Another unit ready and of all the regiments that make up Zharradan Marr's legions, as detailed in the Trolltooth Wars novel, the mixed regiment of Dwarves, Goblins, Craggeracks, Kobolds and Gorians was probably the most fun to assemble and paint.
Scaling down the legions from the actual numbers in the novel to the 1:5 ratio we'd need to fit them all on the table meant that my core units would each be twenty strong - a handy number to divvy up between the five races that make up this unit. Also handy for batch painting with a little variety!
First up are the Gorians - a race unique to Titan and another product of the experiments performed by mad wizards to created the ultimate soldier! I forget where I found this entry on Gorians as they don't feature in Out of the Pit - thanks to whoever's wrote it though!
These bizarre creatures are tall and hairless, having entirely black skin and feline eyes. They are not unlike some humans of the southlands, but they have fang-filled mouths and hard, sharp talons instead of fingernails. They were one of the most successful of Axion's creations-strong, warlike, evil, and harshly disciplined. Gorians live a totally military life. Each one is born and bred to be a fighter, and magic use is unheard among them. They worship Death as their racial god, but they consider religion second to war. Most Gorian families and tribes are nomadic regiments unto themselves, selling their services to anyone evil enough to employ them. A great number of Gorians were present at the Siege of Vymorna, conducted by the Lizard Man Empire.
Gorians are strictly disciplined-plunder is harshly divided according to rank. Theft of more than your share is punishable by a beating. Refusing to obey a commander is punishable by death. Even
laughing can be punished by ten lashes across the back. This has made them into the perfect soldiers - excellent warriors who are terrible opponents on the battlefield.
I settled on the old Grenadier Half Orcs (still available from EM4 Miniatures) as they seemed to fit the description pretty well - apart from the hairless bit! Shame I only needed four of them as they're great minis! With this lot no doubt in charge, I imagine their fellow warriors are in for a hard time...
The presence of Dwarves in such a regiment might seem a little odd for those coming from a strictly Warhammer background but as I've mentioned a few times - anything goes in Allansia! I imagined these Dwarves as representing the lowlife, disgraced and more criminal elements of Dwarven society - or at least those who are willing to overcome any qualms they might have in serving an evil Necromancer and rubbing shoulders with Goblins and Craggeracks in return for a salary of gold. In terms of miniatures to represent them, I wanted them to look evil but not totally chaotic or GW. Blacktree Design came to the rescue with their Iron Hills Dwarves.
Craggeracks have already featured in the forces I've painted up for this project. Thugruff's (Marr's Half Ogre General) original raiding party contained several mounted Craggerack scouts. Ral Partha's Orcs and Goblins from their Dark Eye range looked a good fit and as luck would have it they had some Goblins on foot to go with the mounted ones I already had. Again, I can't remember the source of this extract describing their origins but thanks to the author anyway!
Many bizarre creatures have resulted from the cross-breeding of orcs, goblins, ogres and trolls. Some of these became Doragar, Garks and Hobgoblins, the primary results of these breedings. However, the members of these new races began interbreeding even further, with each other and the races that they originated from. Most of the hybrids that resulted soon died out, but one new breed, the Craggeracks, resulted from the crossing of hobgoblins with trolls. They have compact skulls and high, pointed ears over brownish-gray skin, and long, slim limbs. They are in general slender creatures when compared
to most other Chaotic races, but they are no less strong and just as warlike. They rarely see themselves as one nation or race, and prefer to live apart from one another, in the tribes of Orcs, Goblins or Trolls. They are about as strong as the average Orc, being about 5'9" in height, only slightly taller than the average Orc. Although they possess great disdain for Dwarves and Elves, they hate Men above all else, and will happily bypass a Dwarf or Elf for the chance to kill a Human. They pride themselves on their shrunken Human head collections, and believe that being slain by a Human in battle dooms them to eternal torture at the hands of the Night Demons. Each Craggerack is assigned to one of the four Night Demons at birth, and regard that evil being as their patron and lord. Craggerack priests are rare in the extreme, but can be very powerful.
The same extract goes on to describe their relatives, the Kobolds -
During the time of Axion the Wizard, he attempted many experiments with various forms of life. Some of these were notoriously successful, such as the race of Shapechangers. Others, wherein he tried to make a stronger version of the Craggerack, failed miserably. As a result, the Kobolds were born. These miserable runts are like smaller versions of Craggeracks, hating humans just as much as their larger kin do. However, they have quick tempers and are sadistic little creatures, taking fun in tormenting creatures much larger than themselves. They get along well with troglodytes, and it is suspected that the average Kobold suffers from a severe inferiority complex, being both small and
skinny when compared to most other races. Trolls and Rhino-men, in particular, sometimes use them as entrees before a main course.
Lastly are the Goblins - pretty similar on Titan as they are in Warhammer - nasty, vindictive little green buggers! However, once again I wanted this project to be distinct from my GW offerings so settled on these Bob Olley Goblins which are still available from Ral Partha - great sculpts!
Only Humans and Lizardmen left to do before I get on to Darramouss' monsters, the Tooki (trained Griffons ridden by Blood Orc bowmen!) and the Galleykeep itself...