Da-da, Da Da, Da-da, Da-da-da, Dah, etc.
Apologies for invoking that grossly overplayed and vaguely irritating tune, beloved of TV advertisers everywhere along with a certain High Street Chemist.
However, I invoke it with good reason, as here, indeed, come the Girls!
Nope its not the Amazons and for those of you more familiar with later editions (and may I say rather bastardised versions of Lustria) of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, its definitely not the Valkyries.
If these aren't Valkyries, then some of you who may have seen the entry I painted up for the Golden Gobbo's Painting Competition, and specifically read the backstory I wrote for Njora Bjattey, may be wondering why I referred to the Valkyries in it.
Well, I've been thinking (yes, that's what the noise was...) and the name didn't really sit right with me. This band of warrior women are supposed to be the ones who are thrown out by the men because they threaten to emasculate (sometimes literally) them with their fighting prowess and general belligerence. Valkyries, at least in Norse legend, tend to fall in love with male heroes, carry the glorious dead up to Valhalla and generally enjoy a pretty prestigious place in the pantheon. Its a strong female role but not quite right for these feisty ladies. I read around a bit and came up with Sigewif (victorious women) and Skjaldmeyjar (shield maidens) - all too positive I'm afraid!
Instead, may I present to you the Bollrbrjótr - I'm sure you won't need a PhD in Old Norse to work out roughly what it means...
They are led by Njora Bjattey for whom, as per the requirements for the Golden Gobbo's, I have written stats and a background story:
Level 20 Norse Hero
M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl WP Pts
4 6 4 4 4 3 6 4 10+3 7 8+1 8+1 107
Double handed sword and shield
Njora has come, quite literally, a long way since her coming of age in the bleak and quite frankly boring village of Helmfirth.
Completely unimpressed with the, in her opinion, pathetic example of manhood she was expected to be married to, Njora soon became known as a troublemaker. Not content with the daily hum-drum existence of running the homestead, disciplining the slaves and mending the fishermens’ nets, Njora soon came to the conclusion that it should be her wearing the trousers. Despite the fact that she cut a faintly ridiculous sight marching about her business, sporting her husband’s ill fitting britches (which had a tendency to bunch up into a wrinkled mess about her lower legs), there wasn’t a soul in the village brave enough to even dare a smirk at her expense.
And so it came to pass that one day Njora, much to the relief of her downtrodden husband, wrapped up what she considered to be her sword, hitched her britches up one last time and left. It was a time of exploration and colonisation with many enterprising and often clinically insane Norsemen signing up as crew for the long voyage to the fabled land of Lustria. Njora had no trouble finding a place on one of the long ships, despite a small misunderstanding between her and the captain over the issue of cleaning, cooking and mending the sails...
Things came to a head shortly after she had humiliated the entire council of Elders during the annual harvest celebration. Smarting at the implied insult of being requested to freshen the councils flagons with ale, Njora proceeded to procure an axe and began to hack at the huge Hogshead that towered over the banqueting tables. The squealing and rending of wood splitting down the grain under enormous pressure was the last sound some of the more infirm council members heard before being overwhelmed by a deluge of shattered barrel slats and most of the year’s supply of beer. This was the last straw and Njora was banished from the settlement and cast forth into the jungle to fend for herself. Where many might have quailed at the dangers that lurked round every corner of the hungry forests, Njora saw that her moment had come. Stopping only to retrieve her trusty sword, she marched resolutely off in search of adventure.
It wasn’t long before the fiery Norse woman realised that she was by no means the first of her kind to suffer this fate. As she penetrated deeper and deeper into the fetid jungle, her brightly striped britches reduced to a single tattered rag of a loincloth, she happened across another settlement... run entirely by women.
Yet it wasn’t that strange culture of Amazons, who the menfolk rightly feared, with their crumbling cities, great temples and technological weapons. The long, low huts had instead an unmistakably Norse flavour to them, as did the aromas of ale and roasting meat that wafted from their direction. Njora gazed at the sight and smiled - here was her home, among the outcasts of the Norsemen - the Womenfolk too strong-willed for their husbands, too feisty for the berserkers and more adept with a sword than the Bondi could tolerate.
Njora was welcomed in and, as time passed, she rose in prominence amongst her new kin. Her deeds brought these dispossessed women much renown and the men of Skeggi trembled to tell of her wrath. With the slaying of one of the great beasts of the forest and taking its pelt as her own, Njora Bjattey secured her place as Matriarch of the Bollrbrjótr of Lustria.
Njora is a particularly fearsome example of what every sane Norseman fears - the Battle-axe. She exhibits many of the attributes that mark a Battle-axe out from the rest of the fairer sex as one to be feared. She is particularly renowned for her Withering Stare, which has been known to unman all but the most macho, blinkered or plain stupid of male opponents. The only warrior ever to have been unaffected by her icy glare was the famous alcoholic, Crompo. In fact he nearly had the dubious honour of making a good woman of Njora, having challenged her to single combat during a particularly violent raid by the Bollrbrjótr on Skeggi. If he hadn’t fallen asleep after subduing her in a wrestling match of titanic proportions, he might not now be known as Castrato...
Any male character model or male members (sorry!) of a unit that wishes to charge or is charged by Njora must first pass a WP test at a -2 modifier. If the test is failed the charge is carried out as normal but all stats for the model in base to base contact with Njora are subject to a -1 penalty. If the test is passed the charge and combat is carried out as normal.
Any unit or character who is pushed back and followed up by Njora, or the unit she is associated with, is automatically routed.
Missile troops who are within earshot (12”) suffer a -1 to hit penalty if firing at her or the unit she is associated with, due to Njora’s belittling comments and steely gaze.
So there we have it - a new faction for the Magnificent Sven and his merry band to fall foul of somehow - and definitely nothing to do with the Valkyries that were shoehorned into the Lustria of 5th Ed(?). If you have happened to browse through the Lizardman Army Book you'll be familiar with the strange retelling of how the Amazons were descended from the original Norsemen's Wives who were left to fend for themselves when their hubbies went off looking for gold. Forced to take up arms to defend themselves, they were then ejected from Skeggi presumably by the next wave of male settlers, unhappy with all these armed women wandering about. Thus the Valkyries set off and colonised an island somewhere and discovered a strange drug that gave them immortal youth...
Which is just plain silly - I much prefer the version where the Amazons retained their independence during the High Age of the Slann Empire, due to the value the Slann accorded them as thralls and acolytes. With the fall of the Slann Empire, leaving behind a primitive shadow of its former glories, the Amazons continued to prosper as they retained and preserved much of the High Age technology. Now ruled by the same Sisterhood that served the Slann, the Amazons form one of the more populous groups of native inhabitants in Southern Lustria.
In short, crazy, religious, drug chewing Warrior Priest women, who now tote the laser guns their Space Frog overlords once owned...
... Erm, hang on - maybe that sounds a little daft too, but I still prefer it!
Anyway, back to the Bollrbrjótr and here's the rest of the gang - just got a few more Citadel Female Barbarians to track down to finish them off.
Seems a while since I came up with any punning names - hopefully they're not too obscure.
Vaera Dukwróth - Lots of practice with flesh tones and blonde with this lot!
I also decided to carry on the big cat theme on various shields and other items of clothing...
And yes I know you don't get lions in the jungle - she seemed quite lion-y and it is Lustria we're talking about!
Sibyl Fólti - I carried on the cat imagery on her shield too. This time its definitely a jungle cat - hopefully you might recognise it as an Ocelot from the markings, although I think the green of the eyeball may be a bit dull.
It was quite a nice pallete of colours to work with - flesh, leather browns and gold. Hopefully I got enough contrast into the colour schemes though.
Haha, and for once skimpy outfits and daft metal bikinis can be justified (kind of) what with the heat of the Lustrian sun!
Bót Linche - the black warpaint on their faces actually came about as a bit of a cheat. The eyes are tiny on a lot of their faces and faces themselves are fairly devoid of detail, especially when you're more used to orcs.
I wasn't happy with the way the eyes would often blend into the rest of the face, so the black warpaint became a way of accentuating the bottom of the eye and providing a bit of definition.
Brunhilde Ogdunn - I was reminded a little of the Amazonia Gothique by this model - probably the bows and lace thing'ummy on her boot.
Rather than try and slavishly copy the colour scheme I just went for a few suggestive colour choices.
Don't mess - she's a Red Head...
Aena Shárpyls - our last Bollrbrjótr for now, although I am surprised at the prices some of these minis fetch on ebay. I hadn't realised it was such an avidly collected range.
As Aena is showing a little more leg than the others, I thought I'd go the whole hog with the Conan style camouflage/warpaint thing - good excuse to watch the movie again too!
In other news - the Cold Ones have received a base coat and an ink wash on the jaguar pelts to check they were looking ok.
I'm being very unoriginal with my colour choices and pretty much copying the colour scheme from the Armies book. I love the blue look for the Cold Ones and it'll contrast nicely with the jaguar pelts, which do look a bit bearish at the moment...
Needz moar spotz!