Wednesday 28 July 2010

Patients is a virtue...

So back to Orc's Drift after a few distractions of an undead nature...

After scouring ebay for wounded and dying minis (a cheerful pursuit!) I have finally assembled enough poor souls for Ferndale Snart's field hospital in Orc's Drift! Can't believe I didn't think to look for wounded dwarfs and elves though to represent the three allies defending Palesandre!

Either way Ferndale's hospital is complete and I think that calls for a nice groupshot!

Loads of fun to paint - especially because they all have their eyes closed! Even tried my hand at a bit of modelling and sculpted (I use the term very tenuously!) some stretchers for them - should Ferndale persuade any of the defenders of Orc's Drift to leave their posts and help him evacuate his wards...

First to be admitted is Sir Malahed - a noble knight of the order of the Grand League. This brave warrior fell at the hands of a huge troll whilst holding back the advancing Goblin tribes around Ortar - taking a brutal blow to the head, Sir Malahed bought enough time for his brothers-in-arms to gallantly leg it in order to fight another day.

During the same engagement Lars Brett, a swordsman of the 2nd Ortar Volunteers, also lay badly wounded. With his regiment beleagured on all sides and the retreat ringing in his ears, Lars stood and fought only to be brought down by a cruel goblin scimitar.

Dumbledern an apprentice mage, called early from his studies at the college in Merlinas, also met his match in the struggle against the goblins. Seeing the destruction wrougt by the evil magic of the cackling shaman facing him, Dumbledern attempted to halt the onslaught by engaging him in a battle of minds. Sadly for the apprentice he was not ready for such an opponent and has remained in an uneasy coma ever since...

Lastly and by no means least is Laceras, a warrior of one of the hill tribes that dwell in the mountains above Kachas Pass. Seeing the danger posed by the Goblin attack many of these hardy mountain men have flocked to the Grand League's aid. Laceras acquitted himself well in battle - working himself into a bloody frenzy he dispatched no less than twelve of the green vermin before a curved and rusty blade opened him up. Unaware of the grievous wound, Laceras fought on until the fight was done and he finally collapsed from blood loss. His ox-like constitution certainly saved him that day and even now, slipping in and out of consciousness, he deliriously calls for meat and ale to assuage his terrible hunger!

Will these brave men escape a second doom at the hands of the Kwae Karr orcs? Will Ferndale Snart stay sober enough to tend to their wounds?

One thing is for certain - being a patient has one virtue - in their unconscious states they are blissfully unaware of the green tide that yet creeps towards them, while the dwarfs and elves who crouch behind their make-shift barricades know all too well the fate that will befall fair Palesandre should their last stand fail...

Monday 26 July 2010

When Hell is full...

... the Dead will walk the Earth!

More plastic goodness from the old Citadel skeleton army. Got bits and pieces for a load more warriors, a few archers and cavalry, although I'm still lamenting the loss of the chariot!

Pretty quick paint jobs on these as I should really be concentrating on Orc's Drift - 5 weeks of holidays to get the painting done and the games played!

... and the obligatory battle scene!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Disdain sanity and scholarship, the loftiest attributes man has been given...

And so the devil has you
And your soul is infallibly lost...
This is the woeful tale of what was once a man named Kraust.
A cruel and avaricious man, Kraust was Baron to a small fiefdom in the Western part of Ramalia. Dissatisfied by his inept and arbitrary rule the common folk also had good reason to fear him. As greedy as he was for material riches, Kraust was obsessed with the notion of hoarding life itself. With each night the air around his black tower hummed with evil magic and unnatural energies as he dabbled with necromancy and the Black Arts. 
The ceremonies grew more and more depraved until the peasants, driven by terror and desperation, gathered as a mob and marched on Kraust's residence. Pre-occupied with his studies, Kraust only became aware of the revolt as the flames licked at the door of his sanctum. Running for his life he escaped with terrible burns with only his robe about him.
He fled into the forest and wandered for days, cold, wet and hungry. Madness descended on him as he felt the life ebb away. Stumbling into a clearing, his last reserves of strength spent, Kraust lay down to die, alone and wretched.
Hours later he came to, a sybilent and insistent voice whispering in his head... 
Poor son of Earth, how couldst thou thus alone

Have led thy life, bereft of me?
I, for a time, at least, have worked thy cure;
Thy fancy's rickets plague thee not at all:
Had I not been, so hadst thou, sure,
Walked thyself off this earthly ball.
Why here to caverns, rocky hollows slinking,
Sit'st thou, as 'twere an owl a-blinking?
Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone,
Toad-like, thy nourishment alone?
A fine way, this, thy time to fill!
A blessing drawn from supernatural fountains!
In night and dew to lie upon the mountains;
All Heaven and Earth in rapture penetrating;
Thyself to Godhood haughtily inflating;
To grub with yearning force through Earth's dark marrow,
Compress the six days' work within thy bosom narrow,--
To taste, I know not what, in haughty power,
Thine own ecstatic life on all things shower,
Thine earthly self behind thee cast,
And then the lofty instinct, thus at last,
 to pluck the final flower!

Driven on by the voice Kraust staggered on until he came to a low mound. A ragged opening scowled at him as he approached the dread dark within. Once inside a hideous strength seemed to fill him, the voice grew louder, urging him on. Before him lay a long dead warrior clad in macabre armour. Bones encased its head and upper body, forming a terrifying visage. With hands he no longer controlled, Kraust reached out and with near skeletal fingers placed the gruesome helm on his head.

The voice ceased and then continued with renewed vigour. He screamed as the helm seemed to fuse with the very flesh of his gaunt face. The pain was mixed with elation as knowledge coursed through his brain - his studies of arcane books was immediately eclipsed as his head became filled with chaos.

And so was born the scourge of Mevion. Not forgetting his treatment at the hands of his serfs, Kraust returned to wreak bloody vengeance. It was to be a twofold punishment he meted out to those poor souls as their cadavers jerked back to unnatural life at a word from Kraust. News began to spread as his Undead horde grew, bolstered by foul chaotics attracted by the scent of death that followed him - Baron Kraust's band of lost souls was on the march!

Thanks by the way to Goethe for the quotations!

Thursday 15 July 2010

Things that go bump in the night...

Another addition to Baron Kraust's Band of Lost Souls...

To give a bit of variety I thought I might include a few ethereal characters - along with the three wights I have this old C series spectre will form part of a small ethereal host - I hope to pick up some more ghosts in the future.

Monday 12 July 2010

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...

For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be ne'er so vile...

More of the bard but quite fitting I think!

A busy Sunday saw the last of the Linden Way militia finished and once I have secured a few more townsfolk for them to rescue I'll have most of the minis done for the Linden Way scenario... except for the Kwae Carr Orcs!

Here's the militia altogether, headed up by the Mayor Leofwine -

Saturday 10 July 2010

Honour among thieves...

... or is that vanity in this case?!

I will explain...

Next addition to the Linden Way militia are some adventurer types who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!

First up is Reynard Quicksilver (an obvious nom de guerre!) an adventurer with an ego as big as his reputation is small. Seeing the plight of the settlement of Linden Way as a ripe opportunity for heroics of the first order he was first in the queue to sign up.

Quick to brag about his exploits and how he came to own the two fine blades he wields, Reynard makes for a fairly dull and obnoxious drinking partner. This, along with his rather haughty manner, due to some long distant Elven ancestry, hasn't won Reynard many friends within the militia!

Wait till you see the whites of their eyes lads...

The last of the Rear Guard left at Linden Way - I picked these two up in a job lot with the halberdiers of the last post. Although their aren't supposed to be any crossbows in the militia, I thought I would include them anyway 'cos I like them!

...and the whole Rear Guard together - just need some peasants to boss around!

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide...

Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit

To his full height. On, on, you noblest men,

Whose blood is fetched from fathers of war-proof,

Fathers that like so many heroes

Have in these parts from morn till even fought,

And sheathed their swords for lack of argument.

Dishonour not your mothers; now attest

That those whom you called fathers did beget you.

Be copy now to men of grosser blood,

And teach them how to war. And you, good yeomen,

Whose limbs were made in Meledir, show us here

The mettle of your pasture. . . .

Can't beat a bit of Shakespeare - a bit paraphrased here though!

Monday 5 July 2010

So when you look into that eye...

I hope you realise it could never be blue...

Had that Beautiful South tune (Old Red Eyes is back) in my head the whole time I was painting this fellow!

Another miscreant for Baron Kraust's Band of Lost Souls - a rather fine Giant Undead Cylops from Grenadier - no vengeful undead host is complete without one!

Sunday 4 July 2010

The Road to Merlinas Part II

Finally got the rest of the battle report transferred here - pain to get the pics in the right order, having already posted this on the LAF! Most of you have probably read this already but I'll include it here for completeness!

We left our plucky elves bravely hacking away at the downed troll! The pursuing orcs, enraged at this typically cowardly Elf behaviour charge forwards. Their champion smashes Herndil to the ground, bellowing a guttural warcry!

Meanwhile, using this fracas as a distraction two of the archers on the hill make a dash for a nearby woodcutters cottage.

They skid to a halt on hearing the door burst open as three armed men and a pack of vicious looking hounds erupt from within....

After a tense moment it becomes clear that the local ranger and his two woodcutter brothers are sympathetic to the Elf cause, especially when they catch sight of the horde of screaming greenskins bearing down on their cottage!

Back in the whirling melee by the hill Herndil recovers sufficiently to once more stagger to his feet. He has time to briefly regain his balance before the Orc champion, backed up by one of his howling warriors, brutally hacks him to the ground - a blow he does not recover from...

Not to be outdone another Orc warrior and a Goblin round on one of the swordsmen attacking the troll. They don't fare so well as the elf who, maddened by his Lieutenant's death, virtually cuts the luckless Goblin in two and, smashing the Orc in the face with the pommel of his sword, sends him crashing to the ground! Having been given a little breathing space the troll comes round like a bear with a sore head (and eye!). Things are looking pretty grim for the two Elf swordsmen...

Back at the cottage the Ranger and two woodcutters sprint to defend the wall in front of their humble abode, whilst the dogs lope around the other side of the building to meet the intruders. Two of the Elf archer jump the side wall to join in the defence of the cottage.

Looking wildly about them the surrounded Elf swordsmen abandon all hope and recklessly throw themsleves at the newly recovered troll. Spurred on by desperation their frenzied attacks leave the creature reeling as blow after blow deepen the ragged gashes that already rend its side. With a howl the the mutilated troll sinks to its death whilst the orcs look on in astonishment.

They are not shaken for long as the Orc champion, bellowing a challenge, downs one of the beleaguered elves. His warriors take up the charge but the second exhausted swordsman manages to fend off their attacks, downing one in the process!

As the second band of Orcs advance on the cottage the Ranger looses off a volley at the Warrior Bull as he bullies his minions forward - the arrow finds its mark catching the Orc in the thigh and sending him crashing to the floor.

The archers on the hill turn and run for the safety of the homestead's walls. In their haste they loose their footing in the dense heather of the hill... The carnage continues at the foot of the hill and the one of swordsmen's cries reaches their ears as the Orc champion and his warriors bludgeon him to death as he too makes a run for the cottage with his comrade!

Things aren't much better back at the wall - One of the woodcutters falls as an orc sword finds its mark. Another two Orcs turn on the lead dog as it approaches them hackles raised and teeth bared. The Goblin archers try and put a few arrows into the back of the fleeing Elf swordsman but again their aim is off.

Panic is clearly setting into the Elves' otherwise levelheaded conduct! The archers making for the back of the cottage and the road beyond it once again loose their footing, as does the swordsmen as he looks over his shoulder at the gibbering pack of orcs hot on his tail! The two archers defending the cottage attempt to cover their retreat - one forces the Orc champion to dive aside with a well aimed shot, whilst the other overshoots the second second band of Orcs in his haste.

The Ranger fares better, felling the Orc Warrior Bull with a point blank shot! A swirling melee erupts over the wall as the second wave of Orcs crash into it. The remaining woodcutter forces his first attacker to dodge backwards from his glinting spear point. However he finds himself outnumbered and is smashed to the ground by his attackers. The Ranger fends off another Orc, sending it sprawling back into the dirt.

As the situation begins to look increasingly desperate the Elf archers defending the cottage remember their objective - get the warning message to Merlinas! They begin to think of skulking off round the back of the cottage! The Elves on the hill find their feet again and not wishing to consider the prospect of being left behind they dash forward to catch up. Unfortuately one Elf falls again on the hill, whilst the other topples over the wall, landing in a heap pn the other side! The Elf on the hill recovers just in time to receive the Orc champion's charge!

At this point any semblance of an orderly retreat dissolves - The archer on the hill is cut to pieces. ..

The fleeing Elf swordsman also meets a bloody end from his pursuers! Two Orcs jump the wall to pursue the recovered Woodcutter and the ranger finds himself almost the sole defender of the homestead!

The only ray of hope to shine through for the men and Elves is the onslaught of the hounds! Downing their first adversaries and survivng vicious counter attacks the dogs win the upper hand, tearing the two Orcs to pieces that stand in their way! Sadly their effort is in vain - as three of the Elf archers finally make it to the road and head for Merlinas, the cries of the dying and wounded fill the air. The Ranger is downed finally, despite felling another Orc with a close range shot! The woodcutter is no match for the two slavering Orcs facing him and he suffers a similar fate. The Orcs pause a moment to watch their quarry slip away down the road before turning their attentions back to the poor unfortunates left behind...

So all in all a very enjoyable game - the second half was much quicker as we knew the dice rolls by then - got quite tense as we both rolled our dice hoping for the right number of dots to come up! The only thing that felt a bit odd was the clumsiness of the Elves - trying to use multiple moves to get them across the board and to the road meant a few extra initiative rolls and once Herndil was dead those rolls had to come in under 3 - a 50/50 chance of success (the wife wasn't brave enough to gamble for more than one extra action each time!) and with her terrible luck with the dice they ended up faltering more often than not!

Still she gained a somewhat Pyrrhic victory - the message got through but at what cost...