I'm taking a break from the Northern Steppes to drop back in on Allansia once more to revisit some aspects of my Trolltooth Wars project that didn't get covered first time round. And where better to start than Zharradan Marr's right hand half man, half troll - Thugruff - master tactician, able general and fearsome warrior.
Thugruff was one of Zharradan Marr's early recruits. The necromancer had already established himself in a secret underground lair beneath Coven and, having fortuitously discovered gold deposits in the Yellowstone Hills, was well on the way to securing his powerbase. Vallaska Roue, a villainous and well rounded human and overseer of his mines was sent out to recruit more ne'er-do-wells...
In a seedy bar in Zengis he had come across a burly Half-Troll named Thugruff. What started as a drunken brawl became a firm friendship, and Thugruff agreed to return with Vallaska Roue and join in the service of Zharradan Marr. The Necromancer took an instant liking to Thugruff, not least for his coarse sense of humour and his healthy streak of cruelty. He sent Thugruff in to Knot Oak Wood to rebuild Hannicus' [a soon to be ex-employee of Zharradan's] home as a hidden training ground, known as "the Testing Grounds", for his troops. Creature of Havoc, Steve Jackson, 1986
Thugruff built Zharradan's army up from the ground from the motley collection of Lizardmen, Rhinomen, Humans, Dwarves, Goblins and whatever other flotsam drifted in or was bribed, kidnapped or headhunted by Vallaska;
Thugruff's army grew and prospered, and the area of his Testing Grounds became a place of fear where forest creatures dared not venture.
Of course Thugruff is not alone in his duty and is accompanied by a handful of trusted lieutenants, most notably Tankasun, a one armed Gorian and Kravaak the Rhinoman. There isn't huge amounts of character background or development for these chaps so I'll just talk about the minis!
For the minis for both Tankasun and Thugruff I turned to Ral Partha - as I did with a lot of this army. They both came from the excellent Dark Eye range. Thugruff is Sadrak Whassoi, Orc Marshall, while Tankasun is a Mounted Orc Chieftain. I ended up buying two of each to create mounted and unmounted versions by swapping their legs over as I thought it would be odd to have Thugruff on foot with his underling on horseback. The novel also details them riding on horseback as the army enters Trolltooth Pass. I still haven't gotten around to finishing the foot versions!
Kravaak is Thugruff's Rhinoman lieutenant and was the first guinea pig in my experiments in recreating this hybrid race.
The base was the Fast Claw Commander from the Gargantua Orcz range from Ral Partha's Fantasy Armies and the process was much the same as detailed in my Rhinoman Regiment post.
I look forward to finding a suitable rider for his old reptilian mount!
So there we have a run down on the commanders of Zharr's military forces - I've a few more Trolltooth posts up my sleeve and am just trying to work out how to get some army shots before I post a review of the Legion as a whole.