Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Thy Soul To Keep - part 6

The Fragile Cargo

Kapitán da Leeva and a few hands raced over the trees in the yellow cutter. The sail was drum-taught in the winds (both meteorological and thaumaturgical) and the cutter’s speed was exhilarating for all aboard her. They all tried their best to avoid looking at huge spherical Black Void that hung menacingly in the sky above them. The Kapitán sat in the bows with his eyes fixed on a distant landmark: a tower of black rock, some thirty or forty feet higher than the surrounding forest canopy. The crew worked together with only a few words exchanged. Dragante, hand sure on the tiller, only needed to give the slightest of instructions for the crew to know exactly what was needed: a tightened halliard here, or a shift in the yardarm there. The six of them had run up and down this stretch of the Harrowmark for weeks; from Wortbad to Blackrocks and back. Ever since the Rotmoon shipwrecked in the forest.

~ 🕱 ~

While Bolet was making his grand entrance to an empty inn, the Rotmoons had been elsewhere. The sorcerer Juan Dee had told them they needed the protective Lantern of Souls, a device made of brass and skulls and wreathed in ethereal green fire. It was kept in a tomb in Black Rocks and they had to bring it back to the Rose & Scythe inn by last light on the 21st of Sorows. The orruk corsairs had procured it fairly easily but their return journey was interrupted by the crew of The Raidho Othala, who were waiting for them at the edge of the village.

~ 🕱 ~

Skirmish Battleplan: Fragile Cargo
The Rotmoons - 43 Renown
The crew of The Raidho Othala - 48 Renown

~ 🕱 ~

The orruk corsairs left the yellow cutter at the sky-dock and set off on foot toward the Rose & Scythe.

They hurried but the Lantern of Souls was awkward to carry and Kapitán da Leeva struggled to keep up with the crew.

Lord Ordinator Ironfundson was waiting for them! Having foreseen their mission, but not their intentions, he was certain they were up to no good and determined to stop them.

The Raidho Othalas were right behind him and cheered as the Lord Ordinator started raining comets on the orruks!

Awkwardo set off toward Ironfundson on his own, impetuously and unwisely. The Kapitán considered calling him back but sighed and left the big orruk to try his "plan". Unfortunately he didn't get far as the Invisible Geists in the graveyard dragged him into their underworld.

More starfall rained down on Kapitán da Leeva's head! But the orruk corsair's collection of battered talismans and charms somehow protected him.

Kapitán da Leeva brought down a Doom and Darkness and only a couple of the Kharadron could see a target to shoot at. Unfortunately Geedo Forks fell to a staccato volley from the nearest of them, but only after he and Pez charged and killed the kharadron they called "The Fisherman", the one armed with a much-feared Skyhook.

Ironfundson got frustrated by the orruk Kapitán's resilience and charged him, hammers swinging.

The Lord Ordinator took down the Kapitán but the Rotmoons around him avenged their leader swiftly, and picked up the Lantern to try to complete his mission. It got too much for Don Snotto though, and the cowardly grot fled.

The Kharadrons drew closer, blasting the orruks with pistol shot and charging with cutlass. A couple of greenskinz fell but an Arkanaut did too, and that was enough to make one of his crew-mates run for it!

So at the very end only two fighters remained on each side, the Kharadron Navigator felled Bold Rik then an Invisible Geist from the ruined barn grabbed Percy Percy!

~ 🕱 ~

The Rotmoons nursed their wounds as they trudged back to the inn in darkness, and without the Lantern of Souls. The rain started as they got to the front door and came down so heavily that they were soaked through in seconds. They were all already in a black mood before that and the freezing rain did nothing to improve matters. They pushed open the door to find Bolet Ghosteater sitting in front of the fire, warming his gnarled toes.

The Fungoid Cave-Shaman was half tempted to jump onto his chair to make himself silhouetted against the flames and shout at the orruks and startle them, but he saw their faces and instantly thought better of it.

He slumped into the chair defeated. He hated Wortbad already.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Thy Soul To Keep - part 5

The Black Void

Everywhere across Shyish, waking dreams plagued those who scried the future – including Bolet Ghosteater, for his quest had led him to the heart of the Realm of Death. Like every visionary, mage and wise man he was haunted by the image of a vast black sphere that stole light, warmth and hope from all who witness it.

Yet only at night was its most profound consequence keenly felt. The Black Void, synonymous with oblivion in the mythic symbology of Azyr, hungered to devour all things – and in the Realm of Death, that rapacious nothingness began to consume time itself.

It started with a blink in time, a glitch in the chronology of events that few noticed bar a slight feeling of disorientation. Perhaps, if the cities of Sigmar’s free people had not striven to find order in time as well as space, it would have gone unnoticed, at least for a while. But as the effects worsened, the clockmakers and arcanists of the Amethyst Realm notice their hourglasses suddenly filled with less sand, and that at midnight, their chronocogs and water clocks glitched as if ten minutes has passed without their notice.

And so it had. For in the dead of night, the Black Void fed.

Stolen seconds turned to minutes, and then hours. As more and more time slipped away, even the most primitive and bestial species became somehow aware that their lives were being shortened by an impossible force that preyed on them from the Great Nothing.

The Rotmoons neared the verge of panic as this realisation set in. But while the unnatural darkness might herald more woes for the land, for now the shapes moving through it surely were a more pressing issue. 

~ 🕱 ~

Clash at Dawn

All fighters were deployed in a random quarter of the battlefield (1-4 on a D6) or held in reserve (5-6 on a D6). The skirmish would be won at the end of the Battle Round in which the enemy warband was reduced to half its number of fighters.

The Rotmoons (40 Renown)
Bolet Ghosteater, Fungoid Cave Shaman.
Hammerhead - Ogor
Trollumbus - Fellwater Troggoth
Dodoso - Orruk
Bondon - Orruk

The Heralds of Nagash (48 Renown)
An'sec - Knight of Shrouds
Lord Radclyffe's Riders - 3 Hexwraiths
Noisey William and co. - 3 Deadwalkers

~ 🕱 ~

Bolet waved his staff and sickle in what he hoped was a menacing way and screeched high-pitched orders in frustration and anger. He had found a few wayward members of the Rotmoon's crew and talked them into joining him. They thought they were looking for the rest of the Rotmoons, but the Cave-Shaman had other ideas.

Trollumbus and Hammerhead smashed a Deadwalker to a gooey mess on the edge of the forest. 

The Knight of Shrouds floated down from the watchtower and closed on the pirates.

A Hexwraith headed toward Bolet but the Cave-Shaman retreated.

He shrieked more orders and the big guys ran past him to intercept the ghostly rider. The Hexwraith screamed silently and faded to smoke under the heavy-hitter's barrage of blows.

Bolet chuckled to himself, as he still thought that the battle was going well, but An'sec, the Knight of Shrouds had other plans...

Bondon arrived (late) and a Hexwraith hunted him and rode him down in the darkness.

Another of Lord Radclyffe's Riders galloped out of the night.

The harbingers faced each other and Bolet did all he could to save his miserable life, using every trick he could muster, but the Knight of Shrouds eventually cut down the Cave-Shaman in a cloud of hallucinogenic spores.

The Heralds of Nagash closed in on the remaining Rotmoons from all sides, soon Dudoso and Hammerhead were taken down, leaving Trollumbus the troggoth alone.

The troggoth realised that it was hopeless and he lumbered off into the darkness, craning his neck to look over his shoulder, terrified he was being pursued.

~ 🕱 ~

Meanwhile, in another part of the Harrowmark... Kalyustar and the Kharadron Raidho Othalas met to settle their grievances!

~ 🕱 ~

The inn door burst open, wind and rain poured in. Lightning flashed and silhouetted Bolet Ghosteater in the doorway. Thunder rolled over the forests and hills around Wortbad and he stomped into the bar, slamming the door behind him. Satisfied that he had recovered his dramatic advantage and made a suitable entrance at last, the Cave-Shaman smiled inwardly and waited for a moment before lifting his head. Rainwater scattered across the floor from his soaked filthy robes and ran from the huge umbrella-like mushroom that grew from his skull. With a flourish of his hand he pronounced...

"Behold! I am... ahhhh, Zoggit!"

He slumped in disappointment once more as he realised the inn was empty.

~ 🕱 ~

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Bolet Ghosteater - Fungoid Cave-Shaman

Bolet Ghosteater waddled through the stinking mud toward Wortbad. It had been raining for two weeks and the road was almost impassable, but it was only a mile or two to the village now. Something had gone wrong with hi portal though and he muttered to himself and cursed his luck: he was supposed to have appeared in the town square. Now not only was his grand entrance ruined, his feet would be too. The Fungoid Cave-Shaman had foreseen all this, of course, but that didn’t make the bitter disappointment any less unbearable.

I'm not 100% happy with his face, so I might do a little more work before I call him finished, but this is good enough for today's game!

~ 🕱 ~

Some WIP pics - these were before greenstuff - I didn't take any before undercoating as I only had two evenings left to paint after building him! I built the mushroom stem from his head, filled the gaps between his new face and his original ears, and added a leather strap to attach the crossed bones to the staff.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Skarkrow's Ironjawz Ardboys - part 2

I played my first game of Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire this week. It was a fun game and it spurred me to get back to painting the Orruks for it I bought last year when they were first released! I did some head-swaps when I built them, as I have issues with building models "straight out of the box"! They have been sat half-finished on my hobby desk for a few months. Two of them were very nearly finished so I concentrated on them last night.

Gurzag Ironskull:


The first two Shadespire Ardboyz together:

I have also been working on some addition Ironjawz Ardboyz, to boost Ironskull's Boyz to the size of an AoS Skirmish warband: Skarkrow's Ironjawz Arboys.

They are made from a mix of old Ardboyz, Blood Bowl Orcs and the Shadespire Ardboyz. All the models are converted in some way - I've added baggage, cloaks, knives and trophies. I've also done weapons-swaps (from Brutes and Ogors) and head-swaps from other kits (Boar Boyz, Ironjawz Brutes and Orks). I detailed their bases with cracked and chipped flagstones, skulls and scrubby plants and gnarled roots to make them look more like the Shadespire orruks' bases. The first one painted is...


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Thy Soul To Keep - part 4

Cursed Omens

A plague of dark omens has the Mortal Realms in its grip. The hour of the damned is close. As the Time of Tribulations unfolds, the armies of the living find themselves united against a common foe - the slowly rising tide of undeath. Hidden secrets have been laid bare.

Our actions have attracted Lunaghast to the Mortal Realms, a colossal moon formed of dark datter from the Aetheric Void in which the eight realms hang. Thirsty for secrets and hidden truths, the moon has been lured to Shyish by the slaughter of prophets and seers. Across the lands, the peoples of the Realms are attempting to appease it by screaming their darkest secrets and most closely guarded knowledge from the highest peaks. Lunaghast greedily devours much of the knowledge brought about by these omens.

Hidden Truths of Lunaghast:
Subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 12″ of one or more Knights of Shrouds from your army. In addition, subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of all models that do not have the Death keyword.

~ 🕱 ~

The Well of Souls

Souls are an abundant resource in the Realm of Death, yet all are bound to but one master - Nagash. Robbing the Great Necromancer of his due is an act of audacity that comes with the most terrible risks, but such are the potential benefits that there is rarely a shortage of those willing to try...

Stealing souls: Each time you slay an enemy model, roll a dice. On a 4+ you have captured the slain models spirit and gain 1 soul token. In addition at the start of any hero phase in which one model from your warband is within 3" of the Well of Souls, you gain D3 soul tokens.

~ 🕱 ~

In a clearing, deep in the endless malignant forest that covers the Harrowmark, the broken dais was now being used for macabre purposes. The Shattered Circle was always known as an evil place. The raw Death Magic that permeated the area was tangible even to those without magic sensitivity. For those with the Wyrdsight the amethyst energies that swirled and eddied around the ruined dais were clearly malevolent and extremely powerful.

Now the Time of Tribulations had come the power of the Circle was laid bare, the soul-essence of anyone who died near it was trapped there and not free to travel to its long-anticipated underworld. For anyone with the right arcane container, and foolhardy enough to try, the trapped souls could be collected.

With their star-fallen amethyst-infused skull in-hand the Rotmoons made their way to the Shattered Circle, via the Gheistgate, intent on gathering a macabre harvest. The words of El Doctoro the shaman rang in their ears: "Harken the Portents of the Black Void!"

Through the gloom of the woods the Rotmoons spotted the Shattered Circle and hurried towards it. Somehow Percy Percy had become separated from the rest of the crew, but the Kapitán was not worried, he would catch up.

Kalyustar and a marksman were lurking in the western woods.

The Raidho Othalas approached from the north. They aimed a Skyhook at the Rotmoons, but the pirates somehow convinced the Kharadron to fire at the Gilded Hand instead by quoting the Code!

The marksman fell, and to Kalyustar's shock and fury, the Kharadron entrapped his soul!

The Rotmoons chuckled to themselves, proud of their sneakiness, but this was only the start of it!

Kapitán da Leeva advanced, with Bold Rikk ahead of him.

The second wave of Kharadron arrived, hidden behind the Freebooter's Tower.

Kalyustar and an Arkanaut got to the Shattered Circle first and both gathered a deathly bounty from the Well of Souls.

The dark signs shifted and the fates contrived. Kapitán da Leeva laughed to himself as he found a way to use them to trick the Arkanaut and Soulchemist into wanting to fight each other, against both of their better judgement!

Kalyustar and the Arkanaut thought for a moment they were deadly enemies! Cutlass clashed with staff and the Arkanaut wounded the Soulchemist.

Kapitán da Leeva pushed passed Bold Rikk and charged at the combatants! They realised that da Leeva was their enemy but it was too late! Blood had been spilled.

The other orruk pirates rounded the Shattered Circle; a harvest of many souls was reaped by all three warbands!

The Kapitán blasted the Arkanaut with a heavy flintlock pistol that was loaded with a mix of black powder and Shyish Realmstone sand, smashing the bullet through the Arkanaut's chest in a flash of fire and Invisible Gheists, then rounded on Kalyustar. The Soulchemist tried to manifest an Arcane Bolt but the magic failed on his fingertips and da Leeva cut him down.

Kapitán da Leeva fired his second pistol at a Thunderer with a Skyhook; the black powder and Shyish Realmstone sand mix once again worked with devastating results! Invisible Gheists swirled around the Thunderer's corpse!

Dragante was felled by the Kharadron Navigator while Percy Percy suddenly disappeared in the darkness - he was warned by the Portents: Don't Go Out Alone! But he did not heed them, to his peril.

Kapitán da Leeva charged and ran-down the Thunderer with a Deck Sweaper, who was unable to match the ferocity and skill of the orruk privateer. The remaining Kharadron Raidho Othalas fell back, happy that their tally of collected souls exceeded that of the Rotmoons!

~ 🕱 ~

Rain hammered on the roof of the abandoned inn. The Rotmoons gathered round the fireplace in the main bar and talked in low voices of the day's adventures. The room was crowded and smokey and drink flowed freely, but there was no sense of revelry.

"The abundance of uncovered troofs allows us an unparalleled opportunity to settle grievances that have long gone unanswered. No gitz will escape our wrath." muttered El Doctoro, half to himself, as he examined the swirly ghostly energies that surrounded and penetrated the starfallen skull.

Soul Tokens:
The Raidho Othalas 6
The Rotmoons 5
The Gilded Hand 1