Elves in a Corner

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    • So... Bear with me. Or don't, your time is precious, dear Reader.

      My baby project, my Dread Elves of the Order of the Black Sun, has not seen much spotlight here since I had some ambitions drenched in hubris to complete my Sylvan Elves before moving on to painting and blogging them. But hey, my painting hasn't gone anywhere in months and the true passion behind my armies are the stories of the characters therein.

      Long story short, no modelling stuff in this post. Again. Sorry.

      Instead, I got really inspired by my new year's that I spent with a coupla friends doing... Guess what?

      Silver Tower. It was amazing. And most importantly, I got a whole new angle, fluff-wise, to a character of mine that I came up with around 2011. Like all my characters with some years to them he has undergone some changes, but I found in that game the inspiration to tie those changes up to a character arc.

      So, an another short story. More for my own sake than yours.

      Part One - Salt and Iron

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      The dank darkness had the reek of mould mixed with brine and dried tar. The filth of bodies and what comes out of them overpowered those nobler scents but after a while one learns to ignore the worst in any situation. The chafing of manacles on wrists by which one hangs half asleep becomes a dull agony that gnaws on wits until any man turns into a beast cornered, a nervous wreck of pure, snarling instinct. Or maybe it's simply the lack of sleep that does it.

      Who had one been before this fate? What had brought it upon him? One could not say.

      Had one truly forgotten, or deliberately set aside such recollection as too painful, who could say? In any case, one could not even name hisself when the corsairs cracked open the hold after days of nausea, chafing and stench beyond one's attempts at reckoning. The searing white light was a blinding misery, almost more so than the lash of the slavers that goaded one on upon the slick wood of the black-sailed ship.

      The din of the harbor was chaotic after the rhythmic roar of the sea against the creaking hold. One staggered on legs numbed by weeks of inactivity upon hard wood, and was swiftly rewarded with the bite of the whip. The sting gave purpose to the trembling muscles, and the file shuffled on.

      There was a dais set up on the market square. The bazaar was swarming with pale elves wrapped in silks and furs, and the nip of the air suggested a northern clime despite the kiss of the sun upon one's skin. The cries of gulls pierced the commotion of the crowds every now and then as the manacled line was marched upon the dais, urged on by the crack of the whip. As the procession settled, so did the masses in the vicinity of the platform. A horn was blown before a cryer took up the call.

      "Hear hear! The Weeping Hammer has returned from far lands beyond the surf to bring forth foreign spoils! Attend, Sealord Muirion!"

      One beheld the commander of the fleet emerge, a black clad man with a certain wildness to his eye. Tall helm donned the sealord raised his arm in triumph but quickly made an exit from before the roaring crowds, trailed by a squire clutching a long black black scabbard with an ornate hilt protruding from it. "The auction begins!"

      At the cryer's call, several officials step forth clutching scrolls. One understood enough of this strange dialect of elvish to know that one was a commodity. A slave. One by one the men and women were clipped free of their manacles and escorted away towards various bidders they should assume their masters.

      One was sold off to a wiry wisp of a woman, silvered of hair yet keen of gaze. One along with an another fit man and three women was packed into a cart caged with ornate steelwork. The bumpy ride took one on winding streets of cobbled stone through a city of pale stone, and out of it. Through a gate, tall as the most ancient of oaks and completely plated in intertwining veins of steel, the cart bounced onto a dusty road meandering among stone houses and farms.

      A fork in the road like many before saw the cart plunge through an arch into the confines of an estate, still in construction in many places. Men in iron collars shambled about, carrying timber and tools among the orchards. Humans and orcs, mostly. Elven slaves in collars of polished steel stood with food and jugs of wine at the ready in the shade of the mansion's terrace, standing by their elaborately clad masters.

      One saw the carriage come to a halt by a pit, lined with expert masonry and covered by a steel grate, one half of which was thrown open by a steel clad house guard leaning on a halberd. The other man from the cart along with one was bodily cast down into the pit, the grate clanging shut behind them.

      The dusty gloom held the stench of living bodies. The sand floor was cool beneath bare feet. The round space at the bottom of the pit would take at most ten brisk paces at a steady run to cross from wall to wall, and a single gateway of iron bars hid a murky corridor where oil lamps offered flickers of warm amber light. One glanced at one's companion, wrists bleeding from shackles removed before the plunge and wildness of terror twisting his face.

      The bars of the gateway screamed on poorly oiled hinges as they rose up to vanish in the stone arch above the portal. A slender female elf glided into view, fondling a long whip with gloved fingers. Her attire was of leather, boiled one assumed, and she had the look of a mercenary or some such person of habitual violence. She let her lash fly without warning, licking a red gash upon the flesh of one's companion. He screamed and crumbled into a wailing heap on two knees. The same motion gave one a stinging taste of the same medicine, and one could not help wincing at the bite of it.

      The woman's gaze flicked several times between one and his companion. She called behind her back, "These ones show little promise. Give them swords and Licker."

      A musclebound elf strode forth from the corridor, tossing scimitars upon the sand. One clutched one of them eagerly as one's companion scrambled for the other. A deep growl demanded one's attention towards the corridor. A strange bark echoed in the hallway as the flickering light of the oil lamps showed a shadow creep forth. A strange beast, as tall as a horse but scaleclad and stalking forth on two muscular legs. Its body was balanced by a long tail stretched out behind it, each digit of muscular limbs terminating in a wicked, curved talon. It caried its head low, a reptilian calm in its yellow eyes. It salivated profusely through glistening teeth, curved and sharp, its throat giving off an eager grumble as it clearly contemplated which one of us to eat first.

      We backed away from the creature and each other, swords thust out in front of us. The beast was in no hurry, cautiously advancing on the sand, gaze holding each of us in turn; by its scars one surmised it had tasted armed slave before.

      The situation was clear. Should the beast come for one before his companion, both would fall prey to it. So one did the only thing one could at that moment, and crept closer to the other elf trapped in this cruel twist of fate with him. One gave a reassuring smile as he came closer, and stabbed the other elf deep in his right side.

      The blade was easy to wrest from fingers limp with shock, and one retreated from the bleeding man a sword in each hand. The reptilian horror gave no pause but lunged at the injured slave, and made a brutal mess of his death.

      One saw his chance then. The scaled beast neck deep in the ruin of one's companion, one leapt through the air to land on the monster's back. Stabs beyond counting to the reptile's neck brought swift end to the beast's thrashing, one blade offering a handle to hold onto while the other struck home, the weapons' roles reversed time and again in quick succession.

      The woman with the whip raised an eyebrow at the spectacle, and reentered the pit. "Slave! You'll make a gladiator yet!", she called, smirking. One snarled in a rage, but somehow knew not to defy. There were more slavers in the shadows of the gateway.
      "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 6 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Part Two - Sand and Blood
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      The training was taxing to one's body, but more so to his mind. Later, at rare moments of inflection, one has pondered if it was during that trying time that one let slip who he had been before the Weeping Hammer.

      Beaten in the Hall of Struggles all day, beaten in the pit most nights by the slavers for some incomprehensible slight or sign of insubordination. In truth, it was to get one used to torment to shield one in future trials, but this also was to be a revelation of later days. For the moment, bitterness rose high in one's chest.

      Bitterness unleashed in turn open fellow slaves in the Hall of Struggles. Stick and shield in hand one set upon like-armed captives, leaving them bruised and bloody in his wake. One was versed in the ways of the staff, the long stick and batons. One took steel weapons to wooden dummies, all manner of bladed atrocities designed to maim and slaughter. Handle and blade joined in all thinkable combinations of proportion, and several unthinkable besides. All for one purpose.

      Fight Night. One remembers well the first venture into the ring. A mere fighting pit of the common folk in the grimy underbelly of the city whose name one had not yet learned, the roar of the crowd was deafening as the gong sounded marking the beginning of the bout.

      One was pitted against a dwarf, scarred from head to heel. A snarling, twitching thing, large for a dwarf but crouched in posture, beaten into skulking in the shadows of his betters. A round leather-bound targe strapped to one arm, a wickedly flanged spear clutched in the other. A barbed net hung from behind the spike-adorned targe, swaying with the jostles of the grinning pit fighter. The brute wore but a loincloth and bits of boiled leather, in roughly the same fashion as one himself was clad.

      One was armed with a sabre and a kite shield. Clutched in the fist inside the shield a single throwing star; dirty tricks were expected in and of the pits. One held fear for the fight to come, yet not in the measure one expected. One dreaded the pain of it, sure, but the endless blackness awaiting beyond defeat held not so ill a promise.

      Alas, there was the matter of the pain. One would seek to avoid the kiss of the blade as long as possible. That oath, uttered in whispers for no ear save his own, was the first thing one spoke. "One swears: life." Then, the gong.

      The dwarf jolted forwards, pacing in from one's right, dragging the net behind him. The sands of the pit lay heavy with blood from battles done earlier, offering very little dust at the raking of the net's barbs. The grinning dwarf cast the net in a wide arc, splaying the barbs in the air above one's head.

      Instictively, one rolled left over one's shield, the net landing on clear sands. A spinning motion brought one to his legs, and one let fly his hidden weapon. The foe moved to raise his targe, but the throwing star bit deep in the left shoulder. This would have ben the time to press the advantage, one later learned.

      For now, one watched the smirk behind a ragged beard twist into a grimace as the dwarf raked the star from his flesh with the shaft of his spear, eyes fixed upon one. With a bellow the pit fighter lunged forward targe first, crashing hard against one's shield. One could not hold ground. The assailant's low crouched mass dug in under one, lifting one off his feet and sending him flying over the adversary's head.

      A backlanding later one was scrambling for dear life, avoiding the fierce stabs of the dwarf's spear. The shield between one and a good skewering was splintering away at an alarming rate under the assault of the murderous polearm. Something needed to change, for the pace of the fight was hammering towards an impaling.

      One took a swing, a tentative one, and was repayed with a thrust that nigh took one's head with it. To attack the spear was useless. However, the sabre's reach was far removed from what was needed at a proper attempt towards bloodying that infuriating grin.

      A crushing blow on one's shield sounded one's advance. The deflected spear retracted to return with new vigour, shooting out for one's heart. The sabre, with a cunning, swirling motion, was enough to persuade it to the air to one's right instead. The point retreated once again towards the dwarf's side pulled by a muscled arm as one took to twisting his hips with all the might of his rage, sending afly a foot in a sharp arc towards an unprotected knee. A sickening crunch sent the limb crumbling from underneath the spear-wielding pit fighter, draining all fervour from the stab bunched under his arm.

      The deafening cheer was glorious as one dispatched of his helpless foe. One knew then a reason beyond evading torment to fight another day. "One swears: glory."

      Life in the catacombs beyond the pit was simple and hard. Most of the slaves there were elven males, but there was the occasional orc, dwarf, human, or even goblin that had survived enough executions by sword in the arena to be accepted into training. Only twow omen though, an elf and an orc, and they kept away from the crowds. Their day consisted of training their physique, training their technique, eating and sleeping. The monotony was broken when a slave was disobedient in some way and deserving of punishment which often amounted to a small spectacle within the dungeon, or on fight night.

      The slaves in the lowest tier of the catacombs attended pit fights in back alley arenas, but a level above sat the Gladiatorium where the conquerors of the grand arena trained their craft. Every slave below wanted be a champion above. Evry slave was the other's competitor, yet some camaraderie emerged among the captives doomed to violent ends in the name of sport.

      One wasn't much for words. One observed, searching for any advantage one might use if pitted against his fellow slaves. One remained in the shadows, drawing the least amount of attention possible, biding his time. Come fight night, one would be ready.

      And come it did, time and again. One's training paid off, and he bested the fighters of other slaver houses with apparent ease. One employed any means available to him, no trick was too dirty. One fought tooth and nail, emerging the victor if not by anything else sheer willpower. The crowds began to recognise one, and one was named by his captors Xothudra, by the crowds Red-Hands.

      One fought with anything handed to him from brass knuckles to polearms, but one's unique acrobatic fighting style was best suited for dual swords, or so thought the slavers. Absent the protection of a shield and clad in minimal armour, one learned impressive body control evading the blades of his opponents. He twisted, contorted and leapt out of harm's way, always seeking to exploit the foeman's commitment to their attack with a riposte. The swords in one's hands soon became like extensions of his arms, flicking out from impossible stances or in mid air, reaping a bloody tally in the fighting pits' cruel games.

      The day one was hoisted up from the muck of the catacombs and into the Gladiatorium came unexpected. A day like any other, no great victory to milepost one's ascendance nor a downfall of a major gladiator of the House whose great boots would need filling. One had simply made name enough for oneself to fetch the kind of purses expected of the big arenas, and the masters of the House sought to benefit.

      So one took to training among the gladiators, aspiring to join the ranks of the champions of the arena. Everything was more intense, more to the purpose. The senseless beatings ceased, even when the overall amount of beating scarcely lessened. Alas, now there was sense to the violence.

      One was not beaten by his captors save when going against the established rules or their authority. One was beaten by gladiators in training; one was the latest recruit so naturally all others were more skilled. But every bruise, every welt and each and every cut was a lesson, and one learned swiftly.

      The fighters of the Gladiatorium wore masks to the arena, visages of gods and daemons and other awe-inspiring figures to intensify the air of drama and narrative about each match. When one was called to the arena for the first time he was offered the Deathly Smile of Nabh, the mask the famed Executioners wore to battle. The Smile is a deity of death, wearing the eerily mirthy grin of the bare skull to make his purpose plain; an evocative image to wear to the fields of glory.

      The journey to the arena was considerably longer than that to any of the pits one had been subjected to; there was but one Grand Arena in the city and on fight night the streets of the district were aflood with spectators and vendors. As the last of the sun's red warmth were ablaze on the highest arches of the impressive ring of stone, trumpets blared in greeting of nobility entering the terrace with the best seats. Some speeches and roars of cheer later the gate befor one was hauled open.

      The sand of the arena was fine and smooth under the sandal. Behind the face of the Smile one felt confident, a distance between hisself and the steel in the opponent's grasp, between one and the judgement of the crowds. The adversary was an elven man, Wyscani, one surmised by the mask of the Forest King but more the peculiar, low-crouched stance. Spear, buckler and dagger; a tough nut to crack for one's dual swords.

      One did indeed carry two full length swords, a thing ill-adviseable on a novice. One had shown great promise in acrobatics, and every once in a while a nimble fighter would emerge that could cover the lack of a shield with limberness and lightning reflexes. Those kinds of fighters were almost guaranteed crowd-pleasers drawing in the fat purses in bets, which had led to the demise of many an aspiring champion. One felt comfortable, however, with one's arms since those had been the ones he had been dedicated to since his ascension into the Gladiatorium from the Hall of Struggles.

      The gong. The Wyscani foe was slow in his approach, but did seize the initiative due to the reach advantage of his weapon. Closing in spear levelled, the antler-crowned figure dared a stride after the other, chest heaving with anticipation.

      One did not wait for the lunge. A sharp bat with the blade in one's left hand on the spear just behind the tip tilted the weapon down, pinned there during a daring leap over the shaft to the opponent's right, to circumvent the buckler. The foe wasn't untrained, retracting the weapon swiftly and shooting out a determined thrust at one's midriff. A spinning motion and the spear was thwarted, sped along with a tap to the shaft. One's riposte rang on the buckler as the spear was couched for another attack. The buckler shot out first, fresh from the block right towards one's face, barely deflected with the crossguard of the left. The right arm still numb from the ringing blow on the buckler, one had no choice but to twist back at the hips to avoid the fierce stab from the Wyscani's spear.

      Rising, one shot a thrust swift with savagery using both blades towards the opponent. So awkward was one's position at the beginning of the attack that, caught completely off guard, the Wyscani was in turn forced back, evading the blades with great effort.

      One pressed the attack, taking an another flambuoyant leap high into the air to reach the retreating foe, denying the advantage of the polearm's reach. The spear strike was easy to swat aside, and upon landing one unleashed a storm of blows raining from the opponent's left, quickly numbing the arm holding the buckler.

      At the thrust offered in response from the spear, one spun dextrously away, carried by the momentum all the way behind the Wyscani. A cross slash produced much craved blood for the audience, and a sharp kick took the foe face first into the sand. One stepped on the shaft of the adversary's spear upon closing the distance between them, a casual slash to the left shoulder taking all strength from the arm cradling the dagger within the buckler.

      As one was taught, one yanked up the opponent by the neck, removing the visage of the Forest King and revealing the slave's true semblance. One remembers not the face, but the eyes, where fast the dread was drowning in a calm sea of indifference. A sharp glance at the podium where the nobles sat told one that death was desired, and a fluid motion drove one's sword deep into the enemy through the nook by his neck. The cryer took up the call, "Xothudra of House Nagayre, Red-Hands, victorious!"

      One ever remembered the deafening roar of the audience at that moment. Every time one felt exhaustion creep in during training, every time one raised arms in defiance upon the sands, one returned to that first taste of triumph. "One swears: victory."

      Every return to the Arena was a cutoff point in one's life. Yet time and again, one strode back to House Nagayre, his captors, victorious. The crowds of the city, the City of Elder Stars as it was was called, recognized one's slave name, appraising it even.

      It was a simple existence. To call one happy or content would be to overreach, but one felt he held some sway over the course of his existence at the hands of others. One trained rigorously for the vows one had made to himself. "Life. Glory. Victory"

      The day came again to make preparations for the journey to the Arena. Something was however different this time around. The usual jitter of anticipation was gone from the Gladiatorium, replaced by sullen glances and brooding.

      One looked inquisitively upon a fellow gladiator, Strychar the Scourge of Sonnstahl, a human ascended through blood to join the elvish fighter slaves as an equal. An exceptional feat. "You feel it too, then, Talker?", the human asked through a crooked smile. "One feels it", one gave reply. Strychar spat. "This night is not fight night. This night is an execution. It's all elf politics or some excrement of the same stock. This house has fallen under ill favours, and we as the slaves of it pay the price." One looked on, visibly puzzled.

      Strychar grunted in frustration. "They will set us against impossible odds. And, should we by some miracle survive, the Arena Dancers will fall upon us to make empty any miracle." One pondered upon the human's words most troubling. "One swears: miracles"

      The night had witnessed three massed slaughters before one was marched upon the sands, dark with gore. It wasn't gladiators but brutal beasts one's predecessors had fallen before, stripping them of even a glorious death upon worthy sword. One strode on, to meet at the centre of the ring two other slaves of House Nagayre, a gargantuan northman and a slender she-elf hailing from some forest of the sylvan kin by the look of her.

      The huge man wore the mask of Manfather, a figure of chiseled features representing the First Man of lore who wrested a kingdom from an ancient elven emperor and became a god of humanity. The woman wore the featureless mask of the Stranger, the deity of shadows representing everyone's inner fears. One nodded his mask of the Death's Smile in greeting. The northman was called Teuros one knew, and he wielded a huge sword etched with barbaric runes in his right hand and a smaller warhammer in the left. Taiel was the name of the wood elf who grasped a wicked glaive with both hands, her eyes fixed upon the gate on the far end of the ringm one was sure. One was chained by the neck to his two companions, a good measure of links between them yet not enough to avoid cooperation.

      The gong. No noble gladiators emerged to offer honourable death but an endless tide of screaming goblins cluthing spears and sabres, two even armed with bows and arrows. Among the hordes emerged a shambling shadow of giant Huntsman Spider, carrying a goblin slave crowned with a spiked iron band that dug into its skull, rivulets of dried blood striping its snarling face with black in the light of the braziers.

      The goblin infantry numbered in truth but twelve, yet it was the longest of odds for only three gladiators accounting the monstrous spider. One looked to his companions as the goblins came forth, and the first two arrows whistled in the air to hiss the sands about them. Teuros stepped forward, the middle link of the doomed chain of Nagayre galdiators. "Get to the archers!", he roared as his hammer fell, caving in the skull of a goblin much too eager for his own good.

      One had to sidestep to avoid an arrow aimed for his face. Turning back to look at how Taiel was faring, the woman seemed busy praying rather than fighting. One wondered if there was any chance of making this a decent fight with the wood elf's corpse tied to their necks. Then, something unexpected. Grey mists came puring out of the woman's hands crossed upon the shaft of her polearm, quickly enveloping the chained gladiators in its grasp as two more arrows whizzed by.

      Teuros was contesting an another goblin in the mists, steel clanging upon steel until a crunch and a gurgle heralded silence. The goblins seemed not willing to enter the mist, the sound of a stray arrow every now and then the only reminder of the aggression looming beyond the haze at that stretched out moment. "Be ready to move", Taiel commanded, weaving her hands through the mist in grasping motions. Her arms shot out, sending a ripple through the mist in front of her.

      The goblins beyond the veil squalled in sudden agony as tiny ice crystals drawn from the mists hit them in a hail of razors. Teuros needed no further encouragement to step outside, swinging his impressive runeblade in a wide arc above his head. One ran out to the side, seeking to hit the pack on its left flank. As the haze fell suddenly away from around him one seized his chance to leap recklesly at a goblin clutching its face in the aftermath of Taiel's attack.

      A twist of the hips in mid air brought one's blades down upon the unfortunate goblin in a swirling motion, raking a gash from shoulder to opposite side with the first and cutting through the neck with the second. The audience cheered, incited into a roar of pleasure as Teuros twisted and turned facing three goblins, avoiding their strikes and repaying in kind with his own. The man moved much too fluidly for his considerable bulk, as if touched by Yema herself, raining blows about him.

      Taiel struck from within the magical mist, a cloud of ice shards trailing mist shooting out towards the spider-riding gobling, knocking the thing off his mount. Teuros kep whailing about him, sending a goblin and another flying. One took to skirting the sidelines of the skirmish, blades a blur about oneself keeping the screeching greenhides at bay. Spinning, jumping, vaulting and weaving, one advanced towards the two archers looming behind the pack.

      The arrows turned to harrow one as the archers realized one's approach. The task of keeping pack the goblin blades and keeping an eye on two archers concentrating fire upon one was proving difficult. So, one dug in under one of the leather pauldrons and grasped the familiar pieces of last resort, cold and pointy against the fingers.

      A flick of the wrist and three throwing stars sped out towards the closer one of the archers who went down squealing, clutching its chest and face. The other one let fly an arrow with a snarl, sriking the leather pauldron painfully yet luckily harmlessly. A sword-armed goblin moved to block one's path, shield held to its front. One could not squander the temporarily won momentum of the felled archer, and chrged the goblin grunt head on. A thrust of the sword aimed at its face brought the shield up as desired and one stepped on it, leaping high above and over the goblin to close the gap to the second bowman.

      The daring maneuvre near got one impaled on goblin spears. Alas, the gap was closed, and there stood the bow-clutching greenskin, loosing one last shaft at one. First blade swatting aside the arrow and the other taking the archer in the gut one spun around to face the back ranks of the goblin pack. One held one thought as the confused creatures formed a shieldwall. "Glory awaits"

      Taiel glided from the mists, coming around the looming shadow of the spider to steal a glimpse at the goblin ousted from its back. It lay motionless on the sands. The spider however took direction towards Teuros, who was cutting a swathe through the goblins' host. Teuros himself was covered in cuts, nicks, bruises and welts, yet holding to his grim purpose of laying low the green tide of enemies. Taiel gathered her might about her, casting a shower of sharp ice at the spider's many eyes, halting its advance. Her glaive in three swift swings splayed a goblin's arms one by one and took a deep furrow through the creature's chest. Taiel then braced herself to face the spider, quickly recovering from the barrage. Two of the monster's eight eyes that still were whole fixed upon Taiel, and the sylvan elf could sense the hunger behind them.

      One twisted and spun away from the way of the goblins' assault, offering riposte where able, slowly advancing through the critters towards Teuros. The northman had laid waste to the majority of the goblin host single-handedly. There weren't many left of the greenhides when the spider strode right in the midst of the melee, driving Taiel before it. Taiel's glaive wove vicious patterns in the air, forcing the spider to advance cautisously in jerking lurches, protecting its remaining eyes.

      Teuros, almost casually, took one of the spiders arching arms with his sword, causing the beast to pause and assess this new threat. One lashed out at the hindmost legs, the spider screeching in pain and confusion. Taiel took an another misty blast of ice shards at the spider's face where Teuros wrought bloody destruction on it with his hammer. One climbed over the spider's sizeable hindquarters to sink both blades into the brain of the monster. The spider went down twitching all the while.

      The onlookers were awestruck by the display, the cheers turned to dumbfounded disbelief. Three slaves stood victorious in a field of sprawling goblins and a still twitching huntsman spider. The remaining goblins were quickly retreated towards the walls of the Arena. The audience took to roaring their approvement at the entertainment offered as the arena guard formed ranks and began closing in in a tightening circle.

      A voice carried from the terrace of the honoured guests, a short, lithe-framed elf holding up his arm and calling the guard to a halt. The black-haired noble fixed his gaze upon the three gladiators. "These three have earned their freedom, have they not?", the noble called out to the crowd, who answered in a deafening roar. A cryer took up a call, "The Sovereign has spoken! These ones have proven their worth, and shall be awarded their freedom!"

      One let his blades fall, staring at his red-stained hands that were beginning to tremble in the aftershocks of the battle. One's eyes began to tear up as one looked up at the dais. The lithe noble was pointing at one. "Bring that one to me"

      Part Three - Steel and Gold Coming soon

      "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 ().

    • "Your Grace", sounded Arauchar's formal way of letting me know he had answered my call. I took a casual glance over my council before ordering, "Give us the room", which resulted in hasty departures of the silk-wrapped nobles. Arauchar spared them no mind as they brushed past his imposing form encased in black enamelled armour, freshly oiled. He wore his impressive halberd slung across his back, being one of only a handful of people allowed in my chambers bearing arms. The Captain of my personal guard and my second in command regarding the First Legion waited patiently as I gathered my thoughts, sipping from my goblet.

      "They inform me that our coffers are draining rapidly, yet I wonder is it not ever so? We should invest in sturdier treasure chests."

      Arauchar didn't even smile at that, a fact that would've drawn horrified gasps out of the lickspittles I had a moment before been surrounded by. The man could be dull, but I had come to rely on his strictly disciplined manner. My forced smile dried out on my lips, twisting into a slanted sneer. "We must be off again, old friend."

      "Your Gr-" "Oh drop the formalities. Is the legion prepared for a campaign?" Arauchar inclined his head stiffly at the interruption. "The men can be on ships in two days time, Sire." "And Ajargahl?" Arauchar shifted his weight before giving his answer. "Ravenhart is not yet done with her, Sire, but I've been informed that the hydra can be of use to us, training or no, if but pointed to the right direction."

      "I need you to speak with Lord Icthurisar. I need ships and crews to take the entirety of the legion to the contested lands of Aecil, and some barges for no less than two thousand slaves, humans and cloven ones primarily. I shall leave it up to the Aspfather as to the matter of the fleet's escort."

      Arauchar stood in uneasy silence. "Speak your mind, Captain." "Lord, the civil war of the humans is of course a great benefit to our cause, but the north coast is securely in the hands of the Fallen Saint, and yet I see no other prospective site for landfall given the numbers of the labour we are resolved to transport."

      A keen observation, the Captain has kept himself informed of the developments in our neighbours' domains. "We might have no alternative than to test our mettle against the Autumn Lord of Ortarius, yes. Yet should it come to that he will be tied between two fronts and I doubt he'll have reprieve to commit all his might against us. Some risk is always involved in endeavours such as ours."

      "Your Grace", Arauchar agreed with a curt bow. "What of the Wyrmbane?" "Ah, the Stalker King. I hear there has been some minor aggression since its venture northward. The beast is pushing on the territory of the Killstomp Horde, and is brazen about it. To defy Ozulhur's minotaurs takes some nerve, I think the beast has potential. What of the Wyrmbane, you ask? It is its very own herd we are after. Some cloven slaves would be ideal for the purposes of Ravenhart's beastmasters. Goblins and humans are too clever and tend towards shocked apathy when faced with Thaul's pets. Froth-mouthed savages are just the right medicine to make proper fighters out of the curiosities of our menagerie."

      "Go now, prepare my fleet." Arauchar bowed and left. I took my goblet, swishing what remained of the Equitaini red in the vessel and studying the whirlpool that was as blood to my eyes. Blood of the days to come. Too many elvish lives have already been spent in my effort, yet more must follow before the future I have foreseen is possible.

      There will not be much of me left when the weight of this sacrifice settles properly upon my shoulders, but then, this future is not for me. It is for all elvenkind. So swears Phaeoron Wraithsong, the Sovereign Prince of the Black Sun.


      So, game night is upon us for the longest while come weekend, yay! I'll be fielding my DE against my beloved enemies, the WDG of @Jacovius and BH of @JohannWeinberg. Expect narrative battle reports in the coming weeks.
      "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 lore-vein of the fluff geek is pulsing strongly yet again! Here's the "Who's who" of the Order of the Black Sun, my DE city-state that I have built 8 army lists for (for sizes 2k to 5k).


      Dragon prince
      Display Spoiler

      Phaeoron Wraithsong, Sovereign Prince of the Black Sun
      -Celdagrothuinn, a Dragon
      -Endbringer (Giant Sword)
      -Face of Night (Lucky Shield)
      -Cloak of the Dying Sun (Charm of Cursed Iron)

      Heir of a noble dread elven House that was destroyed in his youth, Phaeoron wandered the world to come to the realisation that it wasn't the world that was meant to be. He set out to create a world envisioned in the elvish creation myths, and many would lend their ears to his views. In a short time a secret society swelled into a military might and led to the founding of the City of Elder Stars, an independent city-state.

      Manticore-riding beastmaster
      Display Spoiler

      Thaul Ravenhart, Lord Subjugator
      -Tygoreon the Peryton (Manticore)
      -Beast Master
      -Heavy Armour
      -Ghost Dragon's Talon (Blessed Sword)
      -Shroud of the Predator (Midnight Cloak)
      -Raven Crown (Dragonscale Helm)
      -Recurve Bow (Repeater XBow)

      Commoner by birth, Thaul always showed exceptional understanding of the fauna of the world. His gifts were ever at great demand in the dread elven society, but his true ascension began when he defected into the ranks of the Black Sun. Thaul was instrumental in the founding of the Black Sun's military might through his expanding menagerie, and was granted princehood when the City of Elder Stars declared its independence.

      Pegasus prince
      Display Spoiler

      Icthurisar Aspfather, Sea Lord
      -Veteihnin, a Pegasus
      -Tidepiercer Trident (Lance)
      -Leviathan's Hide (Midnight Cloak)
      -Pauldrons of Changing Currents (Bluffer's Helm)
      -Heavy Armour, Shield

      One man who has single handedly helped the most in Black Sun's ascension is Icthurisar. Already a notorious pirate lord of the Shattered Sea when he joined the quest of young Phaeoron, they set out to forge a new way of living for their kin long bereft of their birthright as the rulers of all. Now the High Admiral of the Black Sun, he holds one of the most influential positions of power in all of the City of Elder Stars.

      Wizard's hood lord
      Display Spoiler

      Muirion the Deeplord, Lord Dominator
      -Fleet Commander
      -Lore of Canreig Tower (Wizard's Hood)
      -Essence of Life (Sprout of Rebirth)
      -Cinderfang, greatsword
      -Heavy Armour

      Born in Celada Ablan, Muirion was a virtuoso from a very young age. Anything he tried his hand at, he excelled in, and soon ended up in the fabled Canreig Tower in the teaching of the Masters. His mind was frail however, and with increasing age and knowledge his sanity grew more and more frayed. He was soon exiled for fear of a magical outburst, ending up in the service of the Black Sun. Muirion is a wild card, but his unique gifts were rewarded by the Sovereign and he became a Prince of the Black Sun, in charge of the city-state's slave trade and the admiral of his own slaver fleet of warships.

      Infantry prince
      Display Spoiler

      Caraith Whisperscream, Lord of Word
      -Mercurial Cloak (Fleet Commander + shield)
      -Wraithskin (Armour of Destiny)
      -Lifedrinker (Headman's Axe)
      -Recurve Bow (Repeater XBow)

      Another elf of a highborn heritage, Caraith hails from Aldan. A younger son of a High Prince, he sought out a military career, using his survivalist skills to reap glory in the ranks of the Grey Watchers before being elevated into the famous Lion Guard. In a military disaster that nearly got him killed his white lion pelt was burned into charred leather, and Caraith turned bitter at the loss of so many of his comrades. Having always harboured dreams of an elven supremacy, he answered the call of the Black Sun and is now in charge of all intelligence and espionage there.

      Other seats at the Council of Dusk (non-military)
      Display Spoiler

      -Lord of Wisdom [Ashaziel the Sorceress], knowledge, lore and the great library
      -Lord of Scales, merchant's guilds and foreign trade
      -Forge Lord, artisanry
      -Earth Lord, agriculture and sustenance
      -Lord of Mercy, healing and funerals
      -Lord of Judgment, law and civil order, the city guard


      Infantry support captain
      Display Spoiler

      Arauchar the Unforgiving, the First Immortal
      -Hydra Hide Cloak (Fleet Commander)
      -Fall of Man, halberd
      -Black sun Signet Ring (Ring of Shadows)
      -Heavy Armour

      Commander of the Sovereign's elite praetorians, the halberd-wielding Immortals of the Guard of the Undying Night, Arauchar is a non-compromising man of little humour but much efficacy and loyalty.

      BSB foot commander
      Display Spoiler

      Qurion the Reaper, Herald of the Black Sun
      -Fleet Commander
      -Battle Standard Bearer
      -Ebon Scales (Armour of Fortune)
      -The Severer (Fleshrender)

      Sailing with Sea Lord Icthurisar, Qurion is the ambassador of the Black Sun. An extinguished field commander, the men look to the eloquent herald of their Sovereign for inspiration at the direst of times.

      Raptor-mounted beastmaster
      Display Spoiler

      Vaithis Deadlight, the Black Paladin
      -Ancarul, raptor
      -Slayer's Lance (Jack's Pickaxe)
      -Circlet of Darkness (Dragonscale Helm)
      -Fire-Eater (shield)
      -Heavy Armour

      Vaithis, along with Phaeoron, was of the House Eith and fled with the young prince as it fell. Not related to the nobles but a part of the household guard, Phaeoron saw the value of the young soldier and kept him around through the formation of the Black Sun, during which time he steadily soared through the ranks to become one of the Exarchs and leading his own army.

      Yema priestess
      Display Spoiler

      Feladhris of the Knives, the Doomweaver
      -Legacy of the Arena (Cult of Yema)
      -Gladiator Weapons
      -Crimson Mail
      -Gem of Fortune

      Feladhris was always known for her exceptional cruelty, even among dread elves. A vicious street brat grown to notoriety in the arenas, she took a shot at prestige joining with Phaeoron. Her skills with all manner of blades were such an asset that she came to train and command her own branch of warriors, the Harmweaver Furies, who fought in the manner of the arenas with minimal armour and emphasizing the pinnacle of physical ability.

      Black sun Assassins
      Display Spoiler

      Nichodrius Veilwalker, the Master of Death
      -Path of Bloody Murder
      -Venomancer: Bloodroot
      -Mage-Killer Amulet (Crown of Scorn)
      -Shard of Arcanite (Obsidian Rock)
      -Ghostblade & Fearshiv, paired weapons

      Xothudra Red-Hands, the First Blade
      -Path of Bloody Murder
      -Legacy of the Arena (Cult of Nabh)
      -Venomancer: Nightshade
      -Mage-Killer Amulet (Crown of Scorn)
      -Blades of Silence, paired weapons

      Nichodrius has been an associate of Phaeoron for a long time, since before the foundation of the Order of the Black Sun. Now, the master of all Black Sun assassins, he is the former master of Xothudra, a former slave of unknown origin who caught the eye of the Sovereign in the Arenas and was trained by Nichodrius in the arts of death unseen.

      Pegasus captains
      Display Spoiler

      Haelyth Skyfallen, the Shepherd
      -Astomar, Pegasus
      -Heavy Armour, Shield
      -Lightning, Lance
      -Champion's Helm (Dragonscale Helm)
      -Talisman of Greater Shielding

      Haelyth's monoker comes from the fact that he is a complete upstart. A commoner who swooped in out of nowhere and, through what seemed to most as pure luck, glided from one fortuitous happenstance to the next, both on the battlefield and in the courts. Envied and hated, yet grudgingly respected, Haelyth swoops from one success to the next seemingly effortlessly with a small army at his command.

      Scearyon Longstrider, the Wordbringer
      -Ispioch, Pegasus
      -Master Scout (Cult of Yema)
      -Heavy Armour, Shield
      -Quill (Hero's Sword)
      -Lucky Charm

      Scearyon is the right hand of Prince Caraith, the second-in-command of the Ghost Division of the Black Sun that has the responsibilities of scouting and intellignece in the military. He has a small expedition force at his command for this task, and this determined young Exarch shows promise for future glory.

      Display Spoiler

      Princess Ashaziel the Listener, the Deathspeaker, Lady of Wisdom at the Council of Dusk
      -Wizard Master: Divination
      -2 extra spells
      -Balcerus the Imp, Wandering Familiar

      A woman of the bookish disposition, Ashaziel was ever a scholar at heart. Her meek nature has come a long way after she by accident bound a daemon to her soul when studying some ancient rituals in the Great Library of Avras. Balcerus challenges his mistress at every turn, but has enough respect for her sorcerous power to provide her with arcane secrets only a being of pure magic could understand. This forbidden knowledge has earned her princehood and the seat of High Librarian at the Council of Dusk. Her coven of sorcerors are known as the Listeners because of the daemonic insights they utilise.

      Ourayel Silverwrithe, the High Alchemist
      -Wizard: Alchemy
      -Ra'ij, raptor

      Ourayel is ambitious and manipulative, at home in the social intricacies of the nobles' courts. His gift for understanding of the elements have not reached their full potential probably due to Ourayel's constant game of words for more influence. Like all battlefield magi, he has a coven of disciples helping him harness the energies necessary to affect entire armies, and like him, they all ride to battle astride ferocious reptiles.

      Barithir Brinecloak, the Storm Seer
      -Wizard Master: Cosmology
      -2 extra spells
      -Windhowl Staff (Book of Power)

      Barithir is old, even for an elf, and has studied the secrets of the cosmos for a long time. Ever a wanderer, his thirst for seeing new corners of the world he so desperately wishes to understand has led him to Sea Lord Icthurisar long before the pirate commander ever joined the Black Sun. Barithir is cool and calculating, yet ever ready with a tale or a song of faraway lands come opportunity for telling it. The coven that has grown around him during his service in the Black Sun military is a varied tapestry of casters, all sharing in the wanderlust of their master.

      Rhimea Taraal, the Breaker
      -Wizard: Witchcraft
      -Extra spell
      -Shadow Stride (Cult of Yema)
      -Sceyphor, elven horse

      Rhimea is of a wyscani heritage, and has an empathic bond with her steed, Sceyphor. She is a powerful witch, and her coven has more often than not been a vital part of victory in altercations this brooding and cruel sorceress has been a part of.

      Black Sun military hierarchy
      Display Spoiler

      -Archon (marshall)
      -Exarch (general)
      -Commander (captain)
      -Captain (lieutenant)
      -Exemplar (sergeant)
      -Legionary (private)
      "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 ().

    • Okay, I've been writing little fluff snippets and narrative battle reports mentioning all kindsa places no-one's ever heard about, so here some context.

      This is the realm in which our tiny gaming group does war. If we were to pick a spot on the T9A world map, we decided this place would be northeast from Augea, where the big forest area begins.

      Aecil (EoS @Jacovius): A human empire governed by a militant church. Each of the nine cities have a Grand Paladin governing everything.
      Ortarius & Hardforge Keep (WDG @Jacovius): Former aecilians, having abandoned the faith and declared independence.
      Mossenhome (SE mine): Your basic isolationist nation of foresti knife-ears.
      Laimdeon * (KoE @JohannWeinberg): A human nation (city-state + some villages) based around chivalric orders of nobles.
      Midway (neutral): A mixed-race trading city.
      Mu'Galduhan Hunting Grounds (BH @JohannWeinberg): A stretch of forest haunted by demon-worshipping beasts.
      Kol Karag (ID @JohannWeinberg): A dwarven hold coming out of a long isolation, having adopted some ruthless means of survival.
      Killstomp Mazes (BH @Jacovius): A dwarven hold run over by a ruthless Minotaur Warlord.
      Blackwater Pass ** (OnG mine): Mountain goblins. Zounds of mountain goblins.
      City of Elder Stars (DE mine): City-state home of the Order of the Black Sun, elven supremacists.
      Cloudspear (HE mine): Loose allies with Black Sun, elves loving the open plains under hoof and wing of their mounts.
      Hoarder's Cove * (OK @Jacovius): A mixed-race pirate port ruled by a large tribe of ogres.
      Ironburg & Dagger Bay (IronCrowns neutral): Corsair port-cities.
      Trandlum & Trysdahl (neutral): Human cities in alliance.
      Lanomere ** (VC @Jacovius): Third in a triad of northern human city alliance, being run over by the undead.
      Bitterwind Dell ** (UD mine): A snowclad necropolis.
      Silver Chasm * (SA @Jacovius): An ancient tunnel to rich silver mines now guarded by reptilian horrors.
      Singing Spires ** (SA mine): Ruined towers in the middle of a desert, marking the spot of an underground temple city of saurians.
      Landon (neutral): Faraway human empire.
      Despoiler Swarm * (VS @Jacovius): Vermin plague cult.
      Clan Drauhos * (VS @JohannWeinberg): Followers of a powerful Vermin Daemon.
      Killscream Clannad ** (VS mine): Four vermin clans forced under the rule of a single Tyrant.

      * = Army Project WIP
      ** = Possible future Army Project
      "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
    • Wow, what a blog! I really love the detail and effort you put into the fluff - as a personal fan of creating a backstory for an army, I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy the world that you've started to create behind the Order of the Black Sun. The Mossenhome Fens are coming along nicely as well, it's a real treat to get to watch both projects come to life!

      Can't wait to see more :thumbsup:
    • Hah, what was supposed to be a weekend of gaming turned into a weekend of modelling when my cousin showed up with a 5000p Saurian sprue city (some cool stuff in there, Tetto'Eko, 6 Pteradon Sentries, a Taurosaur, an Alpha Carnosaur, 24 Skinks and everything that comes with the old Battalion box AND the Start Collecting Seraphon thing [the Carno was from this one]).

      What I spent my time on mostly was my Sylvan infantry that I have been forced to bolster with these new category shenanigans, meaning I now have a unit of 14 Forest Rangers (had to build 9 but made no conversions so no pics) and 15 dual-wielding Forest Guard. I got a Sky Sloop kit for my birthday from this very same cousin, and put those lovely elf models from there into good use to make Forest Guard and a DE Captain, and the stunning hawk model will serve dual purposes as an Eagle or a Kestrel.

      Claw Sentinels (2 weapon forest guard) are a special forces unit within the ranks of the conscripted Sentinels. Even more so than their spear-hauling comrades the Thorn Sentinels, they employ deep scouting, mobile tactics and precision strikes at vulnerable targets like supply trains when the enemy has breached Epheltilian territory. Being the most lightly equipped among all Sentinels they can run circles around the hostile march column, using hit-and-run tactics under the cover of night to support the Waywatchers' efforts at crippling the enemy forces. In pitched battles they fare less favourably, and are rarely seen under those circumstances in the Epheltilian lines.
      Glade Guard models from GW with some very minor conversion work and the quivers serving as scabbards and bed rolls.

      Thorn Sentinels (forest guard). Had to fill the unit up with 4 elves from the Sky Sloop kit because earlier I had modeled one with 2 hand weapons and 3 with great weapons for variety. I think they work well, slighlty converted as they are.

      Unit filler for my Weald Sentinels (sylvan archers), the boulder from the GW Cygor on a 40x40mm base serving as a waystone with an archer and a spite.

      A Sister of Silence slighlty converted to become a DE Captain or a Cult Priestess (HE halberd and bits from a 40k Archon). 40k Dark Eldar Archon with a bow and arrows (count as repeater XBow) and a great weapon from the HE Dragon kit, he is supposed to be a DE Prince. I'm considering snapping those trailers off the axe as they cover up the face and are wind-wise impossible. Sea Helm from the Sky Sloop kit with the head of a Black Guard to make a DE Captain. Yeah infantry characters suck but they are undeniably fluffy.
      "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
    • Halaedil was leaning on his poleaxe with all the guile years of watch duty had bestowed upon him. His back was straight, his hooded head bent low ominously to survey the white-tiled square for trouble, yet his crossed hands resting on the blade of the elegant weapon held much of his weight and he was in fact half asleep.

      Boredom was the defining feature of a Kinwatcher's life. Comfortable, respectable boredom. After proving themselves in the ranks of the Sentinels, the best of the conscripts could be offered a career in the Watchers, the professional military of Mossenhome. Skywatchers and Waywatchers patrolled the borders and carried messages, watching the realm in case of invasion. Kinwatchers did just that, lorded over their brethren in case of mischief.

      Halaedil had a habit of watching the shadows of the graceful birch trees lining the cobbled streets creep eastward as the hours crawled on, ignoring the bustling crowds that passed to and fro. He imagined time speeding up, the city folk turning to a grey blur while the steady sweep of dark stripes advanced upon the flagstones.

      His daydreaming was cut short this time with a sharp call. "Hal! Report back at the Whitebough Hall! They say we march 'ere the day is out!"

      It was Ilyndor, his poleaxe tucked under his arm in a way it slipped under his black-and-white cloak, the respected uniform of the Birchcloaks they were part of. A swift jog took the watchmen up the hill around which Winterstone had been built, crowned with the White Citadel, the winter palace of House Saronn. Halaedil noticed Skywatchers streming into the fastness in their ones and twos, shpeherding Great Eagles from the high fells with them. Something of great signifigance was clearly afoot.

      They ran up stony steps loosely spiralling upwards between close-built walls to reach the meeting place, the high courtyard. There awaited a sight straight ouf a song.

      On its musclebound haunches there sat a live dragon with glimmering scales of deep green. It was calm as its slow, deep breaths rasped in the golden afternoon air. On its back sat the Princess herself, the Fey Queen; co-ruler of all Mossenhome. With a clear carrying voice she addressed the crowds once it seemed most had reached the courtyard and had had their fill of gawking at her maginificent companion.

      "The Birch Lord has communed with the deepwood covens, expressing the will of the Woodmothers. Far to the south of here there is a deep mountain pass above which once grew the eldest tree in all the North, Acthelgilion. His remains are still perched there, high above the world, his roots now turned to stone digging deep into the mountains that were his seat.

      By root, twig and leaf the slow news has come. A sapling of Acthelgilion has awakened in the deep darkness of the ravine that cuts the mountains in half under his lofty perch. Younger things now dwell there, yet still by much the elders of elven folk, and more dangerous to things that grow around them. It is the will of the forest that Acthelgilion's legacy be safe from these scaled things of hissing brutality and be brought here to have sanctuary in Epheltilion."

      A druid continued from the shadow of the Queen's dragon. "One day this sapling will grow to be a link to the world as it was when it was young and had more spirit in it. It could become akin to the Ivory Willow that marks the northern border of our lands, a place of raw, natural power from days long past. This endeavour could prove invaluable to us in the future, when the humans spread like wildfire ever closer to our sacred glades. We must continue to possess the power to repel them."

      Much nodding and shaking of heads, yelps and restless murmuring ensued in the crowds. Wisdoms of days to come never seemed quite as relevant as the risk and toil of the now. The Queen gave a sharp, gentle kick to the side of her dragon's neck, prompting an earrending roar that captured the attention of the crowd as only a dragon can.

      "The decision is done. We march tonight. We will not ignore nor disrespect the wisdom of the forest."

      The Queen's order left deafening silence in its wake. She had always been the more spiritual one of their rulers, lending great weight to what the druids reported was the will of the Woodmothers. Halaedil had heard songs about the scalefolk of the south, and could only hope that the prize was worth rousing their primal wrath. Anything he knew of these reptilian beasts did not lend to the notion that they would tolerate intrusion.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      So, I'll be facing SA. I'm expecting (based on the opponent's model collection =] ) skinky magic, a Carnosaur (quite possibly alpha), a Taurosaur of some sort, a Saurus-heavy core with some skink support, 6 Pteradons, Temple Guard, Saurus Knights.

      My List 4,5k Oaken Crown
      -I'm trying out my secondary list (the main one clocks in at 5k being a more traditional combined arms list) with a focus on monsters. Magic is shrivelled due to a lack of character points and the loss of the Wizard's Hood on mounted characters, and the little Druid is there mainly for dispel support (I don't really have a unit for the Aether Icon). I know a list like this would work better with a Druidism Ancient instead of the Avatar, but PHAE SMASH!
      -Is there too much chaff?
      -Some way to get more wounds in the list?
      -How can I make the Dragon work for her cost?

      Display Spoiler


      Ildirya the Fey Queen (Forest Prince) - 220
      -Aru theEmeraldine, Forest Dragon: 520
      -Blessed Sword: 50
      -Lucky Shield: 10
      -Ring of Fire: 50
      -Longbow: 6
      -FeyArrows - Starlight Shaft: 6
      Total: 862

      Oadanneigh First-Born, Avatar of Nature - 750
      -Oaken Crown: 10
      Total: 760

      Cerugath Greensinger (Druid) - 170
      -Druidism: 0
      Total: 170


      Winterward Guard (Forest Guard Spears)
      20 Thorn Sentinels -180+5*16=260
      -Champion: 20
      -Musician: 20
      Total: 300

      Fell Daughters (Dryads)
      10 Dryads -170+2*24=218
      -Champion: 20
      Total: 238

      Fell Daughters (Dryads)
      8 Dryads - 170
      -Skirmish: 0
      Total: 190


      Red River Riders (Heath Riders)
      6 Wind Sentinels-180+1*34
      -Fast cavalry: 0
      Total: 214


      Bitterhail Guard (Sylvan Archers)
      16 Weald Sentinels -260+6*24
      Total: 404


      Birch Cloaks (Forest Rangers)
      14 Kinwatchers -230+4*23
      -Champion: 20
      -Musician: 20
      Total: 362

      Cloudbrow Eagles (Forest Eagles)
      Total: 100

      Cloudbrow Eagles (Forest Eagles)
      Total: 100


      Falconfathers (Kestrel Knights)
      3 Skywatchers - 295
      -Champion: 20
      Total: 315


      Mudhuannac (Treefather)
      Spirit Guardian -480
      Total: 480

      Total: 4495/4500
      CHARACTERS1792 /180039,822/40%
      FOREST GIANTS1760 /180039,111/40%
      CORE1346 /112529,911/25%
      FLEETFOOTED529 /67511,756/15%
      UNSEEN ARROWS404 /4508,978/10%

      "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 3 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • The one that came with the Sisters of Silence -kit. Just enhanced the hair with the top knot of the Archon to make it look she had more of it =P No pointy ears but the shaven head and the brutal face grill sold me on it.
      "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
    • I'm afraid the reptiles weren't so cold blooded this time, my opponent had to cancel last minute and I'm waiting on the rescheduling to clear out. I have a coupla older matches in the works for reports, knowing that someone actually anticipates them might get the creative juices flowing!
      "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
    • An update regarding some sylvan geopgraphy...

      Deepwood Courts - Can be understood to mean the Forest of Wyscan
      Empire of Aecil - Humans, deeply religious, think Holy Roman Empire (EoS anyone?)

      Ivory Willow - Seat of power of the druidic orders of Mossenhome, the preeminent school of magic in the realm
      Singing Winds' Hollow - Underground metropolis of culture and trade, the den of Mossenhome's War Dancers
      Jewelroof Halls - The capital of Mossenhome, seat of the Allwarden
      Spring Brooks - A devastated ruin of a city following the Battle of Flashfire, haunted yet not entirely abandoned
      Winterstone - The spiritual capital, seat of the Fey Queen

      Mossheart Fens - The heart of Mossenhome, forested wetlands bustling with life
      Edge of Night - A sheer cliffside dividing Mossheart Fens from the Birch Towers Highlands
      Birch Towers - Fells and hills coated in birch trees, haunts of the Woodmothers
      Cloudbrow - Rocky fells dotted with pine trees, eyries of eagles and falcons
      Euphoron & Nyir - The rivers marking the borders

      The Fork - Where Nyir meets Euphoron and a troll invasion was repelled some decades ago
      Wrong Moon - Where an invasion of humans was pushed back centuries ago

      The Watchers' symbols are there because I had ambitions to mark down their major headquarters before I realized the map turned out too small for that.
      "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
    • 10 days away from game night! Aboard my personal hypetrain in the midst of the 2.0 leaks, Imma bust out da trusty 1.3 and finally put those battle-eluding Saurians in their place!

      Some extra goodness shimmers in the horizon, for another warlord has elected to join the fray. The Hunting Herds of Mu'Galduhan are snorting and stomping in the deepwood between the Fey Queen and her prize in the caverns of the Scaled Ones of the Silver Chasms.

      So beasts and lizards are on the menu. We'll see how I can manage them with this monster heavy list, never played Oaken Crown before. I'm expecting tough matches as I have gone into my list fluff first and can see some holes in its punching potential, but the Earthmother willing I'll be on top of my maneuvering game this time and can rescue the Sapling of Acthelgilion to bolster the mystical might of Mossenhome.

      I started on reports of the games I had during late summer, but to be honest they were quite uneventful 3000p skirmishes so apologies for promising reports on them. They were a crushing triumph of DE vs WDG (an EDC got wrecked by raptor knights and from there the board opened for me to pick my fights) and an embarrassing defeat of DE vs ID (brought my raptor knights with my general in them too close to a Kadim Titan's charge range, and made a coupla other move phase blunders that left a single raptor knight and my oracle on the board at the end).

      So, my Oaken Crown list is unchanged EDIT has had a tweak about its Core to include Pathfinders /EDIT, from post 49:

      -General on Dragon, BlessedSword-RingOfFire-StarlightShafts-LuckyShield.
      -Avatar with Oaken Crown.
      -Little Druid.
      -Core; Dryads-Dryads-FastCavRiders-DualWielders-Spears.
      -Small Ranger block.
      -Eagle Twins, Kestrel Knights.
      -A smidge of Pathfinder goodness

      The Mu'Galduhan Herd:
      Display Spoiler

      Characters [1274/1800]Kharuk Wyrmbane [[lexicon]
      Beast Lord[/lexicon]]
      -Unicorn Skull [Bluffers Helm]
      -Gaze of the Predator [Eye of Dominance]
      -Hideflayer & Scalebreaker [Jack's Pickaxe]
      -Paired Weapons
      & Throwing Weapons
      -Heavy Armour & Shield
      =440 pts

      Rogor the Thunder [Centigor Chieftain]
      -Ironscale shield [Hardened Shield]
      -Heavy Armour
      =344 pts

      Ghormok, the Creature of Reedwode [Gnarled Soothsayer]
      -Eye of the Dark One [Gem of Fortune]
      -Monstrous Flesh [Sprout of Rebirth]
      -Soothsayer Staff
      -Wizard Master -3 spells from Shamanism
      =490 pts.

      Core [1246/900+]

      Greyfangs [14 Wildhorns]
      -Paired Weapons
      -Throwing Weapons
      -Musician & Champion
      -Clouded Eye-totem
      =256 pts.

      Stonehorns [15 Wildhorns]
      -Paired Weapons
      -Throwing Weapons
      -Musician & Champion
      -Gnarled Hide-totem
      =270 pts.

      Ironclaws [10 Wildhorns]
      -Paired Weapons
      -Throwing Weapons
      =180 pts.

      Shadowhides [10 Wildhorns]
      -Paired Weapons
      -Throwing Weapons
      =180 pts.

      3 X Darkhound pack [10 Feral Hounds]
      =120 pts x 3.

      Special [900/-]

      Bloodhooves [11 Centigors]
      -Boarspears [Lances]
      -Throwing Axes-Shields
      -Full Command Group -Banner of the Hunt [Banner of Speed]
      -Blooded Horn-totem
      =568 pts.

      Carrion Harpies [8 Gargoyles]
      -212 pts.

      The Lurker [Briar beast]
      -120 pts.

      Terrors of the Wild [1080/1800]

      Devourer [Beast Giant]
      -Feeding Frenzy [Looted Booze]
      = 350 pts.

      Nightmare Dweller [Jabberslythe]
      -Belch of Madness [Breath Weapon]
      =370 pts.

      Khumthu the Blind [Cyclops]
      -Hurl Attack
      =360 pts.

      The Guardians of the Silver Passage
      Display Spoiler

      CHARACTERS [1374/1800]

      Firstborn Warlord - Traurs the Wall Keeper (GENERAL)
      - Halberd
      - Lucky Shield
      - Irbeheris (Alpha Carnosaur) (ADD. counts to THUNDER LIZARDS)
      = 810 pts.

      Firstborn Veteran - Zagon, the Gray Dread
      - Magic Armour - Stronghold Plate (Taurosaur Helm)
      - Shield
      = 250 pts.

      Skink Captain -
      - Shield
      = 84 pts.

      Skink Priest (Druidism) -
      - Magic Items - Jade Staff
      - Learned 3 Spells
      - Skink Palanquin
      - Base 40x40 - Plaque of the Snake God
      = 480 pts.


      CORE [1166/900+]

      1Saurian warriors [15]
      - Champion
      - Musician
      - Standard Bearer
      - Totem Animal Serpent
      = 365 pts.

      2Saurian warriors [15]
      - Champion
      - Musician
      - Standard Bearer
      - Totem Animal Serpent
      = 365 pts.

      Skink braves [29 with Skink Captain & Skink Priest]
      - Musician
      - Standard Bearer
      - Poisoned Javelins (ADD. belong to 'Jungle Guerilla')
      = 436 pts.


      SPECIAL [1145/-]
      Raptor Riders [5]
      - Champion
      = 300 pts.

      Chamber keepers (Temple Guard) [19 with Firstborn Veteran, Zagon]
      - Musician
      - Standard Bearer
      - Magical Standard (Totem of Mixoatl)
      = 645 pts.


      JUNGLE GUERILLAS [776/1350]

      Skink braves [29] (Additionally from CORE)
      436 pts.

      Pteradon Sentries [4]
      - Champion
      - Fire Bolas
      = 288 pts.


      THUNDER LIZARDS [730/1575]

      Firstborn Warlord's Alpha Carnosaur (ADD. counts to THUNDER LIZARDS)
      520 pts.

      - Great Bow
      = 470 pts.

      #hypetrain (for everything except pathfinders)

      EDIT: Reason for my list change: I'm sensing on the horizon a significant violation tweak of Pathfinders to satisfy the masses of the SE community that deem they should be cowardly long range snipers in shrub-costumes instead of rock hard guerrilla bad*sses that can handle melee as well as bowmanship all in the name of all-mighty points-efficiency (hekk gee, who'd wanna pay fer chop up potential on a lawng raynje oonit, so goshdarnit eeneffeesheynt, durr [I did, stop judging me]), so I want to field them in this one last hurrah before their rules get gutted and they shall adorn my shelves, only to live on in my extensive fluff novelry that nobody reads :killed: #thebutthurtisreal #selfishlyhopei'mwrong #pathfindersain'tsupposedtobesissies
      "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 4 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Hoo!

      A whole weekend of beer and T9A, with a little bit of vodka and zakuska thrown in the mix has left me as after a marathon of naked wrestling: satisfied and filthy.

      My elf-heavy Oaken Crown list did brutally well, but due in no small amount to both my opponents chilly dice. Beasts were failing Terror checks and panicking off the board left and right, while saurians had a perplexingly challenging time rolling anything above 2s (except while making Ld checks). Still, both games I had cleared the field at the bottom of T4 with 70+ wounds on the table (My list had something like 114 wounds).

      Against the beasts I had a simple minded strategy (we rolled breakthrough) to just double-time across the board with my battle line anchored by the Treefather and the Avatar to avoid giving ambushers my rear. Eagles and Dryads ate the first charges as well they should, and I managed to protect my tiny unit of Rangers enough that they got to get to blending, hanging behind the line until the opportune moment arose for them to step up and stir up a red mist of Wildhorn bits. Ambushing MMU Wildhorns were juicy targets for dual wielder Forest Guard, and my Dragon Prince did what she was meant to; drew a lot of attention while being a fun model with fireball ring and longbow. She mowed down some Centaurs through their flank, the Beasts' hardest unit (eleven lancers and a Chieftain with Impaler).

      The freezing temperature of my second opponent's dice was apparent T1 when his Alpha Carnosaur got wounded three times by a longbow before stumbling on a tree branch while charging my Dragon sitting cushy in a forest and breaking its neck in the process. We decided to redeploy.

      This time I wasn't quite as aggressive, letting the Saurians shift around a bit to see what they'd do before deciding how to advance. There were some issues navigating a hill at the centre of his line, and in the the main battle was my Avatar and his Alpha Carno destroying each other in two turns, a Saurian Warrior block getting comboed by a Treefather and the Dragon Prince, and Skinks being ground down and reborn through Summer Growth in a prolonged melee with my dualwielder FG, before being finished off by a particularly brutal combat turn. Raptor Riders were kept busy by my Heath Riders to such an extent that they didn't contibute to the overall battle, and my Dryads led off his Temple Guard to the far table edge, being destroyed in the process of course but keeping the coldblooded elite out of the game. He forfeited with 27 wounds on the table to my 74.

      The Beasts and teh Saurians faced eachother off, but ran out of time stopping their game at the bottom of T4 again, both having some 3k points standing. Both had some nice moments during their game, a particular highlight being an insane Centaur rampage of a drunken Centaur unit of 6x2 plowing through a Temple Guards flank in a single turn, boosted by the blooded horn totem and the shamanism frenzy spell to an insane A4 S7 on the charge, killing 15 saurians with 27 attacks while the chieftain brutalised their champion in a challenge.

      I'm hoping I'll get around to scratching up a proper narrative report of the weekend's campaign, but real life is quite hectic now so we'll see if I'll be able to manage it.
      "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
    • I done built some minis. Why won't I ever paint??

      Hey, it gets Lightning Reflexes so it's allowed! Damn my phone's autofocus, but the few conversions I made are so minor you probably wouldn't really notice even with a better pic: I chopped off the glaive's other blade and made it so even though I used the corruptor-variant's skull head it only has one broken horn. A beautiful model.

      Now, for something more proper for the blog.

      A hunting chariot. I've wanted one for a while to make a completely mounted list for smaller games, and now I have one. Replaced the whip of the beastmaster holding the reins with a spear, and gave it the flag and the spears from the raptor-variant, otherwise followed the instructions.

      A nice amount of spare parts though. Made myself a beastmaster hero on a raptor (damn it took some whittling to get those phoenix rider's legs to fit the raptor [bitz list: mount, head, weapon and cloak from GW Sourgerunner Chariot, left arm from GW Loremaster, breastplate from a GW Cold One Knight, legs from GW Flamespyre Phoenix rider]). Gave the raptor chariot crew some shields (GW Eternal Guard & Cold One Knight) to make some infantry unit fillers.
      "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
    • Whoa, I painted something!

      This is Oadanneigh, the Birch Lord, First-Born of the Forest. The youngest of Mossenhome's ents, it is well known that he awakened in a time when the elves were already settling the fens, a time of many migrations, and trespasses. Oadanneigh is known as the Sword of Forest, for even though he is young and his spiritual influence therefore pales in comparison to that of the Wood Mothers, he is more formidable than any of them when it comes to sheer violence, guardianship of the forest his only purpose. Before each battle he will carve a slab of obsidian into a mighty sword-like club with his powerful talons, and is relentless in his wrath when the woodland realm is under threat. His young age also leads to a lightning temper (by entish standards), and even the most venerated treesingers know to be wary of slighting him in any manner.

      Also shown here are (still a bit WIP): a Pathfinder, and my first colour-scheme test for my elvish spears (the other blade on the spear is supposed to be made of bone, and is a pure decoration).

      All my forest spirit models in a lovely family portrait. Should start basing them tho...
      "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