play host to the Parched, cadaverous Dark Eldar that have fallen from grace and wound up on the fringes of their violent society. These wretches are drawn ravenously to a battle whenever one breaks out, vicariously experiencing the acts of extreme violence and drinking in the bloody spectacle to rejuvenate their wasted bodies. Occasionally they will drag an unfortunate soul who has been fatally wounded into the dark alleyways, where the Parched will fight one another over the scraps of the departing soul.

The Sprawls eventually give way to a network of atriums and chambers through which flow the toxic acid-green waterway known as the River Khaïdes. This polluted waterway winds around and through the outer districts of central Corespur, shrouded in subterranean darkness and wreathed in mist. Above the toxic surface of the foul river drift thin grav-craft bedecked in faded grandeur. The sorry hosts of these craft earn what little they can by hooking corpses from the Khaïdes and selling them as slave-food. These corpse-fishers often fall prey to Jetbikes and sky-chariots which streak through the air above the river at dizzying velocity, slashing apart the unfortunate victims in merciless contests of speed.

The mercenary district of Sec Maegra is found further coreward, and is more popularly known as Null City; a nation-sized shanty town permanently riven by civil war. The permanent smell of cordite hangs over the roofs of the shanties, and every few minutes fresh screams pierce the silence. The scorched streets resound with solid-shot gunfire and the crack-spit of Splinter Rifles at night, as negotiations and assassinations turn out badly. It is said that occasionally xenos mercenaries can be found stalking the streets of Null City. It is even rumoured that from time to time the most vicious of their number are called upon to serve the Kabals.
~ 🜃 ~

My warband

I'm going to base my band around a Wych Cult. I will be including a few non-Wyches but I think starting with them as the core will give me a strong theme.

This is the kind of painterly style and colour palette that I want to aim for:

I plan to get the Dark Elf Blood Bowl team as soon as they are available. With head and hand swaps I think they will make excellent citizens of Low Commorragh.

I was not able to stop thinking about it so I went through my bits boxes and collected everything vaguely elven. I had a few Drukhari parts given to me in a job-lot of spares and left-overs when a good friend had a clear-out.

Using Wildwood Ranger bodies and Wych arms and heads I have made a couple of test kit-bashes of Commorragh denizens. I'm quite pleased with how calm and stately they look - a nice contrast to most of the rest of the, very dynamic, Drukhari range I think.

Updates: Painted!

Dhargeth and Meriseth:

And I have started some additional things for the project:

I've printed a backdrop (using an image found on a "Commorragh" Google search). The Google searching also brought up a couple of cool ideas for quick and simple Drukhari objective markers that I have ruthlessly stolen.

I started making a small piece of scenery to use as a colour-test and as a "middle ground" between the backdrop and the minis when photographing them. It's a spikey column from the Temple of Skulls kit, the front of a wrecked Raider and a piece of the Ruins of Osgiliath (Lord of the Rings) scenery on an old movement tray. It's only undercoated at the moment - I plan on painting it in the dark green colour scheme described here.

I have also found my old "tin dome" Storm of Magic templates (not shown) and a Vortex Grenade template - they will make excellent Webway Portals for the campaign!

More soon (ish)!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Sky-Pirates of The Harrowmark: The Selachii - part 2

Captain Bodrin Bok of Harrowmark skyvessel The Selachii leaned on the gunwales and looked down on the forests. The wind ruffled his already wild hair and long forked beard and he grunted with annoyance. They had been contracted to bring a load of cargo from Leechminster to Wortbad and they were already a week late. Now they found the village was occupied by orruk pirates. There were even a couple of greenskins on the dock itself - there was no chance they were going to land there.

He turned to the nearest crewman, that happened to be his nephew Anthor, and told him as much.

"Get ready to dump the Wortbad cargo overboard. We ain't picking anything up this run. We can come back over on the return leg if the winds are in our favour." he said. Anthor looked worried but didn't argue with his uncle. He knew better than that after the year he'd had aboard the Selachii.

As Anthor was about to head aft Bodrin said "Tell Darvon to come forward will you?" the boy nodded.

Anthor found Marcyn, Rohar and Josian and told them what was happening and together they started loosening the cargo nets. As they were about to pass over the skydock for a second time and let the cargo nets fall open, Darvon cam on deck. Anthor waved the Warrior Priest over.

"The Captain wants a word with you and I don't think you'll like it. But please do fight with him!" the boy pleaded. Darvon scowled but said he would do his best.

Brother Darvon walked forward along the deck, clinging to the rigging as he was still unsure of how safe the sky ship actually was, even after the long voyage, just as he approached the captain the crew let go the nets and barrels, sacks and crates tumbed out onto the deck of the skydock. Most of it bounced and rolled straight off again, carried by the momentum of the ship.

Darvon stopped and stared in horror as the cargo crashed to the ground 20 or 30 feet below.

"Ah, good Brother. I'm afraid we won't be setting you down today...."

~ 🕱 ~

The Selachii are skyship merchants and pirates from The Harrowmark in Shyish, the Realm of Death. They are Freeguilders with wild hairstyles, fur-collared clothes and lots of skulls and other macabre trophies hung from their gear.

This warband is also intended as a small group of NPCs for The Harrowmark (alongside the Graveroot Wargrove and the Court of Spades). They may end up as a unit in the Ironfang Fleet, or occasionally oppose them.

~ 🕱 ~

The Selachii explore the forests with a few old friends.

Bodrin Bok, the captain of the Selachii

The inspiration for his scroll:

Darvon, Warrior Priest

Rohar, musician

Marcyn, crewman

Kase, Champion with greatsword

Anthor, crewman

Josian, crewman