Mad 'At's T9A: Skirmish Campaigns Blog

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    • Mad 'At's T9A: Skirmish Campaigns Blog

      Hello folks!

      I've decided to start a blog for all of my Skirmish Campaigns hobbying. For those of you who don't know The 9th Age: Skirmish Campaigns, you can check it all out here.

      In my gaming group we have been playing this for the last few months, alongside 9th Age of course. During this time I've built and painted my warband, and a whole bunch of terrain. There is still a lot of terrain to do, and I'm planning to use this blog to document my progress on it. The warband however is finished for now, but I will post pictures of it together with some background stories about the individuals.I will also post some fluffy battle reports of the games we've had in my group, from the logbook I've kept from when we started. So that is basically what you can expect from this blog. For now I'll leave you with this group shot of my warband, the Talons of the Silver Queen:


      Thanks for reading :)
      There will hopefully be a lot more to come.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Mad 'At ().

    • @alltaken Thanks for the comment mate :)

      As I have quite a lot of pics ready to be posted, I should be able to keep it quite regularly. Only thing I need to do is write up the background fluff that so far just have been in my mind. But that said, I just finished my first little piece with background for my vampire, so here goes.

      Hashepsut


      As a member of the Lamia Bloodline, Hasheput carries the responsibility of an ancient culture and traditional. She does this with great pride.

      Her life started about 30 years ago, when her Mistress included her to the family via the Kiss. She remembers very little from her time before that, not even what her name was. She does not morn though, for her Mistress gave her an incredible life, filled with more excitement than most mortals can even dream of.

      The first few years she spent as an apprentice to her Mistress. She was taught much and more about her heritage and about her own abilities. She was instructed in that art of combat and the art of seduction, and everything in between.

      After her apprenticeship, she was sent with an expedition to Taphria, tasked with making sure that the humans did not dig to deep into the history of the vampires. As it turned out she was not needed for this, the expedition was a failure. Nothing of notice was uncovered and the majority of the group succumbed to some sickness. Just to make sure nothing got out, Hashepsut slew the last remaining few and set out to explore the world on her own, as instructed by her Mistress. During this time she visited many places, all over Vetia and and Taphria. Exploring both the world around her and the history of her Bloodline. She also attracted many followers, some who still remain with her today. Others were left behind or worse.

      Upon returning to her Mistress she was immediately given the task to take an apprentice of her own, and then to the Ruined Quarter of Avras. As is custom among the Lamia, she does not know why. Each pawn is only given just enough information to complete their given task, and no one but the Silver Queen knows the full plan. Hashepsut knows little of her, only that she is know by many, many names and that she rules from the heart of the great city.

      In preparation for her current task she expanded her group of followers even further, with everything from a Necromancer to a pet cat called Basteth. She calls her group The Talons of the Silver Queen, for she imagines the organization of her Bloodline as an organism, with the queen as the head. In this organism she and her group are at the front lines, acting as the talons to claw themselves a place in this city of the damned.

      More images:

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Mad 'At ().

    • @PloomoOfKrarak Thanks, I'm glad to hear that :)



      Another piece of fluff for the next hero.

      Sir Gaël Dubois


      This old knight has been part of Hashepsut's following longer than any of the other members. Hashepsut found him starving in the desert while travelling north from Vanhu, where she had ruled a small tribe for a while. He was on the brink of death, but the vampiress saw potential in him an nursed him back to health. One of her motives were undoubtedly to secure a backup food resource for the crossing of the desert. But she came to enjoy the company he brought as well.

      Dubois was once part Equitainian crusade that had roamed the continent. The goal had been to spread the glory of the Lady to the heathen lands of Qassar. Things had not gone well to say the least, and the Qassari had resisted their efforts every step of the way. Eventually the crusade was lured out into the desert by the locals. Many perished from thirst, other abandoned hope and left to find their own way through the scorching sand. Dubois was part of one group of such deserters.

      His group did not last long. Some were lost to the heat and thirst. Others vanished in the night, seemingly swallowed by the sands. Soon Dubois was the only one left.

      He had lost all hope for survival, and had spent what he thought was last last moments of life praying to the Lady. For him it seemed as if his prayers were answered, for he awoke with the Lady herself tending to him. From the first moment he saw her he was convinced that she was her goddess made mortal form. As beautiful as the night moon and with an aura of divine. His faith in her has never faltered.

      This was about 20 years ago, when Dubois was a young Knight Aspirant. And although much time has passed, he still considers himself to be part of the Kingdom of Equitain, and still carries his old coat of arms. Technically he would still be a Knight Aspirant in the Equitainian army, but as the personal guard of the Lady herself he sees his rank as much higher. His skill and experience dose not quite match this image of himself though, since he has lived a relatively sheltered life in Hashepsutsut service. For while he has travelled long and far with her, the actual battles where he has been able to hone his skills have been few.

      That is to say until they came to Avras. Here his skills in battle have been tested time and again, to the excitement of the old knight. Finally he has the possibilities to prove his devotion.

      And the images:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mad 'At ().

    • Took a while but I finally have the next fluff piece ready. I took extra care with this one since it is about my favourite hero in the warband.

      Ast


      Part 1
      It was early in the morning when she arrived. A cold autumn morning. She introduced herself as Theanissis, and said that she had come a long way to take the place of the late Valerio Di Natalé. The Picos had been expecting her.

      Di Natalé had been the tutor of their only daughter, Arabella, until he had been found dead in an alleyway, less than a moons turn ago. The investigation had come up with nothing, only that he had been stabbed repeatedly. Most likely a robbery gone south, nothing uncommon on Bellatorre.

      The education of Arabella was of great importance to her parents, so they had immediately sent for a new tutor. And now she was here, and willing to begin educating the child at once.

      Arabella came to liking her new tutor, though her parents could not understand why. She was even stricter than Di Natalé, but obvious well educated despite her youthful appearance. The two could spend hours on end locked away together in the study, and would oft go on expeditions around the island.

      The good days lasted for about two years, and Arabella was just about turning into a woman. Theanissis was called away as suddenly as she had appeared, claiming that her presence was demanded elsewhere. Arabella was devastated, for she had lost not only her teacher but also her closest friend.

      Part 2
      When Hashepsut was given the order to take an apprentice she was prepared. Following her Mistress' guidance she had refrained from taking one until she deemed her ready. Her Mistress considers the act of giving the first Kiss to be of almost as much significance as the act of receiving it. It defines the vampire. Now the time had finally come for Hashepsut.

      She and Dubois has boarded a ship in Myra. To the knight's great dismay it was a trading galley out of Amharaq. The ship would be passing by Bellatorre on its way home. The crew had planned to stop for supplies in either case so it was no trouble for them. One of the finer quarters of the ship was given to the two travellers to use during the journey, for the right price of course. They were appointed a personal servant, a handsome Qassari boy who immediately took a great liking for the exotic woman. He was good to look at but embarrassingly clumsy. Dubois didn't trust him one bit, but this was to be expected as he didn't trust any Qassari.

      Finally in Bellatorra it took only a few weeks to finish what they came for. Hashepsut retook her identity from the last time and became Theanissis again. She began by carefully observing the situation. Everything had to be perfect. One of the most important instructions that she had gotten from her Mistress was that anyone given the Kiss must have given their full and honest consent. This means that no mental manipulation is allowed, something many Lamia vampires are very gifted in, and that the target must be fully informed in what it means. This rule is critical to the organization because an unwilling vampire is a liability that could easily reveal their secrets. Because of this, any target who refuses the Kiss must also be killed, swiftly. This was something she wished to avoid, for she had grown quite fond of the girl.

      When she left, the Picos never found a new tutor for Arabella and had instead sent her of to study at the university. She seemed content with her life but Theanissis could sense that the girl still longed for adventure.

      Before revealing her true identity, Theanissis took some time to rebuild the trust between her and Arabella. When she finally did, the girl responded with mainly curiosity. They talked long afterwards, Hashepsut answering all her questions about how her life would change. She seemed especially interested in the cultural heritage she would become part of. There was only one point which caused real hesitance. Arabella was unwilling to give up her connection with her family. Hashepsut was firm in the matter, and eventually she agreed. The temptation of adventure, culture, eternal life and power was too great.

      On the morning Arabella emerged a new woman. Nothing could be seen in her exterior, but inside she was different. It would take a long time for the transformation to be fully completed, but already her strength had increased manifold.



      And the pictures:

      Display Spoiler
      With staff and dagger


      With whip and dagger


      With two whips


      Together with her Mistress


      WIP

    • Time for the next piece.


      Yusuf ibn Abdfajar al-Hamid


      Adbfajar al-Hamid was powerful merchant warlord. Starting off as a pirate he slowly build a fleet of ships that both plundered and traded all over the world, connecting distant Tsuandan in the far east and Virentia in the west. As his fleet grew it became more and more focused on trade, and the warlord himself settled down in Al-Hisn. There, Adbfajar fathered many children, but he only had one son, Yusuf.

      At an early age Yusuf was put through hard training, with the focus to develop physical strength. He showed great prospect in this area, and his father was very proud. Later in life his training came to focus on combat skill and also academic skill, both necessary if he were to one day take over command of the trading fleet.

      Despite his impressive raw strength, Yusuf proved to be a poor fighter. He was slow and clumsy, his balance seemingly completely off. Many joked that the youngster spent more time on the ground than he did standing, to his fathers great embarrassment.

      He fared almost as poorly in the study room. Through much effort he was taught both to read and write, and to do simple mathematics. His father hired just about every tutor and teach in the city to try and beat more knowledge into his skull, but to seemingly no effect. Not for lack of trying though. Yusuf wanted to please his father, he simply lacked the talent though.

      He was however not completely without talent. Early on it was apparent that his was blessed with good looks, further enhanced by the physical training he had been put through. This made him popular with the female population of Al-Hisn, something his father was actually quite proud of, despite all.

      Adbfajar had not fully given up hope though in that his son would one day be able to take over command of his fleet. He himself had after all not been the most talented of people in his youth, but had been forged into sterner stuff by the hardships of a life on the sea. So it was decided that Yusuf was to be put through the same.

      Yusuf was placed on a cog, the Faisal, to prove his worth as a man, starting as a servant boy with the purpose to work himself up. The rest of the crew were given strict orders not to cut him any slack. His life turned to misery in a heartbeat. He spent his day scrubbing the deck, washing dishes, patching the hull, securing cargo and other boring tasks. It was not long until he came to recent his father for putting him there.

      It was several months later, after more than a few journeys across the Middle Sea and one to Virentia, that something truly exciting happened. While restocking in Myra the the ship took on passengers, well paying passengers at that. Yusuf was assigned to be their personal servant, something he wasn't exactly excited about. This is, until he saw whom he was serving. Never in his life had he gazed upon such beauty. He was completely enthralled by this exotic lady, not so much by her presumable bodyguard, an old knight who acted very resentful towards the entire crew.

      Ysuf found himself to be shy in the presence of her, something had never experienced before. He also became even more clumsy when she was near. But he loved every moment of it. And was so caught up in his own feelings that he didn't even realise it until too late that their time together was short. The two passengers were only travelling to Bellatorre. Suddenly all that beauty was snatched away from him, and his life became grey and dull again.

      He prayed to Alihat to let him see her once again, to give him a second chance. And his prayers were seemingly answered. When their ship and restocked in Amharaq, their next journey was mighty Avars itself, and on the way there they made another stop at Bellatorre. And there she was, again seeking passage. Still in company of the old knight but this time also with a young girl.

      They had barely boarded the ship before Yusuf was on his knees before Hashepsut, begging her to take him with her. He would gladly abandon his life and his family, just so that he could remain with his Beloved.

      To the old knight's great dismay, Hashepsut accepted his offer and he left the Faisal in their company. Heading towards great adventures.


      More pictures:


      EDIT: WIP shots added.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Mad 'At ().

    • @alltaken Thanks :)
      I'm quite pleased with the skin colours myself, though it took some tried to get right. Its a surprisingly high amount of yellow in there.


      I've gone back and edited in WIP shots of Yusuf in the last post.

      Now for something different. i took the time to photograph most of the terrain I've built and painted for this project. Sadly it was snowing outside so I couldn't take the pictures there as I normally do, which means the lighting in these is not as good as it could be. But i think you will get the idea. onto the pictures (quite a lot of them):
    • Excellent stories and minis, thank you for sharing! Have poor Yusuf become clumsy and slow in the fluff after some bad dice rolls? :D

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    • @Crabathor Thanks :)
      That old knight is one of my favourites too. I've had the model for ages so I'm really glad I finally got a chance to use it. Painting him made me long for paining more Equitain knights, which is dangerous because I have a whole Empire army to paint before that xD

      @Eru Thank you for reading, I'm glad you found it enjoyable :)
      His clumsiness is based more on the fact that from the start he was the worst fighter in the group, with only WS2. Even the necromancer (who we will get to in a short while hopefully) had more. I had to somehow make that believable despite his obviously great physic. Game wise I've restricted myself from taking anything but Strength Skills on him (and a single Speed Skill that I took to negate an Injury he suffered).

      @ferny Very glad to hear that :)
    • Finally, the fluff piece for the fifth and final starting Hero of my group. Might write something sort about the two living Henchmen groups, but other than that I feel ready to start posting the fluff pieces I've written as a form of battle reports. Anyway, that is for later, now this:

      Zoltán Bodrogi



      Son of a Zagvozdi lowlife and a Tsuandanese prostitute, Zoltán did not exactly have an easy upbringing, He never met his father, and grew up living at the brothel in Zmayevatz where his mother worked. Although they did love each other, it was not easy being a child there. When he was eight years old his mother was killed by a displeased customer. The keeper of the brothel saw no reason to keep him around and firmly dismissed him. He chose to leave the city and his old life behind, in order to begin a new one. His mother had always talked fondly of her homeland Tsuandan– from where she had been taken as a child by plundering Ogres and sold as a slave to the Infernal Dwarves who deemed her too weak for manual labour and sold her on to humans in Avras – and therefore decided that that was where he was going.

      Getting there was not easy though, with most routes being controlled by the Infernal Dwarves who he naturally despised. The only possible way then was by sea, so he travelled to the Sea of Gods and then to Avras. There he lingered for a moment, living in the streets until fe was given a place to work at a trading cog and set out onto the open oceans. He could only hope that it one day would take him to his goal. It took many years but eventually luck shone upon him. He abandoned the cog the minute they docked in Zhangwei, after having sailed up the mighty Dajiaing.

      He wandered the massive city for a long time, marvelling at the strange and foreign sights. He soon found out that life here was no easier and all things considered not that different from the one he had had in Zmayevatz or Avras. He still lived on the street, feeding on scraps wherever he found them. Life on the open seas had in many ways been better, and he started regretting ever leaving the cog.

      One night, when sleeping off a stolen bottle of rise wine he must have been mistaken for a corpse as he was laying in the gutter. With plagues ravaging these poorer parts of the city such were dealt with swiftly. When he woke up he found himself in the outskirts surrounded by dead bodies. Stranger still was the mysterious woman he noticed wandering the field, chanting in a tongue he could not understand. And even stranger was the bodies around this mysterious individual, for wherever she walked, the corpses stirred. Their back arched back and their mouths breathed an eerie sigh, that echoed in Zoltán's mind while the bodies grew still once more. Every now and then, the woman stopped to examine a corpse more closely, and some of those were dragged to a nearby cart. Unable to stop looking at the macabre scene, Zoltán was eventually discovered. And the woman laughed at him, while Zoltán froze in fear.

      Without ever having been asked, he was made a student. This mostly meant that he was forced to assist his master in various rituals, and in daily life as well. At first he loathed it, but as time went by he could not deny that he was learning, and more true than ever this knowledge was power. And power was something he had never had, so the feeling was exhilarating. He became dedicated to the studies and slowly learned the ways of Evocation, and the Truth of Names.

      After a few years he left, to continues his studies wherever he could. Always seeking to unlock the full secrets of the True Names. This eventually brought him back to Vetia and to Avras,where he was recruited by Hashepsut. Which brought him to this blessed part of city where fresh corpses for experiment always were plentiful. But he soon found yet another reason to remain with the group, as he discovered the true identity of the one he served. He had heard of vampires, but never seen one until now, and the images was fascinating. It was a natural master of the True Names, almost completely unaware of it though. He kept the secret to himself for the time being, finding it rather amusing to see the other fooled by her. Besides, being the only one who knows could prove useful in the future.

      Pictures:

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Mad 'At ().

    • Those watching my Terrain Blog might know that I've been working on some more terrain for this too, but now I've decided to update this blog itself with those pieces.

      First we have an old update that has already been shown in that other blog, but it should have been put here from the start. So I'll just quote myself:

      Mad wrote:

      The last things I've worked on is a couple of newer ruins for 9th Heim. They have been in the works for a long time but now I finally took the time to finalise the floor of the tower along with all the wooden parts and the roof of the church.








      Now onto the new stuff.

      I've made a neat little crane out of mostly balsa wood. I hope to use it as a sort of bridge between building, by placing the high pallet in gaps to allow models to jump onto it and into the next building. It is magnetised in to central axis meaning I can adjust the angle, and by adding more counterweight to the smaller pallet it should be able to host even metal figures.




      Next is a group shot of what else I finished this week, including the crane above. Also seen here is a small bridge (bottom left) of a new design. The rods are made of pine wood so its really sturdy and the planks are made out of 2 mm thick balsawood instead of the 1 mm thick I've used before. This should make it a lot sturdier than my older bridges that have had some problems with breakage. The main thing in the picture though is one of the boardtiles I have made for the game. It is 40x40 cm (roughly 16"x16") so to make a 4'x4' board you need 9 tiles. I have 9 already painted up, you can see a close up of them in the first image in this blog. I've working on more though and this one is the most recent. It is so far unique in that it will include wooden parts too. You can see it in the front. It is not yet glued in place though to ease painting.



      That's all for now :)
    • Second thought, that's not all for now.

      I realised I haven't posted the little fluff pieces for my two living Henchmen Groups yet, so here they come.

      The Trusty Companions



      The Ruined Quarter of Avras is not home to an abundant of people, and most of those who live there only do so because they are unable to leave. The Trusty Companions is a group made up of such people. They are all cripples in some way or another. Either deformed from birth or through a serious injury. Regardless of their background, they all look to Hashepsut for help and guidance. She is rumoured to be able to sure the sick and perform miracles, so she provides hope for those who otherwise have non.

      No one quite knows how large the group is, for it varies constantly. New cripples turn and up pledge their loyalty while others disappear without a trace. Most of them are unable to fight and so help with various task in the camp and tend to the needs of the rest of the warband. Some act as spies and vanguard, providing Hashepsut with valuable information. Others simply as guides, having lived their whole life in the district they know it inside and out. A selected few join the others in battle though, having proved their worth with metal in hand they are ready to lay down their lives in service of their mistress. The best know of these is Hubert, their informal leader.

      More pictures:
      Display Spoiler




      And a few WIP shot of Hubert:



      The post was edited 3 times, last by Mad 'At ().

    • The Skulking Shadows


      This pair of mercenary brothers were recruited by Hashepsut as she made her way to the ruined districts of Avras. They have long be employed by various underground organizations in Avras, serving as spies, soldiers and assassins among other things. Through luck rather than skill they've earned themselves a remarkable reputation, being know not only as the 'Skulking Shadows' but also as 'Two by Two, Hoods of Blue', with regards to their headgear.


      In the service of Hashepsut they are mainly tasked with providing cover fire with their bows during battle.

      More pictures:


      Now I'll settle down for a while ^^

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mad 'At ().

    • Small update. I decided to build another house (to procrastinate doing other stuff I guess). Here is how it started:


      All the floors and walls of the upper level of the house, stencilled out on black foamcore. This was my first time using black foamcore, and it of course presented a problem I hadn't considered. Non of my normal pens and pencils made visible marks on it. So I had to track down a white pencil.

      Add some details and you get this:




      Sorry about that horrible "tutorial" =P

      But here you can see why I got myself black foamcore. I'm hoping that when covered in balsawood, it will be easier to paint than white foamcore. I've tried that before and it was near impossible to get paint in between the boards.

      Anyway, that is all for now ^^
    • I played a game yesterday and took some pictures of it. Thought I'd share them as well. FYI, I didn't bring my VC to this game but instead brought a small crew of orcs.

      The board:




      An Instructor from the Engineering School demonstrating excellent use with a double-barrelled handgun.



      An Inquisitors warband how might have become too akin with the very cults they've sworn to eradicate.



      A mighty troll and some orcs battling it out with the members of the Engineering School.



      Another orc felled by one of the Inquisitor's apprentices.
    • As I said in my other blog, I have an update here too. This whole terrain session actually started with me wanting to finish the church that has been unpainted for far too long.

      But first, lets talk about the foundation, of the city that is. As I have hinted previously, I have a bunch of board tiles that I use for the base of the city. Previously I had 9 painted up but I've finished another 4. Here is a table put together with 12 of them:


      For those interested, the 4 new ones is the one in the down left corner as well as the two adjacent to it. And the forth is the curved one in the upper centre.

      It is annoyingly difficult to get the tone absolutely right, even with a batch. But I think it looks alright in the end, especially when covered in buildings.

      Speaking of which, here is one of the corners covered with all the new stuff I've painted up:



      Most prominent is of course the church. Which is accompanied by the graveyard pieces featured in the other blog. The walls and the chapels are painted up in similar colours to the church so they make for a neat set.

      Here is the church from another angle:


      And some details:


      And an individual shot of those details (a bit blurry sadly):



      And the two other buildings that got a lick up paint as well:



      That is all for now, but I got two more buildings that I've hoping to get some paint on soon.

      Cheers!