Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Black Sheep

There are many great captains who ply their trade among the frozen ruins of Felstad. The reasons these great warriors lead their men into battle for any wizard rich enough to employ them are as varied as the fighting men and women themselves, but often involves some kind of fall from grace in the civilised lands from whence they came.

There is one such captain however, that has possibly fallen further than most: Kazranak the Black, Emperor of the Darklands.

It was a terrible day that men first began to explore the Darklands, for soon they became corrupted by the foul and evil things that called the blasted wastes their home. Those men strong enough to survive built up petty kingdoms among the ashen rocks, dedicating their souls to mad priests and even madder gods.

These dark kingdoms bickered and fought for generations, battling each other in a constant cycle of vendettas and blood feuds punctuated by occasional slave raids into less evil lands. But this changed when Kazranak the Black ascended one particular bloodstained throne and quickly conquered the rest.

By sheer force of ironclad will this mighty warrior of darkness built a super-state from the evil kingdoms: sending huge armies of black-clad soldiers to claim swathes of territory in his name, funded by great pirate fleets that plundered the kraken-cursed seas. His empire was vast, his hordes uncountable and his ambition limitless.

And then he fell in love.

The details are hazy; nothing but rumour and hearsay; for even now, decades later; no-one dare broach the subject with this brooding warrior. Suffice to say his quest to capture the heart of his intended led to the abandonment of all other pursuits. Inattention and neglect saw his mighty empire smashed into shards by ambitious rivals, lands reclaimed by the creatures once subjugated by his fanatics and his armies and navies cast asunder by constant defeat.

So now Kazranak the Black is left with a handful of followers, subsisting as sellswords in the icy ruins at the beck and call of knowledge-hungry sorcerers. Known derisively as the ‘Black Sheep’, they plough on, hoping against hope that their leader will one day will finally find that which tears his black heart to pieces.

Finally, something painted! I’ve had these knocking around for most of the summer, and it’s nice to get back in the groove with them. I needed a couple of extra thugs and archers, so I made some out of my various plastic sprues (and a little putty to add some fur on the thug with the axe).

I also had a couple of lead figures lying around (nabbed from the LAF sprue exchange scheme, so no idea of manufacturer), so I decided to paint them all together and came up with the back story, and hence the black and grey colour scheme.

I’m pretty happy with them (my favourite is the thug with the meat cleaver and foaming over ale tankard), and glad to have something done after a very quiet (gaming-wise) summer!

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