Elves in a Corner

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    • Elves in a Corner

      Well come, Traveller, to my humble corner of the realm!

      Here, you shall find:
      * Army Project progress blog
      ---Sylvan Elves, that I'm aiming to be my first fully finished army
      -----Dread Elves, the army that got me into the hobby (I'm fighting a losing battle not to start painting them before my SE are done)
      -------Highborn Elves, mainly a "count-as" project using the minis from the above factions
      * More text than you ever could fear existed
      ---Fluff for individual minis
      ---Background for the armies
      ---Short stories even
      * Pictures
      ---Photos of minis
      ---Concept drawings

      Delve in, if you dare.

      "We are the blades in the shrubbery."
      - - - -Unknown Epheltilian warrior

      "I invite you to choke on my pointy ears."

      - - - -A dread elven proverb


      The first post is a huuge wall of text, ignore at your own leisure :rolleyes:

      Got some modelling stuff in the following posts.

      Narrative Battle Report 5/Feb/2016

      Display Spoiler

      Lord Sarthaengil Gladevenger scanned the shallow valley to the south of the thinning thicket in which his spearmen were currently hiding. Caor snorted and jostled restlessly under him, his mighty antlers heaving steadily in time with his anxious breaths. Disengaging his gaze reluctantly from the glimpses of movement across the quickly darkening brambled valley, he regarded his son standing by him. "This is not all of them." Sarthas didn't look up but slowly shook his black-haired head, his eyes fixed on the horizon. "Your brother seldom errs in his reports. Be on your guard", Sarthaengil mused, more to himself than the young elf captain next to him. "Yes, Father", Sarthas replied, his voice stern with anticipation and dread, as he took a glimpse at the ivy infested ruins shaded by a looming tower almost directly in the centre of the valley, where he knew his brother's waywatchers were hiding. He could not see them.

      "Take your position", Sarthaengil commanded with some tension in his voice. Sarthas hefted his greatsword, Autumn, from his shoulder and beckoned the spearmen silently down the slope of a hill whose top lie to the east, on the left. Sarthaengil shot a worried glance up to the hill top, where rows of archers of the Tinewind Guard stood in readiness, before urging his mount to the west where his knights awaited him in a small patch of fir trees.

      Sargael Dreamseer looked down the slope at the family council. His silvery grey hair was a tangled mess under an impressive helmet that felt absolutely stifling upon his head, the tall, elegantly curving silver horns treatening to topple the entire contraption to the ground. He noticed his lieutenant only when he called him the third time, just as his father's great elk turned to the west. "My Lord?", Aloris called, in that irritated tone Sargael was so familiar with. He barely looked at the man. "Should we not make for our position?" Sargael but stared for a long moment, as he always did, and eventually the lieutenant simply strode off, barking commands at the archers. Sargael smacked his lips and looked down across the valley; there were more pressing matters that needed seeing to. So he closed his eyes, and looked.

      The first thing he saw, expectedly, was the familiar, towering shadow of Aqanthammu, thrumming with the myriad energies of the life that grows from root and seed. At her feet, her daughters scampered, jittering with barely contained rage. These were at the root of the hill he was standing on, he knew, but he looked further to the south. He grimaced in disgust when the hunger and need of everything lurking beyond the valley opened before his shut eyes. Among all that bloodlust Sargael could see glimpses of deeper power, pulsing with more than the hungry flame of their own existence. He concluded there to be two mystics among the herd, one barely discernible and another, who cast a long shadow of the same, primal hue as the herd itself. However, something in the corner of Sargael's third eye drew his attention westward where he knew an another hill rose from the valley floor. Behind that hill sat a furnace of energy, slowly burning away all magic around it, turning it, twisting it, fueling an existence almost too horrible to look upon in this naked form. Sargael's eyes opened in flash of terror; a one-eyed devourer hunted with the herd. He hurried after his men who were already stringing their longbows. He drew a deep lungful of the evening air through his nostrils, and worry knotted his brow: he could sense little power among the smells of low-growing life inside waxy leaves and the stench of the herd beyond. The Winds would take some fanning this night.

      The seething masses jerked northwards at a deafening bellow ringing in the brushery. The first thing to come to view were waves and waves of horse-sized wolves, tight-wrapped muscle and sinew behind snarling maws, salivating at the slaughter to come. Behind them two large packs of wildhorns advanced at a steady run, their gruesome standards of flayed skin glistening in the last rays of the setting sun. A lone figure strode to the west of these formations, confidently scanning his surroundings all the while roaring and beckoning in a commanding manner.To the west of him rose a low a hill, and slowly a monstrous figure climbed into view on top of it. It was a hulking, two-legged monstrosity regarding the valley before it with a single, palely glowing eye. It was effortlessly balancing a boulder the size of a cow above its head.

      Sarthaengil looked on grimly as the cyclopean abomination took command of the hill across the valley. His knights were about him, slowly advancing into the small patch of forest hugging the west side of the extensive ruin to the left. In the distant south he could make out the keening cries of dragonhawks, and he urged his men southward, toward the battle to come. Their lithe deer mounts leaped with ease and some speed in the undergrowth, their riders swaying flowingly in the jerking movements of their loping strides. Caor, the gigantic red elk that carried Sarthaengil, had quite a bit more difficulty navigating his bulk and elaborate antlers among the close-growing low trees.

      Cries of shock and pain behind drew Sarthaengil's attention. Three of his knights were thrown off their frantically kicking deer in a flash of bronze that stopped in the side of the third knight to reveal a gruesome spear smeared in gore. Something was flashing among the trees in the north at lightning speed, the sound of cracking branches and rustling leaves betraying the creature's path where it was obscured by the foliage. Sarthaengil took up his longbow Deathrain from its resting place at Caor's side and nocked an arrow, unable however to line a good shot. His men were beginning to gain control of their spooked steeds, maneuvering into position for a chase. The thrower of the bronze spear was however nowhere to be seen.

      At the hill where Sargael's archers were positioned all hell was breaking loose as a large mustering of centaurs had joined the giant wargs and quickly gaining ground on the hill despite the relentless barrage of arrows raining down upon their heads. Sargael took aim with his enchanted longbow, Emerald Dream, letting loose with a sigh. A jade-coloured arrow sped from the bow, shattering into dozens of razor shards tearing into the flesh of the hounds. At first they just charged heedlessly on, but after a couple of breaths those hit started falling as the poison was taking the best of them. At the same time, a gathering of thorny bushes unrooted themselves at the base of the hill and attacked the advancing beasts with wooden claws screaming with anger in shrill, otherworldly voices. The wolves tore at the dryads with reckless abandon, wrestling and growling tenaciously, but it was the lances of the centaurs that swept the wood-spirits aside. Aqanthammu, the Mother of the Forest, grumbled in anguish at her daughters' fate yet remained immobile on the western slope, swaying gently in the night breeze.

      The centaurs had barely regrouped after their slaughter of the dryads when a new threat emerged from the eastern side of the hill; elven cavalrymen were charging for them, loosing arrows in full gallop atop lithe woodland horses. They were the Wayward Sons, the forward scouts of the elven force, and as they put away their bows to draw their black-shafted lances they broke into song. It was a solemn hymn that echoed eerily up the hill, a lament that stirred something inside Sargael. He closed his eyes in concentration but was interrupted by Lieutenant Aloris who looked at him with shock drawn across his face. "They will be slaughtered! Do something, Spellwarden!" Sargael did his best to ignore his short-tempered lieutenant, humming a mystic tune taught to him by his master long ago. Power slowly pooled about him, the Winds gusting at him in cascading surges, building a tension like a river behind a dam. The energy leaking through him to the autumn earth led to fresh shoots of green darting up by his boots and coiling around his legs as his song's rhythm intensified.

      Suddenly his eyes shot open, flashing a green iridescence as his arm thrust forward towards the raucously shouting centaurs. His third eye witnessed the surge of power coalesce about the centaurs, only to be withered and diverted by the beast shaman chanting in grunting barks far to the south. The energy sped in a new direction, toward the gargantuan cyclops on the far hill, its maw gaping open to inhale the magic in a satisfied, rumbling growl. It reveled an instant, the tensed and flung the boulder it was carrying to miss Sarthas' spear-elves by mere yards. Shaken, Sarthas quickly resumed control of his troop and urged his men towards the packs in the south at a swift pace. Meanwhile, the Wayward Sons clashed into the centaurs who outnumbered the advancing elves significantly and impaled them on their lances. The brave horsemen were killed almost to a man.

      The echoing wails of dragonhawks sounded in the night as several of these mighty birds of prey swept southward in a flash, carrying elven archers on their backs. The elves loosed a harmless volley at the towering cyclops in front of them, and charged fearlessly at the monster with spears leveled. The beast turned and swung a giant arm at the hawks, who were simply too nimble to be caught by such a blow. The raptors circled and darted around the titanic beast, whose magic-seeking eye was struggling to keep up in the night gloom, and slowly, more annoyed than fearful, the abomination began to retreat before the unrelenting stabs of elf-spears and dragonhawk beaks.

      Meanwhile, in the ruins Sarathil One-Arrow was shooting his longbow Grey Silence frantically at a three-headed howling horror that was charging his position. Behind the monster stood a tall figure, savage blades dangling from its muscular arms as it seemed to watch on in amusement despite the two white-fletched waywatcher arrows sticking from its bulky core. Sarathil's pathfinders, the loyal Briar Shrikes, were hidden among the rubble taking aimed shots that seemed to have little effect on the monstrous hell hound as it leaped over the low wall into the midst of the elven guerrillas. Drawing their shortswords and daggers, the Shrikes pounced from their hiding places, slashing and stabbing desperately at the raging beast. Losing two of their number, the elves managed to drive the monstrous predator from the ruin, seeing the shadowy figure in the background strike a blow at the thing as it rushed past. With a roared challenge, the brute charged northward, into the patch of forest from which agonized screams of dying elves carried. Sarathil commanded the scouts after it into the trees, when a chilling finger stabbed through his shoulder from the behind. Blood dripping from his mouth he shot a glance back south, where he saw nothing but a back of wildhorns, whose attentions seemed focused north, to the battle on the hill. He however felt a malice from the pack, almost like some thing watching him with murder in its heart. He hurried after his men, nocking a fresh arrow as he ran.

      Sarthaengil struggled but could not keep up with the mercurial figure throwing enchanted spears right through his men. Having lost almost half of them, he had to fight to force desperation out of his mind. A bloodcurdling roar came from the south, and after it charged a hulking beastfather, clearly the head of this herd by his commanding presence and many symbols of power hanging from his dark, blood-slicked fur. The two arrows at his side seemed to do little to slow him down as he leaped straight for Caor's throat, who with great pains managed to wrestle the beastlord back with his antlers. Sarthaengil struck a fierce blow with his lance at the beast, who sidestepped and countered with a savage swipe of his hooked blade that caught the elf lord's right side in a flash of searing agony. Sarthaengil urged Caor at the brute in absolute focus, all dread abolished by the challenge before him. His signed a quick command to his knights' captain behind him to take chase at the spearwielding phantom in the woods as he leveled his lance at the breast of the mighty beastlord snarling at him.

      Sargael's position was quickly growing towards the desperate as a raging beast giant, having rusty sickle-blades for hands, thundered from the northern thickets up the hill-side towards his archers' rear. It was flanked by a hunting pack of wildhorns chucking crude flint-axes that were reaping his men, who still bravely maintained their aim in the south where the centaurs had scattered their horse-borne brethren. The tables were turned again just as quickly when Aqanthammu came striding up the hill in long, silent steps and raised her arms. With the treemother's arms, from the earth arose shooting roots and vines that impaled the giant's legs and chest with savage stabs. The giant wailed chillingly as it cut the vines with his blade hands and turned to flee the scene, even as the beast hunters charged to hack at Aqanthammu's thick legs. The treemother was having none of that, however, but smashed and stomped the hunters to bits in a savage onslaught of violence. Then she turned her attention on the centaurs that were going around the hill's base toward the west, arrows raining on their heads and the remnants of the Wayward Sons regrouping to take chase.

      The Sylvan Knights formed around their captain, scanning the woods for their elusive quarry. A rustling startled them when a mutated mass of sinewy limbs burst from the earth in their midst and started hewing at them with huge claws. Their deer steeds leaped in circles around the many-limbed beast, who was perfectly equipped to defend itself against attack from all directions, taking fell swoops at the knights with its long limbs. At the same time a monster of a centaur charged from the trees with a bronze lance couched in his arm, snarling as he galloped for the elves. Reinforcements came, however, as the Briar Shrikes appeared at the knights' side, loosing a volley after volley of deadly arrows. The mutated claw-fiend fell quickly to the barrage, but the centaur captain turned aside howling in frustration, disappearing once again into the woods. Where he had left, a new thunder of hooves was heard as a whole pack of centaur raiders came clamoring from the woods, bloodlust gleaming in their eyes. The elves were almost wiped out by the sheer impact of their initial charge, and, ranks now scattered, fought desperately for dear life as the centaurs circled around them, stabbing all the while with their lances.

      At this point Sargael was chanting maniacally, the shoots about him carrying him high aloft on the hill top. Heedless of his archers' struggles below, he grasped and reached ever increasing amounts of power inside him until his very soul felt like bursting. In a final, carrying note he sang out his frustration, and this time the beast mystics could not restrain him. Power rippled from the young druid as he called for the spirits of the earth to deal vengeance to his foes. And lo, gnarled hands made of roots burst under the feet of the wildhorns, dragging many of them into the dirt as they plunged underground again. As Sargael shuddered in the last waves of power leaving his body, he noticed that the same fate had met several of his own men, the earth around him churning still with roots digging their way back to their deep home. Aloris looked on, flabberghasted, disgust flashing in his eyes as he turned back to the battle. Sargael clenched his jaw and looked once again inside, trying to find his lost focus.

      Sarthas Fallbringer reached the battle with his Redleaf Guard severely diminished by the beast witch hiding in the pack he was seeking to reach. An enormous magical spike of hardened tree-sap had torn through his formation moments before, impaling several of his men. He did however sense the healing touch of his spellsinging brother going through his ranks, closing wounds and replenishing blood lost. Sarthas smiled; his brother was... Difficult, at the best of his days, his prophetic dreams gnawing at his sanity leaving little left for niceties, but Sarthas had always felt protective of his little brother and they shared a special bond of trust. He had always defended his odd brother against the cruelties of the Lord Protector's court, and now his little brother was loking after him in return. He began spinning Autumn in weaving circles as his formation tore into the beast pack in a red cloud. Soon after, skywatchers lunged down from the black firmament to the pack's flank astride their formidable dragonhawks from the Nan-Gaidhnir Fells, scattering the beasts to the night. A shadowy figure remained, cackling as a miasma of shadows blacker than the night coalesced to envelop him, leaving nothing but an echoing voice of laughter slowly fading behind it.

      Lord Sarthaengil was immersed in his duel with the Lord of Beasts. He knew him to be none other than Kharuk Wyrmbane, a herdfather that had left a swathe of destruction in the human settlements of the area, having destroyed even the hunting parties sent to kill him. He was rumoured to have slain and eaten a grown dragon, but of that Sarthaengil held his doubts. It was however clear, that the beast had more than mere instinct behind his blows. There was some undeniable intelligence in this beast, something unheard of when it came to the howling masses of the bestial herds. Sarthaengil fought on, pained by the gaping wound in his side, having discarded his lance Vigilance and drawn the sword at his belt, a family heirloom known as Bloodsinger. Kharuk had a short blade blade in one hand and huge, long-handled sword with a wickedly hooked edge on the other, and he swung them so blurringly fast that even Sarthaengil's elven reflexes nigh failed to keep up. He caught a ringing blow on his shield, Moss Mirror, and shot out a stabbing riposte that the beastlord paried effortlessly. Kharuk's counter with the shorter blade was luckily caught by Caor's massive antler, and the mighty elk wrested the knife from the beast's hand. The herdfather grinned savagely, punched Caor across the head and fled, the great elk too dazed to follow.

      When Sarthaengil finally emerged on the north-side of the small fir-thicket, he found to his surprise a battle near victory. The giant cyclops was nowhere to be seen, one of the two wildhorn packs had already scattered, two battered groups of centaurs were on the fly towards the north-west, one chased by his own deer knights and the other by the tattered reamins of the Wayward Sons. The howling warhound packs lay riddled with arrows on the battlefield, and Aqanthammu was hurrying to the aid of Sargael's archers of the Tinewind Guard who had taken a severe beating but still held their own against a dozen giant spiders on the eastern hill. Unbeknownst to him, the pathfinders were carrying their severely injured captain Sarathil from the battle in the forest that had been hard-won against the centaurs. Slowly, Sarthaengil took up Deathrain and shot a blindingly fast succession of arrows into the one remaining wildhorn pack that quickly turned to retreat.

      He pulled the knife of Kharuk from Caor's battered antler and tucked it into his belt, scanning the southern plains uneasily. This wouldn't be the last he'd hear from Kharuk Wyrmbane, and he didn't need a prophetic dream from his son to know that.

      *This was a 2400p game of beast herds versus my sylvan elves, and at the end of it I nearly hung my head in shame at the cheese I brought. This was my first ever 9th Age battle, and before I had played three under 1000p matches of 8th, and even though I picked everything in my list completely fluff first, it ended up a massacre of me having tabled my friend with 1350p remaining.

      I brought:
      Forest Prince with lance and HoDA, ward 5+, AS 3+, wild hunter knidred and helm plus a retinue of 9 Huntsmen. 9 Pathfinders with Pathfinder Chieftain. 17 archers with level 4 Path of Nature armed with Bow of Wyscan. 19 Forest Guard with Forest Guardian Chieftain with Whirlwind Blade. 10 Dryads, a Treefather, 3 Kestrels, 6 Heath Riders.

      He brought:
      Beastlord solo with ramhorn helm and Blades of Haste, good armour but no ward. Lv 3 Wilderness with extra spell and 15 wildhorns and Lv2 Death with 15 wildhorns, all having 2 weapons, also a smaller wildhorn block with throwing weapons too. 2 big blocks of war hounds and one smaller with poison, proxyed nicely with spiders. Cyclops, an ambushing giant, and two 10-centaur blocks, and a ramhorn proxyed with a sweet cerberus, as well as a briar beast. A centaur captain with impaler, hated that guy =D He had some totems that i dispelled almost without fail, and he ambushed the giant, one centaur block, the small gor block, and the spiders.

      It was great fun nevertheless, and he said he enjoyed it too so I don't feel too bad, but I won't be crying too much if I get nerfed in March ^ ^
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 8 times, last by Phaeoron: spoilered the brick of text ().

    • Concerning Epheltilion

      The Border Guard of Epheltilion, or the Mossenhome Fens as they are called by other peoples, is built around the noble House of Saronn, the family whose birthright and responsibilty this beautiful yet dangerous stretch of land has been for generations. It is a fruitful wetland covered in a forested blanket of pines and firs, oaks and beeches, willows and birches, everything frosted over with moss. Ancient and hostile, spirits of the earth haunt these glades, beautifully iridescent will-o-wisps dancing above the mirror pools.

      Here's the High Druid Sargael Dreamseer, the Spellwarden of the border guard and one of Lord Sarthaengil's younger children. As all the progeny of the Lord Protector, Sargael too is uniquely talented, which many account to the persistent rumour that the Lord's reclusive wife, Ildirya, is in fact a faerie spirit herself. The only one of his siblings truly talented in magic, Sargael is however a troubled youth, harrowed by dreams that come true and are rarely pleasant. He is short-tempered, socially awkward and and keeps to his own council to a fault. He has unending patience and fascination for things that grow, but for little else, and his magics reflect that. Also, one of the few other points of interest for him was always archery, to which he dedicated countless hours. The spirits of the land sense his gift for magic and are drawn to him because of it, yet their whispered secrets often ring on deaf ears as Sargael is lost within his own mind, unaware of the world around him. His father has distanced himself from his son for his constant social blunderings at court, but his elder brother Sarthas looks after him and navigates the political maelstrom's for him. His teacher, the Arch Druid of Mossenhome, lives in reclusion in the deep fens where he communes with the forest and its many spirits, and teaches those elves daring enough to seek him out.

      Yeah, my wood elves are blue blooded nepotists and my level4 has Asperger's.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • A looong hiatus due to finishing up my studies and being busy at work, but finally got some hobbying done. As per usual, I poured my energy into a sidestep instead of determinedly pushing to finish painting my first 2,5k army.

      So, here a fun side project: a Forest Dragon! I'm really lamenting the death of the Spirit Sword now, as Giant Blade is frankly boring, but builds aside there were some minor details in this otherwise fantastic model that I just had to fix:
      -The lower jaw is way too short. Imagine how retarded that thing would look with its mouth shut. So, grabbed some Saurian Temple Guard bits and peeled the skin off my fingers trying to glue them on, the end result is however quite pleasing to me.
      -The talons. To the hind legs not much was to be done because of them hugging the rocks so tightly, but the "hands" I swapped for the DE Kraken's.
      -Frilled the head up with some bits from the Briar Maidens' and Treeman's kits to look more foresty.
      ---Still to be done: Put some spites on the base, and other foresty bits as well. Maybe some additional trinkets on the Dragon itself...

      *Side note: the Dragon should double as a mount for an HE Fireheart Mage, so can't get carried away with the forest thematics.
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      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • So, building Highborn stuff, even if as conversions for my Sylvans, has me sidetracking toward my HE project. I built two GW-Hobbit Eagles, and made some riders for them: (left2right) SE shadow druid w/ bow of wyscan, SE chieftain w/ skull splitter and sylvan blades, and a HE commander w/ great bow of Elu and a halberd.

      Also, a Prince of Ryma on the Black Dragon and a Battle Mage of the Order of the Fiery Heart on the Forest Dragon (and a still headless Forest Princess armed with Skull Splitter and Sylvan Lance who will be the Forest Dragon's true rider, now sitting on a unicorn).

      Finally, my Master of Canreig Tower conversion.
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      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Thanks Galharen! All your stuff looks unbelievable so that means quite a bit coming from you. Back to topic.

      In the deep fens at the very heart of Mossenhome glades, strange things older than flesh-built life stand in ageless vigil to safekeep these sacrosanct realms. Eldest of them is known to the Epheltilian elves as Aqanthammu, the Mother of the Forest, an ancient spirit residing within a giant willow tree, old beyond the counting of years. All the dryads of the region are believed to be her progeny, as is Oadanneigh the First-Born, gigantic guardian spirit known as the Birch Lord that dwells in the thickets of the Birch Towers high on the slopes of the Cloudbrow Fells.

      The weirdest of Aqanthammu's myriad offspring has to be Gnathraig, Treefoot as she is commonly known. Born twins, the two fey spirits that now form her as one have taken residence within the same husk of a gnarled tree, ready to deal swift judgement on trespassers. An emissary of sorts between the elves and the spirits of the forest is a dryad witch called Truatha, whose lightning temper is well known to the Druids that often seek her council.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • The MoCT has the Loremaster's head, pendant and sword (obviously), the rest is a Chaos Sorcerer kit (this one: google.com/search?q=chaos+sorc…r&imgrc=zefFH-dFmr10AM%3A). And oh, a right shoulder and some spell scrolls from the Dreadlord on Black Dragon set. The helmet tuft is Black Guard's.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Have a cousin over, and got to some modelling. Built a Fire Phoenix and finally got my Avatar of Nature together.

      Watching over the Mossenhome Fens lie the slopes of the Nan-Gaidhnir, the Cloudbrow Fells that rise from the wetlands in a shroud mists. Birchwoods known as the Birch Towers envelop the fellsides facing the fens, and they are the realm of Oadanneigh First-Born also known as the Birch Lord, eldest and most formidable of Aqanthammu's children. Aqanthammu is reluctant to leave her home glades where the majority of her Dryad children dwell, so Oadanneigh is charged with safeguarding the forest's borders.

      This ancient ent is the most formidable warrior among the myriad spirits of the Mossenhome. He is much quicker in his anger than the all-wise Aqanthammu, often the first to strike at any intruder. Before major battles he is known to carve a mighty blade for himself out the granite of the granite of the fells, using his claws like trees use their roots to split stone, but these weapons rarely survive the abuse they are subjected to when the Birch Lord's wrath is properly roused.

      Edit: Friday was monsters, saturday I got to building Blade Dancers. I really like them, wasn't too worried about ranking them up so some builds got sorta out of hand. The two males I converted using Dark Acolytes' torsos, and that was damned pain. Also got a head for my Forest Princess.
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      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Conversion night! Got my grubby paws in my cousin's rather extensive bitz box, and built myself a Shapeshifter Prince. Tasty empire bitz nom, ungor torso, shadow warriors parts. Ironically nothing sylvan elven in there :D

      For a build: King Slayer, Bluffer's Helm + LA + shield + elven cloak, longbow + black arrows, Mistwalkers' Mirror.

      He's a sort of an assassin, a hunter of men always on the prowl for enemies of the realm. Don't have detailed backstory yet cuz he was a spur of the moment build.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • All right, got a bit of everything in here except my baby project DE. My primary army is SE but the DE feel the most like my own since I don't really like the murder-crazy fluff of 8th and before and have thus rewritten most of it for them (they are a basically distinct mini-faction), and my longest running named character Phaeoron that I've played in many RPGs is the general.

      My DE are basically racists and slavers, thinking anything non-elven little better than beasts, but on the other hand they are very empathic and caring of their own kind. They're a bit like nazis in the 30s.

      Here some character models:
      -Phaeoron with and without his dragon, Celdagrothuinn.
      -Beastmaster Thaul Ravenhart with Tygoreon the Peryton (Manticore).
      -Fleet Lord Icthurisar Aspfather with his Pegasus, Veteihnin (wish fleetmasters could ride ^ ^').
      -Standard Bearer Qurion the Reaper.

      I've been deliberately putting off painting them since i want my woodies mainly done before I start with them in earnest.
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      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • A short story delving into the backgrounds of Mossenhome, the homeland of my Sylvan Elves.

      Display Spoiler

      I have lost the count of seasons now during my time with the Guild. In the deep fens the passing of time is... Different.

      Lord Oronduir has taught me more than I knew there could be to learn, and yet I feel my true lesson has been the understanding that I will never be "learned". I doubt I will ever be able to grasp the vast intricacies of the feywild at a level to even begin aspiring towards the title of High Druid.

      Alas, what has been sung in the Henge at night has been a fascinating listen, even if I understand little of it. Lord Oronduir and his favoured students sing much of the heart of the forest. What I have been able to gather is that this "Mother" is an ancient spirit of the feywild, or aether as the Wizards would have it.

      "The Mother" lives in everything in Epheltilion. The First Druids have named her Aqanthammu, and they believed that all the Dryads, Naiads and other forest spirits are of her essence, almost like her offspring.

      She seems to have decided that our kind are not a threat to her sacred glades, and has accepted us as a part of the natural balance of all life here. So much so, that she has made flesh for herself out of ancient trees at times of invasion, marching with her Dryad daughters to come to the aid of our warriors when we defend the glades.

      These avatars of her have been destroyed many times, and have been reported in many places at once, which lends credence to the belief that Aqanthammu is actually something greater beyond the Veil, breaching it at times to manifest in the trees. She has also been communed with in meditation directly, and thusly some High Druids have gained glimpses to her greater existence beyond the entish avatars she makes herself known by.

      Truatha, one of Aqanthammu's more social offspring, has been frequenting the Ivory Willow for as long as anyone can remember. Her temper is fearsome, but she is one of the few spirits that seem actually interested in talking with elves. "Talking", I say, yet mean something else. To sing in a way that she can comprehend even the simplest of meanings one wishes to communicate is a skill few here possess. Still, she is surprisingly patient with apprentices wishing to try.

      My eagle, Falachra, comes from the Nan-Gaidhnir Fells, the cliffs crowning the Birch Towers highlands overlooking Mossenhome's fens and marking the south border of Epheltilion. Upon the highlands roams a gargantuan forest spirit I have heard legends of. Residing in a towering birch tree, it is believed to be one of Aqanthammu's eldest offspring, permanently bound to its form. He is named Oadanneigh the Birch Lord, and songs title him the First-Born of the Forest.

      I have received word from my family in Filtacraelis, the Birch Towers' castletown, of skirmishing near the border, and the honour of my House demands my return to help in the battles. I'm reluctant to leave the Guild, I feel I have but glimpsed what I need to master before calling myself a Druid.

      Duty calls, and go I must. Falachra will at least rejoice upon soaring over the familiar Cloudbrow Cliffs where her eyrie once was.

      I concentrate, calling the shadows about me, and step out of the guild library without moving. I feel the exertion, but I need to practice if I am to go to war. I can meditate on the way home to regain my focus.

      I clutch an ancient tome hidden away in my satchel. My training is not done, and if I survive the battles I will return the spellbook, and suffer any punishment Lord Oronduir will see fit. Right now Lady Ildirya's army needs my craft, and I must get all the help I can.

      I must hope it will be enough to make a difference.

      I am Sadugith Grimhood of House Aaldaeir, Druid Apprentice of the Guild of the Ivory Willow. What it will be worth remains to be seen.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Short story continues, Part 2 - Cross Country
      Display Spoiler

      Flying is misery in the rain, just take my word for it. There is no amount of clothing to keep you warm in the draft, and a rain-loaded cloak is a real liability when balancing on the shoulders of a giant bird soaring above the treetops.

      There below me among the trees I made out a horseman. Falachra's foul mood was tangible, but I managed to urge her to descend among the gloomy fir trees. The rider soon stopped. I couldn't help but notice that an arrow was knocked as the figure loomed there on there forest road, waiting.

      I raised a hand in greeting, hailing the Sentinel, who seemed to relax. Falachra dropped on her talons upon the muddy path shaking water from her plumage. I struggled to hold on, but managed to introduce myself. The rider was named Falynn, and she was of a mounted scouting company, the Wayward Sons. That meant she was from the capital.

      She took us to a safehouse that was mercifully close to where I had found her. A skilfully camouflaged corral there was as a shelter for horses, and a low hillock with a sunken entrance to an underground hideout. It was a bit damp inside as well, but a small fire was going in a central lounging area with various small pots dangling over it, simmering in an intoxicating mixture of herbal aromas. The fire and hare broth soon warmed me to the core as my coal black cloak hung steaming by the fire pit.

      "Sadugith, of Aaldaeir. That is not a familiar House in these parts." Falynn had a piercing stare. I was sure she was quite in her stride interrogating strangers. "Our seat lies in the south, in Filtacraelis", I explained, smiling nervously. "Birch Towers, of course. Explains the eagle." I grimaced at the remark. My garb was not of any special quality or make, and nothing about me revealed any wealth. In the north eagles were ridden almost exclusively by high nobility.

      Unable to take the silence and the searching gaze of the ranger, I started chatting as I always did when anxious. "I am on my way home. There is apparently some trouble by the border. What I am needed for, I couldn't say, but I must go as summoned." Falynn nodded, expressionless. Finally she spoke, "The scouts have heard of the southerners troubles. Cloven Ones, and lots of them." I swallowed, not knowing what to say. "The Red River Company has called for the Sons for reinforcements, but not much have been spared. Lord Sarthaengil is suspicious of the humans, and we are patrolling more than we have for decades."

      "Lady Ildirya still resides in the Winter Palace?", I asked. The Lord Protector's wife was spending less and less time in the capital, I had heard gossiped, instead cooped up in the Citadel of Filtacraelis. "I believe so. Lord Sarthaengil has visited the border guard stronghold near here in person not two moons past. No mention of the Lady's return."

      I asked, because Lady Ildirya was a far better known figure in Filtacraelis than her husband and formal ruler of this cornere of the Great Forest known as Epheltilion. The Lady had much influence herself, and in truth Epheltilion had twin rulers. Their authorities wouldn't publicly clash, though, because Lord Sarthaengil ruled in Anthalac Athon, the capital, sprawling in a deep ravine in the Mossenhome glades, whereas Lady ildirya reigned over the highlands in the south.

      The Lady commanded the Filtacraelian army, which I was now to join. I had restless dreams of piercing screams and icily burning steel, and despite a warm, dry bed felt exhausted in the morning. The world was all grey milk as I emerged from the underground base, but smelled fresh. The mist seemed to drown out even the whistle I used to call Falachra, who's humour seemed improved since last I saw her, drenched and hungry. I suspected she had had a good hunt before the mists enveloped the region.

      We took to wing then and banked stright towards the south, where one could imagine the Cloudbrow Cliffs shoot out of the misty sea of canopy. When viewed from above the orange glow of the low morning sun set a faint, fiery light on the mist. It was going to be clear day. Slowly, I felt my own mood take towards the better as Falachra let loose a long, violently joyful cry that echoed in the cool, still air.

      Heath Riders in Mossenhome are called Wind Sentinels, and the most famous, or more aptly notorious, of the myriad companies are the Wayward Sons. Seasoned border patrol rangers, the Sons have a reputation for daring and efficiency, but when on leave they are known to get into drinking, boasting and fights with alarming frequency. Yet, when duty calls, the Wayward Sons are at the vanguard, scouting the paths and leading the charge.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Hah, game night ahead for the longest while! I'm facing my 2 friends, we have night a of 3 x 1000p games ahead of us so that all of us get to play twice!

      I'm up against either ID or VS, and BH or WDG.

      Decided to take my faithful DE to the fray! 2 themed lists I'm trying out, infantry and cavalry. Deliberately leaving the Hydra at home.

      List 1:
      Display Spoiler

      Reaver Crew of the Weeping Hammer

      General: Muirion the Deeplord, the Mad Pirate
      Dread Prince, Fleet commander (Innate Defence 5+), Heavy Armour, Great Weapon, Dragonscale Helm, Sprout of Rebirth, Wizard's Hood.

      20 corsairs, Paired Weapons, Vanguard, War Standard.

      10 Executioners, Icon of the Relentless Company.

      12 Tower Guard, Bloody Banner (reroll 1s and 2s to-wound).

      Bolt Thrower.

      List 2:
      Display Spoiler

      Deadlight Marauder Host

      General: Vaithis Deadlight, Captain.
      Cult of Yema (strider and +1M), Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Dragonscale Helm, Gemstone Amulet, Raptor.

      Rhimea Taraal, Oracle.
      Level2 Wilderness, Cult of Yema, Horse.

      Ourayel the Necromancer, Oracle.
      Level1 Shadows, Cutl of Yema, Raptor.

      5 Dark Raiders, Crossbows.

      5 Dark Raiders, Crossbows.

      5 Dark Raiders, Crossbows.

      10 Raptor Knights, Sword of Strength on champ.

      Hopefully I'll get some pictures taken. Unfortunately all my DE are unpainted at the moment =/
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Small games can be fun too!

      Just got to have 1000p match last night, unfortunately the second one we had planned had to be skipped because of time restraints, so didn't get to test my all cava vision. So, the match was fought by List 1 from the post above: Reaver Crew of the Weeping Hammer. A turnaround victory, honestly not deserved (I'll explain in the report, a big movement mistake on my part nearly cost me the battle).

      Essential Report:
      Display Spoiler

      My opponent brought ID.
      -A level2 of Forge as general, had a S5 weapon and 2+ armour and the fireball ring (will be a beautiful female dwarf once finished, sry for no pic).
      -20ish Royal Guard with banner (general bunker).
      -25ish Warriors with banner.
      -20ish Slaves.
      -4 Kadim Incarnates (rat ogre models proxying from his VS army, there will be converted models as magma drakes).
      -A Rocket Battery.

      The terrain was set by our host who was a third party on the match. It was quite cluttered so I soon rushed to deploy for the advantage to take first turn (was expecting more shooting, didn't realize his core block had no boomsticks [shoulda studied up, we had open lists]).

      I dropped my vanguarding Corsairs up center, ready to rush out. I put my Bolt Thrower by a tower centre-ish, on the only spot where it could see anything from between a large building and a hill on the midfield. My left flank had my small troop of Executioners and my Tower Guard were ready come following the Corsair block, taking a small hookaround from my right towards the mid-right hill. I dropped my Wizard's Hooded general to the right, ready to climb the hill.

      His slaves were dead center and the Royal Guard right behind them. On his right delpoyment zone he had a ruin surrounded by a wall where he put his rocket battery and the Kadim. He put his Warriors on his far left, coming around an another ruin in his deplo-zone.

      I rolled Alchemy and the 6th spell Transmutation of Gold, which I decided to keep. He got Forge's 1 and 2, the -1 Ld spell and a flaming magic missile, in addition to his Ring of Fire.

      So I went first, everybody moves prety much straight up. Bolt Thrower hits a Kadim on long range behind a wall on a 6, but I roll a 1 to-wound :D I am not in range to magic (12" for Transmutation) and there's abviously no combat. He moves up too, I dispel everything he throws at me.

      Now comes my big mistake. I charge my Corsairs straight down to tackle the Slaves between the building and the hill (shoulda let them slaves just stand there while maneuvering for better support, methinks). Bolter misses. I get Transmutation on the RoyalG with Overwhelming Power taking only 1 wound on the miscast, but kill only 3 of them; dat 6" stupidity though, hits his everything :D I put the Attribute on the Corsairs for 3+ armour. In combat the Corsairs shred a decent amount of Slaves, breaking them, and by now I should have just stayed there, but I just rush far ahead of my line to tackle the RoyalG emboldened by my godly 3+ armour. That combat is a few slaps all around, I lose but don't break.

      Now he reaps the fruit of my blind rushing, flanking the Corsairs on two sides with Kadim and Warriors. Brutality ensues, but first he panics my Executioners with the rocket battery after killing 3 of them. He blasts my general with a flaming missile but the Dragonscale Helm feels snug on him and nothing happens, I dispel everything else. By now I'm so engrossed in how to salvage my strategy that I forget to take pictures. The corsairs dish out a surprising amount of hurt on S3 Paired Weapons but of course break. He overruns with the Kadim, ending up in front of the hill on my right. The KAdim have taken some wounds from Shackles of Fire, and are down to three.

      The rest I remember les clearly since much of it was me despairing. The Bolter takes out 3 RoyalG this game, his RBattery does nothing more since he tries sniping my general the rest of his shooting turns. My Execs rally in the late late game near my Bolter after running through impassable terrain taking some casualties, and can't reach any more combats. The general miscasts an another 5diced Transmutation killing some Warriors but losing his wizard levels.

      What is interesting though, is the Tower Guard. They charge down the hill to get the Kadim, taking 2 casualties from Volcanic Embrace. They EXPLODE the Kadim Incarnates. And I thought the Banner of Blood was crazy expensive on a unit 12, ended up being priceless. The TG overrun into the Royal Guard on the pursue, ending up away from the Warriors' charge arc. The warriors subsequently proceed to go fight my general on the hill for a few rounds, unable to get through his 2+ AS and 4+ regen.

      Now this is bloody, but 5 TG survive the onslaught of the ID elites and end up winning the combat by something like 5 wounds. The general breaks and runs off the table. The rallied slaves (13ish) play slapface with the few TG for a coupla combats and get killed to a man (how?!). The 2 surviving TG finish off the RBattery crew for an impressive 700something point victory in pure killings for me.

      Summarizing Thoughts:
      Display Spoiler

      That greediness with the Corsairs was an important lesson. I feel I shouldn't have won. That Alchemy attribute on them and their success against the softest of my opponent's units made me reach too far, and elves just don't function without support. I had a good plan to bring up my Execs and TG a step behind the Corsairs to come into flanking maneuvres to hopefully get to combo charge the tough elite unit. The game would've been different if I hadn't rolled so well in the fight against the elite bunker, against the Kadim I had thought my odds quite good with them weakened by Shackles of Fire.

      Narrative Report
      Display Spoiler

      The Weeping Hammer groaned in its moorings at the rivermouth as the captain was overseeing his warriors coming ashore in the humble fishing dock. The huge frigate looked out of place in the tiny ramshackle dock, the black sails being rolled up by elves climbing in the masts. The insignia of a golden hollow sun being devoured by a sea serpent rising out of silvery waves was impressive in the low evening sun's fire. The Order of the Black Sun had always had a sense for a certain grandeur and showmanship a commander could appreciate.

      Prince Muirion's mood was high strung. The Fleetmaster was pleased by the amount of provisions and slaves shackled below the Hammer's deck, these villagers locked away in their hovels would get to continue their stench-ridden existence here. Alas, a problem needed dealing with before he could cast off.

      A dwarf named Magta Spangelhelm was leading a raiding party through the area, and Muirion could find it picked clean of potential slaves once he would make it back here next. These fire worshipers were stepping on the toes of the Black Sun not for the first time, and Muirion was personally annoyed at the insolence of their presence so close to this village he had used as his base to launch raids inland from. The runt's host was not entirely dismissable, and they had some Kadim Magma Drakes with them, so in the event of a possible confrontation casualties were to be expected. And Spangelhelm was a known Red Prophet, famously rousing dark fires in enemy formations, turning almost any battle to her favor.

      Muirion had no small amount of knowledge on the subject of fire magic himself, but his studies in Canreig had been cut quite short when his heritage had become known. How he had escaped with his life was something only he and a handful of Canreigi knew. Piracy was a heinous crime, those dusty mystics had proclaimed, but what business was it of theirs that Muirion's family had raised their fortune privateering before the fall of Dunhold and their House. Muirion had had no part in it yet they judged him the same.

      Now Muirion was a pirate and a slaver in earnest, but it was for a cause, not wealth. He was a necessary evil to bring about a greater good, his conscience was clean. The Black Sun did treat the slaves with compassion as they did all beasts, and Muirion avoided killing on the raids whenever possible.

      Now it didn't seem that bloodshed could be avoided. Muirion would have to march against Spangelhelm to demonstrate Black Sun authority in the area. He had gotten his scouts' reports in and believed to have the dwarves' numbers down pretty accurately. Additionally, this raid had been going so smoothly that the Vipers started to seem jittery in their daily chores. These were men used to violence, corsairs to the bone. Scrubbing decks and corralling slaves did not sit well with the more adventurous among them, used to hunting Merwyrm and seizing ships; the Black Sun Storm Vipers were quickly building a notoriety on the seas as fearless and efficient fighters.

      Impressive as they were, Muirion was still pleased to have secured some true elite for this raid after having heard of dwarvish activity around the area. The Blademasters of the Seascorpion Cadre were the best the entire fleet had to offer in terms of fighting skill, and he had even a contingent of the Sovereign's personal Guard of the Undying Night on board. Scary folk these Black Sun Immortals, absolute discipline even without a commander on sight.

      Muirion had prepared a greeting for the dwarves that were marching straight for the village. They had to know the elves were there, so Muirion had to wonder if they believed he would judge a direct battle not worth the risk. Or were they actually expecting to cast him to the sea? He deployed his battle lines on the outskirts of the village, near the cemetery. There was a hill there opposite the humans' temple, offering some cover for his forces waiting in ambush.

      The spirits were getting increasingly chatty of late, which did nothing to help Muirion concentrate on the battle ahead. In quiet moments of meditation the otherworldly whisperers were very helpful, yielding revelations of the aether and its arcane forces. Lately they had been a great help deciphering cryptic texts of alchemical transmutations that were among the literature Muirion had acquired prior to his escape from Canreig. They however seemed to sense worldy distress and were getting frantic as Magta Spangelhelm's forces began appearing from the woods beyond the barley fields. It was taking all Muirion had to keep from screaming in the cacophony, but he knew that once they became this way there was no silencing them until the bloodlust in the aether would be dissipated. Muirion was going to make this quick.

      The Fleetmaster gave a wide swing with his impressive greatsword, and the engineer of the Darkstar gave the signal to loose. A bolt thrower painted pitch black cracked violently as its arms shot out, speeding the spear-sized missile through the evening air. It vanished among the flames surrounding a small pack of Magma Drakes, winged beasts that were the element of fire incarnate. At this distance it was impossible to tell if any damage had been done. Frantic activity took over the dwarven formations as the air began wailing with the passing of dwarvish rockets, splattering dirt and debris all around the reavers.

      Muirion beckoned his men forward, aiming to take the hill ahead. He tried to scan his memory for the plethora of spells that he had memorized and forgotten time and time again, but nothing came to him. The spirits within were chanting excerpts from the writings of the ancient alchemist he had been pouring over for the last weeks, so he grasped all the might he could reach for to prepare the incantation for the Transmutation of Gold, the only spell his possessors allowed him to think on long enough to formulate any coherent pattern to even begin to mould the Winds into a usable form.

      A moment of clarity hit him as the panicked chattering of the spirits coalesced into a canon of alchemical secrets, pouring through Muirion's mind to shape the Winds. The sudden surge of power was more than the Reaver Lord could handle. He heard himself scream as if from a distance as the red hot energies of molten metals surged into existence through his bodily form, tearing at him as they went. For a moment all was white hot pain.

      As the world slowly came back to him, Muirion could see the panic and the confusion in the advancing dwarvish forces. Smoke as if from a forge emanated from the armoured ranks of axe-wielding warriors, and there was directionless shuffling as the disciplined formations had suddenly stopped and began showing signs of splintering.

      That's when a glowing hammer was raised among the chaos, and a carrying female voice was bellowing guttural syllables in an authoritative tone. The ranks jerked forward again, regaining composure with every step. Muirion saw his Storm Vipers speeding forwards eager for battle, and the afterglow of the cataclysmic spell still burned in his mind. He funneled the energy towards the Vipers, and could almost hear as the alloys in their light reaver armour tempered themselves, bracing for impact. "Go forth, Vipers on the Storm! Do not falter until there is no one left to oppose your passing! Glory will be yours!"

      The reavers smashed into a horde of greenhide slaves, a ragtag bunch bulging with muscle, shackled into their weapons. The fight was short and brutal as the Vipers' scimitars tore through the slaves' formation. The moment the front line was shattered the slaves turned to flee, muscling through Magta's personal bodyguard as they ran. They didn't run far as harsh commands and threats were no doubt barked at them, and they reformed right behind the ranks of the dwarvish elite.

      Soon the Vipers were in trouble, however. Now they were far ahead the elvish lines, beyond the reach of the Seascorpions' or the Immortals' aid. They were soon surrounded as Magta's praetorians withstood their charge and the raging Magma Drakes pincered the flanks with the second formation of the dwarf warriors coming in from the right, their red banner catching flame in the slowly setting sun.

      It was a massacre. The breaking reavers forced through the dwarves who were hewing at them with hammers glowing red hot under the magical banner, but the Magma Drakes took chase ending the survivors' escape in one devastating dive. The howling of the spirits was getting unbearable, and Muirion ordered the Guard of the Undying Night to go slay the fiery monsters. Without hesitation or sound the black-clad halberdiers stormed from the hill against the smoldering Drakes, who stood snarling in the smoke of their own fires.

      The constant whistle of rockets muted the screams of the Seascorpion Blademasters that were caught dead centre of a bombardment. Many lay dead as the ranks broke, the soldiers seeking cover back where they had come. The crew of the Darkstar had a difficult time taking shots through the narrow gap between the temple and the hill where the maelstrom of battle churned, but managed some hits that tore at the dwarvish elite surrounding Spangelhelm herself.

      The Lady Prophet herself was whispering incantations betwixt her bellowed commands. A red ring glowed on her finger, sending a shrieking fireball towards the elven general standing on the crown of the hill beckoning orders at his warriors. The resulting explosion was satisfactory but the flames quickly died down as if a magical ward surrounded the elf who seemed physically unscathed, yet somewhat distraught. Magta suspected it was not because of the fireball's flames. She did still feel his influence in the Winds, fraying almost every construct she was able the begin pulling together. Most vexing, thought she as she caved in the skull of a corsair lying wounded on the ground, trying the stab at her from below.

      Muirion's concentration was in tatters. The wards in his Dragonforged Helmet had taken the brunt off the fireball still draining the air from around him and choking him with smoke and ash. He felt the dwarf mystic groping around the Winds and did his best to quell her efforts, but the spirits' incessant pestering was getting intolerable. Finally he decided to silence them by reaching into the Winds again, pulling might about him in amounts even he knew he could not control. The second Transmutation was more painful than the first, and after it had burned through him, he had no eyes to see how many of Magta's best lie dead this time, their flesh streaked with veins of pure gold.

      Muirion barely remembers the rest of the fight where, his men later told him, he had stood his ground on the hill as the formation of battle-weary dwarves had charged up to his position. Praising words were used to describe the weave of his greatsword stemming the tide of dwarvish hammers coming hungry for his blood, but he knew nothing of what he had done and more importantly, how. The sword he affectionately called simply "My Knife" would later be known in the soldiers' stories as Cinderfang, for the red banner's flames had gone out before the charge and the fiery glow dissipated from the attackers' hammers.

      Meanwhile the finest the Order of the Black Sun had to offer in terms of training and discipline were hacking away at the fire elementals, halberds rising and falling as the beasts bit, clawed and breathed fire on them. They even lost some of their number to the sheer heat coming off their monstrous enemies, but fought as one seamless unit and overpowered the Drakes with a grace that only the eye of a soldier could appreciate. Without a moment's pause they reformed their ranks and rushed out of the smoke cloud rising from the smoldering embers of their foes' remains to take on the personal guard of Magta Spangelhelm.

      It was a fight worthy of songs. The axes of Magta's chosen had the glow of the forge on their edges, and in their hearts unflinching discipline to match that of the Black Sun Immortals. The Guard of the Undying Night in their black cloaks and armour looked like an eclipse slowly creeping over the red glow of Magta's formation, but every inch was hard fought. The rehearsed, inhumanly fast swings of the elves' halberds that flowed one into the next in an endless hurricane of death found little to bite on in the nigh seamless shieldwall of the forgeborn, whose glowing axes were swift in their retribution when even the slightest of gaps could be seen in the iridescent barrier of blades whirling in front of them.

      Every step was dearly paid for as the situation grew clearer to the dwarven commander. Even were she to win this fight, her host would be so diminished that keeping watch over the throng of slaves she had already amassed could prove a task most taxing, so the grim resolve grew in her mind to cast aside her pride this day to deliver her Lord's prize. She ordered the retreat.

      The change in the tide of the battle was almost unnoticeable. The dwarves simply ceased to risk themselves for their position, instead yielding ground every time the pressure was too great to weather. Meanwhile Magta ordered the remainder of her fighting slaves to join the fight, and so valiant was her guard's performance that the greenhides probably thought they were winning. With glee they stormed the Immortals' ranks, at which time Magta made for a swift exit with what remained of her bodyguard. The slaves were hacked to pieces in quick order, and the rocket battery was seized as its crew had no time to sabotage it properly.

      Muirion came to his senses after the sun had set. He was alone in the darkness, lying in a pool of blood and gore from well over a dozen dwarf warriors sprawled around him in various degrees of dismemberment. His spirit council had quieted down, not even a whisper to be heard. These moments of silence were growing rare, and the Fleetmaster reveled in the peace for a good while, gazing at the stars above him.

      As he clambered to his feet, every muscle aching with the exertions of the day and a headache thrumming dully in his skull, he noticed the Guard of the Undying Night observing him from the slope of the hill, near the temple. He started towards them, and as he approached, he noticed their expressions. Every face was twisted with open disgust, but none of them made a sound. Instead the spirits within flickered to life, whispering of Muirion's worthlessness as a commander, speaking of defeat and unbearable losses. At that, Muirion looked to the gloomy field where the crew of the Weeping Hammer were collecting wood for a pyre. A pyre for almost every elf that had followed him to this place. Slowly the Immortals turned to leave, but a fraction left of what had come from the City of Elder Stars. Muirion lingered a while before following, all the while being mocked by the whispering spirits.

      At the pyre he found the Seascorpion Cadre, who had suffered the least during the battle. It was the Blademasters that informed Muirion of his heroic stand on the hill after the final Transmutation, eager to forget their untimely retreat during the devastating bombardment. The spirits were quick to undermine every praise, and shame was heavy in Muirion's chest. He nodded barely noticeably and departed for the funeral pyre.

      He beckoned a Storm Viper for a torch. The reaver's blank expression betrayed an inner conflict, a joy of having avoided his comrades' fate by being commanded to stay at the ship and elation of victory no matter how hardly won felt at the moment that the fighting was done, but also the deep grief and anger for friends and brothers at arms lost forever. His captain had given him a victory, but at a cost that would at times seem unbearable. A simple bow was all Muirion would get to help him decide which feelings would define this man's attitude towards his command from now on. It was no help at all.

      Muirion thought on what to say at a moment when nothing could be said. There was a long voyage ahead, he knew, and no matter how much he wanted to apologize to his men for every life lost this night he knew he could never show weakness to them. In the harshest tone he could muster he simply recited, "We who have won must honour the victorious dead and drink to their name this night, for tomorrow we sail. We sail for home!" That last word got the men cheering, and as the pyre was lit Muirion too thought of home.

      Sorry for bad pictures and poorhammer terrain and WIP models :saint: My friends got a game too, the ID versus Lust WDG (foot lord 2+AS and GagnirSpear in a LustWarriors block, Lv2 of Lust that exploded himself in a miscast, a Lust Giant and 3 Trolls). The Giant single-handedly brutalized the slaves and Royal Guard (he rolled the 2D6 attacks twice and got like 8 and 9 strikes, just deleting ranks it was crazy :D). Time ran out before I got to go against our host's WDG.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 8 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Enter the Great Forests of Wyscan from the side of Mossenhome, the first thing to see you will be a Briar Shrike. You will not see them. Quite possibly, you will not see anything ever again, save the fletchings of an arrow sticking from your throat.

      The Shrikes watch over the paths leading into the woodland realm of Mossenhome, or Epheltilion as the elves have it. They have the skill set to jar the progress of invasion, be it a singular wanderer or a mighty war host. Sabotage, scare tactics, hit-and-run attacks, sniper strikes, every means necessary to allow time for the mustering of a proper defence. Their name comes from the gruesome practice of impaling corpses of enemies as wayposts near the borders to warn off others of their ilk.

      Briar Shrikes are often unsociable by nature, heeding the call of the deep fens and rarely appearing among civilization. They do command a certain respect, however, since their endless vigil does not go unappreciated by the common elves of the settlements hidden away in the glades.

      Lord Sarthaengil has a deep disdain of his second-to-eldest son, Sarathil, for taking up the calling of a Pathfinder and joining up with the Briar Shrikes. The eldest son having pursued a career of a military general in the most influential court of all of Wyscan in hopes of establishing a Princehood independent of his father, Sarthaengil had high hopes for Sarathil in grooming a successor to his seat after the eldest daughter Sarathirya had gone and fallen for a Prince's son from a neighbouring province.

      Alas, since childhood Sarathil had felt himself ill-at-ease in the capital, always happiest when he managed to slip away from his chaperones into the woods. He was cheerful enough a lad, but somehow distant and always too lost in his inner worlds to acquire a proper understanding of the intrigues of the humble court of his House. His service in the border guard was exemplary, and however much anyone would wish to stake his blood as the key to his swift ascension to command within the Shrikes there is no denying the merit of his skills and devotion.

      Even Lord Sarthaengil cannot deny the achievements his second son has accomplished, yet the disappointment of the inheritance thrice denied lingers heavily on the Allwarden. Another disappointment away would however lie the fifth child named Sarthas, who was everything an ambitious father could ask for.

      Sorry for picture quality, Warlords in visit.
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Short Story 3 - Inwards

      Display Spoiler

      As the towering islands of granite floating in a golden mist drew steadily closer, I quieted my mind for meditation. Somehow reaching for the shadows always left my thoughts in fraying slivers that took what felt like ages to weave back to a coherent whole that was me.

      As the air rushing around Falachra's wings fell silent, the feeling of wind rippling against my body numbed and the rays of the morning sun reached my consciousness no more, I found my thoughts wandering. I could not grasp the elusive essence of the element of shadow, being constantly interjected with fragments of memories and figments of imagination. This was common after I had used the Shadows to alter the material world, yet I did not seem able to grow at all in my ability to recompose the insides of my head after a succesful casting.

      Once again I had to walk through all those memories breaking my focus to put them in order, one by one, to stop them from spilling into whatever I was supposed to be thinking. It almost felt like there were something alive within the Shadows, like vermin gnawing at everything and everyone having touched them. One of these recurring recollections was what I recognized as the defining moment of my life; confronting Mother about the course of my life.

      I was an only child, having come into this world in a storm of blood that left my mother barren and father bitter and broken. Or maybe Father was broken by Mother before I was born, I couldn't say. He had always been quiet and compliant, and towards my later years home at the Aaldaeir Estate of Carughal, the Serpent Spire, majority of the time he spent sulking well in his cups.

      I was trained as any son of Wyscan to wield bow and sword, and in the history and politics of Epheltilion and the realm as a whole. None of that interested me. But Mother is a mighty woman, and wished she I learn something, learn I damned well did. There was always a void within me telling me I did not belong to my life, being the heir of a minor noble House and Lord of the Estate to be, grasping desperately with claws made of eloquent words for more power and prestige out of the courts and into my name.

      The day I learned that the pit in my heart was not a black hole of nothingness but a blackness with substance, a thread of the weave that is the essence of Shadow itself, I knew I could not stay at Carughal a moment longer. I had been hiding away in the tower room as I often did when I was supposed to go to court at the Winter Palace. I was admiring the sunlight filtering through a painted glass window onto the tower floor. Colourful puddles of muddled light tried to replicate the intricate patterns set into the window pane, slanting through a silent, golden mist of dust particles caught in the warm rays penetrating the darkness within the stone tower.

      I studied every detail of this system of contrasts, lights against shadows, utterly fascinated. I moved my hand through the prismatic beam illuminating the dust, causing swirls and tiny maelstroms in the unseen currents of inside air they traveled in. Swirl after another, I tried following a single dust particle's path as it suddenly changed by my action.

      With sudden realization I came to understand I hadn't been moving my hand for quite a while. I started, but soon grew curious. I made another disturbance in the glowing dust and gasped. I was doing it with my mind. I was doing it with magic!

      I scraped together a few clothes, a skin of water and some bread, picked up my weapons and two books (my geography tome detailing the important areas of Wyscan with a collection of maps and Thyndael's Trials, my favourite adventure story) and made for the kitchen door. I had to find Oronduir Wordlwhisper, the most famous Arch Druid of Epheltilion; with sudden clarity, I knew I wanted to become a Druid. Alas, the final obstacle was waiting for me in the yard.

      Mother was there, just returned from a hunt with her men. Her horse started at my appearance in the doorframe, and her stern gaze fixed on me instantly. Her men continued carrying the catch past me into the kitchens as Mother approached. The guilt was written plain on my face, even had she not seen my haphazard package for the journey north. "What is the meaning of this, Sadugith?" She didn't call me Sadu, which meant she was angry.

      The rest of the memories of the conversation are so blurred by emotion that I always struggle in reassembling the pieces, and feel like I do a worse job of it every time. The one thing I remember with painful clarity however is my mother's expression when I push past her to start my trek towards my new life. That look of absolute disappointment and pain has come close to stripping me of my sanity on these recurrent nightmares I have to live through to continue learning my craft.

      This time I am mercifully torn awake by Falachra's sudden shift of attention that I feel in her body under me. Her short neck tenses as she scans the southern horizon, where I several moments later make out large silhouettes speeding towards us. The Skywatchers of Nan-Gaidhnir have come.

      Sadugith Grimhood, Apprentice Druid of the Path of Shadows, wielding a longbow and poisoned arrows along with a stolen tome of arcane secrets. Mini and concept.

      P.S. A Dryad "skull" cod piece grants automatic magical superiority.
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      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • The backbone of the Epheltilian border guard army, like many of its kind in Wyscan, are its regiments of archers. Armed with longbows and shortswords, these basic soldiers are in Epheltilian terms known as Weald Sentinels.

      The organization of Epheltilian military power can be divided into three categories. The first are the Watchers, professional soldiers and expert rangers constantly patrolling the outermost borders of the realm. The Skywatchers on their mighty Dragonhawks and Waywatchers hidden along the many paths fall into this category. Also the personal elite guard of the Allwarden, the stag-riding Ranger Knights, are technically Watchers because of their professionalism, but their role is very different to the true Watchers patrolling the far periphery of the realm. The second group is the most unpredictable, the forest spirits that come if they will at the call of the Druids.

      The third division makes up the bulk of the armies' numbers, and these are the Sentinels. They are mustered at times of need to march for Lord and Land, having lives of their own outside the military after their training and service has come to the predetermined term (every family is obliged to send at least one of their children to take up this training, but many volunteer). All begin as archers drilling with the sword and the bow. The first split in the training comes when the recruits are divided to the paths leading to the three types of Sentinel: those who continue with archery become Weald Sentinels, others go on to train with the spear to become Thorn Sentinels, and some are taught horseback fighting to become Wind Sentinels.

      All are trained extensively in survivalist skills, and mobility is the most important weapon of the Epheltilian border guard that can hardly boast of great numbers. Epheltilion is one of the more scarcely populated regions of the great forest, and they take into extremes the concept of being where they are needed to be. The spearmen abandon the use of shields to travel light and supply trains are minimal as all soldiers are taught how to hunt and gather food off the land.

      The Weald Sentinels' training has made them so effective with their longbows that a common myth among their enemies is that they use witchcraft to guide their arrows. The Sentinels hardly mind, as they see this as a sign of their skills acknowledged.

      The most famous of the many companies of Weald Sentinels are the Tinewind Guard of the capital city Anthalac Athon (pictured), the Deathfeather Guard that stand sentry at the Guild Halls of the Ivory Willow, and the Bitterhail Guard of Filtacraelis up in the Birch Towers highlands.

      To celebrate having EVERY MINI I OWN at least primed (chaos black, like the f*cking pleb I am), I give you some of the first ones I ever painted!
      "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner