HEPHESTO'S UPDATE – SECOND MONTH
Alrighty time for the second installment of A Tale of X Gamers. First of my apologies for the delay in my report, I was in Germany for a few days and had forgotten my camera’s memorycard. And as my report would be a bit bland without pictures I figured I should wait a bit before submitting it.
To be honest, my army has only seen a small amount of progress with other endeavors and distractions throwing up roadblocks at every turn. Though slow, I like to think the stuff that is getting done is pretty decent. This month I also have to sent special thanks to Drackonis, his pirate contest has given me ideas for both the background of the army and one of its more bizar converted units. To start off here are two new story chapters, those wishing to skip it may be surprised at what they find further below
THE RANGERS OF ILANDRAL CHAPTER 1 - OF THINGS SMALL AND WICKED
Finally all of Ilandral’s scouts had arrived and together, six men strong, they now travelled west towards the Crystal River and the Western Sentinels. For two days they sped through the woodlands, silently, unseen until they came close to the Crystal river. With still a good day’s journey ahead of them, the scouting party’s healer, Milhandra, became more and more restless. Gentle and kind as she was when attending the wounded, inside her she bore a great, burning hatred for all those that choose to harm or destroy the Great Forest that had sheltered and nurtured her kin for many generations now. Her knowledge of the land and the spirits that resided in them made her especially attuned to any tain in its natural balance. Seeing her growing discomfort Ilandral ordered the scouts to pause, turning to the dark clad Elf on this right he spoke:
‘Siradan, take point. Your skills will be needing here.’
Nodding casually the Wood Elf stepped past him and dashed into the thick woods ahead of them, the others following at a distance. Suddenly stopping he gestured Ilandral to join him while the other scouts take up defensive positions. Pointing to the disturbed ground he speaks to Ilandral in his usual cold, direct manner:
-Gors, about a dozen, no more then half an hour ago.-
‘We can not accept their vile pressence in these blessed woods, in which direction did they leave?’, responded Ilandral.
-To the southwest, to the riverbed-, Siradan whispered.
Gazing mezmerised the hulking gor watched with fascination at the brightly coloured fish it held in its hand. Slightly tilting its head as if it was a child that for the first time saw the towering walls of Middenheim he watched the fish die, the life slowly drifting away with each desperate breath. But the creature quickly grew tired of its newly acquired toy, throwing it into the bushes he turned back towards the crude encampment the beasts had erected on the river’s bank.
Striding through the camp he made his his way to his restingplace and stash, only to find it disturbed with a most prized item missing. Violently turning around, growling with rage he charged the first ungor within reach smashing him brutally into a tree. Head thrown to the sky, crying out a great howl he proclaimed his victory. The other beasts, quickly rosed, centered on the fight as petty rivalries grapsed the small warband, turning the encampment into a violent brawl as more and more gors and ungors proved to be as savage as their appeance..
‘Thank you, ancient ones’ Ilandral quietly spoke from his hiding place at the encampment’s edge as the two small, wickedly sniggering spites handed over a rune-carved ungor skull. ‘NOW’ he shouted as he bursted from the bushes.
As one Ilandral’s men fired their arrows at the gathered rabble of beastmen fighting in front of them, all six arrows striking their targets with deadly accuracy. The death of their kin seemed to rouse most of the beastmen from the fight as they refocussed their beastial rage on this new, loathed enemy. Grabbing whatever weapon they could they charged Ilandral as he fired more and more arrows at the mob rushing towards him. One particulary large gor, moving more like an animal on four legs, arrows pertruding from his chest a left arm managed to reach the ranger only to be met by another guardian of the woods.
Rushing from the brushes behind Ilandral a graceful fox intervened, launching itself at the gor’s neck as the ranger swiftly evaded the beasts’ clumsy attack. Grabbing desperately at the animal attacked to its throat the gor pulled the fox of, ripping out a great portion of this own flesh. Swinging the fox through the air the brute prepairs to smash the animal into the ground as another shiny, singing arrow sheered through the thick brushes hitting him directly in the chest. Fallen to its knees the brute, heavily breathing turned in the direction of which the arrow was fired. Moving silently another Wood Elf emerged from the woods, his faced hidden beneath a birdshaped mask. Walking next to him was the fox that had come to Ilandral’s aid. Stopping a mere metre away from the gor, who was now on his side still defiantly growling to his assailant, the Elf grabbed another arrow from his quiver.....a quick flash of light from the arrowpoint was the last thing the brute would ever see.
Pulling his blade from the bloodied corpse of yet another ungor Ilandral surveyed the encampment, on the right Mahadril was dispatching the last few ungors. His twin blades cutting a bloody swath through the largely unarmed beasts. The entire camp was lithered with the corpses of beastmen and arrows, nearly two dozen of the brutes had been struck down before they had a chance to flee. Sighting some slight movement from the corner of his eye he rushed through the camp only to find a mortally wounded ungor with a crude smile on its face holding up a sounding horn. With its last breath sending a signal to whatever may be out there, only for it to be answered by the faint sound of more horns coming from the west.
Signaling to the other Ilandral gazed to the west, whatever was out there would find a potent enemy in him and his scouts.
THE RANGERS OF ILANDRAL CHAPTER 2 - THERE BE SUMTIN SHINY OVER THUR
Glancing through his broken looking glass Gibbitz had spend the day idly playing around, high in the make-shift crowsnest the lookout sat above the Riva Pirates’ mighty battlebarge. Mighty in the eyes of da Captun anyway, not much more than pieces of wood bound together with rotten rope to others. Still it had been their home for months now, and for months they had raided small riverside settlements in Bretonnia. Whenever they encountered real resistance they’d just retreat, luckily there were always plenty of new gobs to replace those that fell to the landlovers...or infighting.
When they finally met their match it had been in the form of warboss Grombag, a particulary spitefull Orc who led a sizeable warband on the easter boarders of Bretonnia. Somehow the Captun had convinced him to let his boyz join up instead of suffering a worse fate, suspiciously over half of the ladz disappeared that day. The stew the shaman had brewed for the festivities that night was great though, Gibbitz never did figure out what ‘du spezul ingredent’ was though.
But now da new boss had send them to the northeast, up the river into the woodlands where those pointy eared tree pansies could be found. Not entirely sure what they were suppossed to do there Captun agreed anyway...not that he had much choice about it though. The only problem was that big Black Orc the boss had send with them, he was mean and tough enough to scare the rabble on ‘da ship’ into a sort of loyal crew. Just as he was thinking about how he’d show the rest of the boyz and get ride of that big Orc, a large shock threw him right out of this post and unto the deck four meters below.
‘Oj, you git...told you to keep an eye out upz da river’ the Black Orc growled as he grabbed Gibbitz by his lower leg. ‘Youz piratez only good as arrowfoddur.’
Squeling as if his life depended on it, which might very well be true, Gibbitz struggled to get free as the rest of the boyz watched from a distance half amused, half terrified. Clinging on to his looking glass, hanging upside down the Black Orc lifted him up to his face.
‘Shiny, big shiny things up ahead’, Gibbitz belched out with a screeching voice, desperately hoping that this would somehow satisfy the brute.
Not entirely disappointed by what he just heard the Black Orc merely tossed the lookout across the deck, hitting Snikrot right in the face. Half dizzy and slightly disorientated both goblins got to their feet, Snikrot obviously suffering more injury to his pride than anything else wobled his way in the general direction of da Captun’s quarters. Da Captun was not amused at all as Snikrot had been the roving band’s lucky charm ever since that river troll had refused to eat him, the little git was useful. And once da Captun was angry, few things could stop him. Mad and armed with blackpowder pistols blazing he roused da ladz to charged the Black Orc, who unimpressed stood his ground. With more luck than skills the Piratez slowly forced the Black Orc back, who quickly discovered why the lads had stayed away from the barge’s left side. The rotten wood unable to support his weight gave in and the lads got a front row seat to the spectacle of a Black Orc trying to swim......needless to say with was a plenty amusing, though bit short show.
Clearly calmed down da Captun turned to the still dazed Gibbitz, ‘Now wha wuz diz bout shiny stuff’?
‘Shiny, big shiny things up ahead.......’, Gibbits replied anxiously ‘.......me thinks’.
‘Right then you runts, backz to work. Letz find thiz shiny stuff’ da Captan shouted out with this usual, though often misplaced, goblin enthousiasm.
And through some small miracle there was indeed sumtin shiny further down the river, Gibbitz was convinced that him landing on Snikrot must have caused some of little snotling’s luck to rub of on him. As the boat made its way further down the river the crew got more of a glimpse of da shiny stuff. A bit deeper in the forest a gigantic crystal decorated waystone could be seen, but once da river pirates made it pasted the next turn in the river they discovered there was more there than new treasure.
Shouts and beastial growls greeted them once the waystone came in full sight, at its base a large group of beastmen had been working on some kind of blood-drenched shrine. The gors and ungors were to caught up fighting the weird tree creatures and a handfull of pointy-ears that came from the forest to notice the brightly coloured goblins slowly closing in on them.
‘Grim, getz to work’, da Captun shouted as he turned towards the snotling behind him who was playing with a cutlass. The little one immediately responded by running of towards the back of the barge.
‘Ok ladz, listen up. I wantz those shiny gems, so letz show them beasties and pointy-ears whoz da best at fightin’ da Captun spoke to his men.
As single goblin responded ‘Butz……they be all magicky and shooty’.
‘Shooty….shooty, theyz only got pieces of them treez. Wez gotz more shooty bitz them than. Wez aint no cowardly land-loving grots, weze riva pirates. Even lil’ Snikrot herez is ready to go.’, da Captun shouted in response while pointing at the frantically pacing Snikrot. And with that remark the barge dug itself into the riverbed as da pirates flooded into the skirmish surrounding the waystone.
As his boyz where fighting, shooting and generally keeping the both parties distracted da Captun wobled his way towards the waystone, disposing of several ungors in the process. The shaman at the altar had other plans than just to let him take the crystals and gems they had prod from the protective waystone. Calling the other beasts to his side the shaman prepared to confront da Captun, who in turn, slighty nervously, called out to his ladz Grim in particular.
‘Herez, boss’ the snotling replied, while vaguely saluting da Captun. Towering above both of them stood the lumbering Grom. Though about as smart as a drunk troll, his brawn was very useful here, dragging the heavy wooden framework across the forestfloor he pointed its barrel towards the beastmen charging.
A flash, a loud bang and a big cloud of smoke later the shaman laid on the forestfloor, his head nowhere to be found. Many of the other beastmen had been heavily wounded and a ‘poor’ grot crewmate had been crushed by the cannonette’s recoil. Sending tha ladz of to deal with the numerous other foes da Captun went straight for the waystone’s precious gems. But before the reached them a new opponent crossed his path: the ranger Ilandral appear almost right in front of him.
Face-to-face da Captun and the ranger stood, a gunpowdered pistol and cutlass versus an ancient wooden bow and arrow. Just as they were about to strike at eachother, a loud growl came bellowing from the other side of the clearing. Bursting from the trees a heavily armoured gor strode forward leading a large herd of vile Beastmen. Nervously grinning da Captun glances at his opponent and the arrow pointed at his chest.
‘Wut youz say we callz this un a draw, pointy-ear?’
Realising this overwhelming number of Beastmen would surely defeat his men and descecrated the sacred waystone, Ilandril reluctantly nodded in agreement as he turned turned his attention to what was clearly the leader of this chaos incursion.
Sensing an opportunity for survival da Captun bellowed his orders to da boys.
‘Leave them pointy-ears to their buziness, them chaos boyz is more stronger.’
And so gob and Wood Elf alike stood there ground against the tide or muscled beasts that stormed the waystone bent upon its destruction.
As said before, fairly little visible progress this month, but I do have many ideas running rampant through the dusty corridors of my imagination. First up are Ilandral’s rangers, only three build so far, but here’re the ideas for the others.
– Lord’s Bowman and general hero of the background story.
– Healer and herbalist.
– Master Scout, even more silent and grim than the other scouts.
- Beastmaster/falconer character from the story, will probably include a special robe, mask and some animal familiars. Thinking of a bird/hawke/raven and some other creature...perhaps a ferret if I can pull it of.
- Wardancer/bard character with some sort of muscial instrumen, something like a flute or small harp.
- Warrior/eternal guard character from the story wielding dual blades, will have to have a more armoured look to him than the others. The eternal guard artwork from the armybook will be of great help for this guy.
Things small and wicked – scratch-build spites taking of with a ungor runeskull, some rough ideas are being worked on. Should turn out good I think.
Animal familiar – attempting the fox from the background story, very challenging as I have to make the complete head myself. More on this critter next month.
Tha River Bandits
They’re mean, they’re green, but most of all they are seriously disfunctional! After starting on my entry for Drackonis’ pirate contest over at astro things went all screwy with me getting carried away with another project. One mini turned into a ten-gob strong pirate unit, not wanting to waste them I figured I’d just up them aside for some future Dogs of War project. However I just couldn’t get them out of my mind, the little green blighters somehow managed to drag me away from my Wood Elves. So I was only left with one option, somehow encoorporate them into the army......alright I’ll be honest, I was planning on adding them as soon as I put the first pirate together. And as such, much to my shame, my first pained mini for my Wood Elf army is a goblin pirate
So here they are, the entire second fluff chapter was added because of these guys. They’ll be replacing one of the glade guard units, I know a bit unlikely as they are nowhere as brave or accurate as Wood Elves, but there sheer firepower from the cannonnette and blackpowder weapons should make up for it. And as river goblins seem to be braver (WD) than your everyday green critters they might very well end up trying to outshine the Woodsies instead of running away.
To help things a bit clear (if the forum doesn’t mess it up that is) here’s the unit’s composition;
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- Short of stature, big of sword.
2/3/9/10. Grim and Grom
- Wez more shooty boyz than them pointy ears. The cannon is entirely scratch-build, save for a Golbin shiled, no GW bits were used for it.
4. Snikrot da Lucky
- More lucky charm than real River Bandit, self-preclaimed keeper of shiny bits. Although da Captun will greatly disagree with this daring claim.
5. Da Captun
- Ojh….I said salut mez whens Iz shows up.
6. Wava da Banaboy.
- Bannerwava, fanatically devoted to his Banna, or Wavy as he calls ‘her’.
- Mez be very hitty, mez got me a big, shiny blunderbuz.
- Good thing he’s taller than most of the other grots as his aim is about as effective as a Snotling fighting a Black Orc.
- Forget about personal hygiene, but if you need someone to dish out a good stompin’ he’s your Grot.
- Youz can nevah have enuf pointy things.
- Lookout and spotter, which would actually make him useful…if he didn’t have the concentration of a Squig on darkcave mushrooms that is. He’s also often the butt of the River Banditz jokes and tricks.
- Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Shoot........howz you use one a dez thingz again?
Dance baby, dance!
After some searching, pleeding and dare I say begging I’ve managed to acquire all the different wardancers from the normal blisters. Together with my two bought items of this month (wardancer lord and wardancer command group) I now have all the minis needed for this band of singing , dancing nutters. Need to give their colourscheme a bit more thought as I’m not entirely certain how I’ll tackle their talismanic tattoos. Might do some freehand swirling green tattoos, although woodraider/braveheart themed warpaint should/would also work great on them.
THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE
As always I don’t like to plan ahead to much for these kind of things to much as inspiration and creativity know no time, but I will at least set some probably unachieveable goals. Here goes;
- Paint da riva pirates.
- Finally decide on a colourscheme and try it out on some spare glade guards.
- Put together and convert the branchwraith unit, including adding an annoyance of netlings that has infested through the unit.
- Try to figure out what to do with my characters, adding some extra stuff and deciding what I wan to use as my
- Figure out how the story will progress as I haven’t got a clue at the moment
The first few new things are already underway; some skintests and WIP beastmaster and fox.
Well that’s it for my second update, hope everybody will enjoy it. So best of luck to all the other participants and see you guys in a month
For the other updates check here