The Sea Dragon Host- Elves of the Taphrian Coast

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    • The Sea Dragon Host- Elves of the Taphrian Coast

      Within the coming pages you will find the chronicles of House Cyroc, descendants of the royal Ryman bloodline and lords of the Taphrian Coast. I'm beginning an ambitious project which is an equal mix of background development, hobbying/painting and gaming. I've played high elves for years now and have always gone with a dragon-themed list while still trying to keep a competitive edge.

      With the flexibility of the 9th Age I'd like to expand my high born elf collection to incorporate new models which can fit a dread elf and sylvan elf force so that I can realistically play any of the three armies. I'll expand on each project and build out background that I feel supports each of these three unique play styles with enough commonality to unify them all.

      What you'll find here:
      • Links out to my battle report thread
      • Progress on modeling/painting projects
      • Background and stories that support my battles and army development
      House Cyroc at a high level:
      • A branch of the most ancient Ryman house (think Caledor Dragontamer's lineage)
      • Broke off from the primary elven nobility around the time of the exodus from Vetia (potentially due to the Exodus), so they're fairly independent
      • Strong ancient ties to a family of dragons
      • Strong naval theme overseeing a sizable trading empire that spans the globe
      I'm always open to comments and feedback, so please get involved as you like. I'll kick off with my first piece of content shortly and I hope all of you enjoy what's to come.

      -Vesp
    • So, I've been trying to get involved in the Background Team but I've been assured by @Scottish Knight that they don't need my help. In an effort to prove how serious I am I'm trying out their chosen form of writing; first person human perspective.

      I wrote up this piece as part introduction to the Sea Dragon Host and part a story of a recent battle I fought. I hope you enjoy, I hope you enjoy my first attempt here, any feedback is welcome!

      -Vesp

      The sweat didn’t stop, it was in my eyes, dripping off my nose…and with the sweat came the bugs. Even if they hadn’t been forced to do backbreaking labor from sun-up to sun-down my life would have been a misery of bugs and sweat in this hellish place. I couldn’t help but curse when I thought about the foolish decisions which had led me here from the cool misty land of Equitaine and my beloved…the crack of the diminutive lizard creature's whip broke the monotony of the work and hit me like a mule kick. Unfortunately, I was quite used to whips at at this point.

      The saurians hadn’t bothered the Equitanians at first and over the first 5 years the trading outpost had grown exponentially. Under my careful management we’d expanded our offerings, harvesting and selling rare woods from the jungle and saurian artifacts we'd discovered to merchant fleets from every major nation of the world, elves, dwarves, ogres and men. We’d offered reprovisioning , markets for trade, repair services for boats. My coffers had overflowed with gold and silver and I’d met all my goals…just thinking about it I let out a muted groan. I’d even booked my return trip, I’d almost been free! Then they came…

      It wasn’t as if I hadn’t invested in defense, we had walls , soldiers, even a scorpion. I suppose we’d put up a good fight, but there were so many of the tiny reptilian warriors. Their huge horned monsters had smashed through our walls, the nature magic of the lizard priest had been unstoppable and the flying lizards had quickly silenced the scorpion. It was over in under an hour. That had been 3 months ago and I’d been a slave of the saurians ever since, trapped in this hell of bugs and sweat…

      Lost in reverie I didn’t hear the whip coming and stifled a cry as the braided cord bit into the flesh of my back. Desperate to stop another blow I bent to pick up my dropped pick axe just as the whip cracked again across my shoulder blades. I could feel the blood flowing freely and the bugs began to swarm biting into the tortured flesh making the nearly unbearable pain of the wound even worse with the stinging sensation of their attacks. I grabbed the pickaxe and turned to my tormentor a specimen approximately half my size with its arm raised to deliver another blow. It blinked its eyes twice and in as many moments three more of the diminutive reptiles joined it. Their tongues flicked out in unison as if to taste the nature of my defiance.

      I couldn’t take four of them at once and I knew it, but I was going to be god damned if I had to put up with this any longer. The reptiles would work me to death anyways eventually. “Come and get me you cold-blooded snakes, I’ll take some of you with me into the void” I screamed as I lunged and two of their whips coiled around my arms mid-leap throwing me off balance and to the ground. I tensed waiting for the death blow and thought of her face, I’d see her again in the after life…thunk.

      The sound I thought heralded my death, but it was followed by three more: thunk, thunk, thunk. Something scaly fell across my back and as my shock of being alive wore off I scrambled to my feet pushing the lizard man off of me. All four of them were dead, delicate blue fletched arrows protruding from their eye sockets. It didn’t take long to see the source. Rounding the cape of the natural harbor came three ships; with angled sails and knife-like hulls they could only be elven. Even as I watched huge bolts fired from their weapons batteries flashed ashore into the lizards who had been overseeing the work teams. To my left the jungle rustled and a volley of blue fletched arrows caught the overseers in a deadly cross-fire as they started to scurry towards their battlements.

      The response time of the reptiles was incredible, moments before there had been no threat and they were already beginning to form units on the shore to prevent a landing. The elven barrage intensified as the ships neared the shore and a hulking ogre-sized brute fell affixed by huge bolts and more delicate shafts alike. As a gangplank was lowered into the surf a shadow fell across the lizards. I stumbled back and tripped over one of the corpses and had the presence of mind to jump into the trench I’d been digging as more arrows zipped overhead. I had never seen a dragon in the flesh, but the legends of grail knights battling monstrous beasts in the name of the Lady paled set beside the creature in the front of me…it was death incarnate.

      The monster hit the hulking lizard's formation like a bronze thunderbolt, the first one to die was one of their leaders a champion I’d seen lift a warhorse bodily over its head and crush a plate-armored knight with a single blow of its bronze mace. The dragon smashed it to the ground and tore its chest open in a single motion. The elf on top decapitated another brute with her glowing sword and ignited a third in green flames with a single gesture. In another instant they were running and the dragon pursued them, moments later the core of the reptilian lines had been wiped out.

      I stayed there watching, unable to take my eyes away as the elves brought death and destruction to my foes. It had taken the saurians an hour to take the outpost, it took the elves twenty minutes to wipe them out. Despite the carnage, all I could think about was the grace…the effortlessness of it all. The elves made war like an artist paints his canvas; no wasted motion, every stroke an expression of a lifetime of mastery. I couldn’t help but be inspired by what I saw, by…my saviors. The last reptile to fall was their magic user, it had wrapped itself in a glistening shield of force that I’d seen deflect lances. The dragon rider pointed her sword at the reptilian magic user and a bolt of green fire slammed into the force shield, it flared and buckled and the skink was consumed in flames a black shell was all that was left a moment later.

      I didn’t realize I was running until I was already out of the trench. My men, the other slaves were behind me, we were running to thank our rescuers. I came up short as the dragon spun around and bellowed, freezing us in our tracks. Through the ringing in my ears I cried out, “The Lady’s blessing on you, we owe you our lives, I am in your debt lady elf.” The elf’s expression remained fixed, her green eyes bored into me and through me. When she spoke her voice was steel lined with velvet and sent a thrill up my spine, “Keep your thanks human, re-open the trading outpost, it has been closed long enough. Your incompetent defense has cost me too much already.” Without waiting for a response the dragon leapt into the air and headed towards the ships as the rest of the elves gathered their dead and began to withdraw. I was left dumbfounded and looked around at my men seeing similar confusion on their faces…I guess I’d have to put up with the bugs a little while longer…
    • Thanks @Sapphire I'm watching your blog as well, wish I had your painting skills!

      So I got another game in, this time with a themed Ryma list including a Prince of Ryma, Mage on Dragon, Knights of Ryma bus with the War Banner of Ryma. I see this list as the household guard of the royal family of Tor Cyroc. It was an unfortunately short game due to a Turn 1 charge by my Ryma Knights which lead to the death of the BSB on Taurosaur and in short order half of the SA force.

      Here's the battle report: HBE- Ryma Themed Battle Reports- 3rd 1.3 Battle

      Current State of the Sea Dragon Host:

      Gaming/List-building: I feel like I’ve gotten a good feel for the high elves again and I think the combined arms list I took last time is a fairly strong competitive build. I’d like to start working on some concepts for my Sylvan Elves and Dread Elf builds while letting my UD get some play time.
      I likely won’t be getting too many competitive games going in the next month or so as I’m traveling for work and I’m trying to get some games in with some new players to try to get them up to speed. Trial lists for SE/DE/UD will be perfect for that.

      Hobby: On my modeling table, I need to finish up the QG and MoCT. After that I’ll do a little work on my UD before tackling my next project, a treeman! I plan to use this treeman as an ancient in SE, a lion chariot character in HE and a divine altar in DE. More to come there!

      Background: I plan on beginning the story arc which will explain how the army can play as each of the elven factions soon.

      -Vesp
    • A couple of updates inbound:

      A battle report against the YouTube legend himself OnceBitten:
      HBE- The Sea Dragon Host Battle Reports- 4th 1.3 Battle

      Then some new background, trying to set the table for the background/drive of what the army is fighting for and lay the ground-work for the all three elven races theme as well as introduce my main characters. Enjoy:

      She had to admit, no matter how many years she lived, the view would always take her breath away. She stood near the edge of a stone plateau, what once had been a jagged gash into the side of the only mountain on the island had been carefully crafted by her ancestors into a broad flat expanse of stone with a panoramic view of the island and the sea beyond. As her gaze swept across the island she wondered as she had many times before at the destiny which lead her ancestors to this place. Fleeing a great danger and abandoned by their kin, the haven of the island had been the foundation of a new beginning for the House of Cyroc.

      Today, centuries later, this island was the seat of power of her family one of the greatest merchant houses in the world with a network of outposts and fleets straddling the globe. Their fleets were the envy of…”Princess…” her reverie was interrupted by her chamberlain’s patient tone. “Are they ready?” she asked. “Yes Princess, the Council awaits.” With a last reflective look she turned toward the mountain and approached the table where five elves awaited her.

      Each face was familiar to her and they were arranged in order of power and esteem.
      Furthest from her seat sat the two youngest attendees her nephews Rohannon and Viserion. Each was the spitting image of their father with temperaments like two sides of a coin.

      Rohannon, the elder, was even-keeled an expert horseman and lancer. Steady as a rock he was often entrusted as the bannermen of their forces in the field.

      Viserion, the younger, had a fiery temper to go along with his burgeoning skills with pyromancy and was the most like her brother, his father. Barely out of his adolescence he had snuck into the dragon caves and in a sequence of unlikely and borderline sacrilegious events had bonded with one of the youngest dragons an emerald scaled creature of similar temperament.

      Further along the table sat her two uncles, Maarken and Chaynal, their faces provided a constant reminder of her father and the pain of his loss even years later gnawed at her.

      Maarken, an accomplished master mage, spent most of his time in his towers searching the faces of the gods and the stars for answers about the future. He rarely joined her forces in the field but served as invaluable council to her.

      Chaynal was the consummate warrior, skilled with bow, spear and blade he had been her father’s battle standard bearer and a more solid and reliable tactician and battle field commander did not exist in this world. She valued his council greatly and they spent many a night poring over maps and battle plans together.

      Last and at the closest chair to her right hand sat her brother, Gwydion, his chestnut hair braided and pulled back giving his face a severe look. Her elder brother, he had always bested her in every endeavor from feat of arms to magic use. She looked up to him, though she would never admit it. He gave her a barely perceptible wink, of all those at the table only he knew what she planned to share with the Council today. They had walked the forest paths of the island late into the night discussing the feasibility of their plans.

      As she reached her place at the head of the table and turned to her assembled family she paused briefly…preparing. When she spoke her voice carried a supreme confidence that she could not fully claim, “We sit at the beginning of a great undertaking, one which will require all the skill of those who sit before me and will tax the resources of our empire to their uttermost. Some of us may not survive…but through sacrifice and death we will seize an opportunity unseen in many ages…an opportunity to reforge the elven race and reclaim our birthright.”

      She knew this was the most tenuous moment of her delivery, she sounded in no small amount like a common human doomsayer, the filthy wretches that wondered the streets of every trading port. What she said next would upset and inspire them in equal measure, “I can hear the unspoken question, ‘How can this be accomplished?’…a deceptively simple answer…we set out to find my father and with him the doom or salvation of our race!”
    • So,I've got a game lined up for the holiday weekend and im looking forward to taking a different style of list.

      I'm taking on my usual lizard opponent but he's trying out something new, so should be a fun dynamic.

      Thoughts on the list:
      I've been playing with a solid 20% of my list in shooting and feeling consistently underwhelmed with the game impact of those units.

      I also decided to take the infamous lion chariot prince out for a spin to see what all the hype is about.

      I think this list is really good, poke holes in it for me.

      It's got a lot of mobility with 27 cav a chariot and 2 phoenixes. I don't really have to anchor my line anywhere as I only have one bolt thrower and the QG are fairly mobile shooting platforms and can serve as chaff of last resort.

      Magic is fairly solid lending reliability/survivability to my lines

      Shooting is light, but have 3 magic missile spells in those lores including a sig and I can still push out 16 st 4 shots a turn. Including magic and the flame Phoenix/Reavers I feel very solid on the chaff war

      The Lancers, sword masters and lion Guard supported by two monster killing characters put out a ton of damage with some decent mobility.

      5k Points:

      BSB MoCT 4 spells(1 alchemy, 3 Druidism) 2+ Spear of Blazing Dawn

      Tons of healing and defensive buffs/hexes. Gives rh swordmasters some serious teeth against monsters.

      Prince on Lion Chariot
      1+/4++ Fireborn Divine icon, GW

      6 Lancers FC Banner of Speed
      Lion chariot prince rides with them

      6 Lancers w champ

      3x5 Reavers

      20 SM FC Flaming Banner
      BSB goes in here, Flaming Banner is to take advantage of the alchemy attribute

      20 LG FC Relentless company

      Flame Phoenix
      frost Phoenix

      Bolt thrower
      2x5 Queens Guard

      Let me know your thoughts!

      -Vesp
    • Looking forward to following your blog :) Couldn't help noticing your dragon from the battle report against BH - is that the forgeworld carmine dragon? I would love to see some pictures of your army, have I missed a link or is it still to come?

      Cheers
    • Adepticon!

      What an awesome weekend! Huge kudos to the TOs for organizing and running a really enjoyable tournament. Everyone I played was great, good at the game and great to play against. I took a few wanders around the vendor hall and checked out other tournaments but I spent the majority of my 48 hours gaming.

      So I’ll wrap up with my overall standing, for now suffice to say, I had a fairly solid showing but not great.

      I’ve been thinking about the weekend and one piece of analysis that I think is helpful to think about for each battle report is how favorable I think the match is. So a quick scale from Negative, Moderate Negative, Neutral, Moderate Positive, Positive should suffice and you’ll see me mention this assessment at the beginning of each battle report.

      So you can expect battle reports for each game and an after-action report. Potentially some background fluff written up reflecting the trials and tribulations of my army. In the meantime, I want to show off a model I painted for the tournament my dragon-themed lion chariot commander!




      Adepticon Battle Reports:

      Game 1: Demons of Change: HBE- The Sea Dragon Host Battle Reports- Adepticon Rd 1
      Game 2: Orcs and Goblins: HBE- The Sea Dragon Host Battle Reports- Adepticon Rd 1
      Game 3: Dread Elves
      Game 4: Orcs and Goblins
      Game 5: Ogre Khans

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Vespacian: added pics ().

    • So it has been a while since I posted a hobby related post here, but wanted to get some more background context out for my army.

      I've been working avidly on the sylvan elves aspect of my army, but will likely be using the HBE for the upcoming tournament season.

      So below you can find some general background and a little bit of a deeper dive into the key personalities in the Sea Dragon Host.

      Also, I've just gotten a new camera, so you can expect to see some better full army pics and shots of the characters.

      General Background and Playstyle:
      House Cyroc’s leading family draws its roots from an ancient line of elves dating to before the exodus from Vetia. House Cyroc enjoyed an uncommon bond with a family of dragons and represented a powerful force in the remnants of the elven empire. For reasons lost to time the House parted ways from the nascent court in Alban and cast out for a new home beyond the grasp of the Pearl Throne.

      Their quest led them to the Taphrian Coast and an island fastness that met their needs. The island’s primeval forest served as home to ancient forest spirits and the elves of House Cyroc struck a bargain with these fae creatures. In exchange for settling on the island the royal house’s bloodline would be forever tied to the forest. Each generation the eldest daughter would assume the mantle of Dragonlord and the next child in line would join the forest spirits as their Chosen Druid.

      The house guard, better known as the Sea Dragon host can be found around the globe guarding key trading outposts and advancing the interests of the House as needed. The Sea Dragon host rarely takes the field unaccompanied by their great winged allies, bringing fear wherever the waves are darkened by their wings.

      The druid priest maintains his own forces to protect the forest, while their efforts are mainly focused on protecting the island from marauding pirates and saurians they occasionally make assaults in unexpected locales, always near another ancient forest and typically just in time to save it.

      Key Personalities:



      Yvraine the Dragonlord, Princess of House Cyroc:
      The leader of House Cyroc’s vast merchant empire Yvraine inherited the mantle of Dragonlord from her father when he was lost along with his dragon assaulting a tear in the Veil.
      Yvraine has taken an active role in driving her House’s interests around the globe and takes to the field bestride Eingana, her great bronze drake. Yvraine is an accomplished mage and warrior and enjoys an uncommonly strong bond with her dragon.



      Chaynal Bearer of the House Standard of Cyroc and Chosen Druid:
      Yvraine’s older brother, Chaynal took his place as Chosen Druid when his sister became Dragonlord. Chaynal takes an active role in his sister’s campaigns and can often be found in the field leading the infantry, his powerful protective magics shielding the Sea Dragon Host from harm.



      Rohannon, Warden of the West:
      Chaynal’s eldest son, Rohannon recently took command of House Cyroc’s interests in Silexia and Virentia and has been leading a task force doing battle with the hosts of the Albino frog priest, saurian forces with a disturbingly coordinated set of attacks on House Cyroc’s interests in Virentia.
      Rohannon typically goes to war on horse or in his raptor-drawn chariot.



      Viserion, Keeper of the Flame:
      Chaynal’s youngest son, Viserion is the youngest dragon rider in House Cyroc’s history. A naturally gifted mage with a burgeoning talent, Viserion’s intrinsic connection with House Cyroc’s scaly allies made the role of Keeper a perfect fit. His responsibilities focus on the care of the precious clutches of dragon eggs secreted in the heart of the island’s dormant volcano.
      Viserion is rarely seen on the battlefield without his emerald scaled mount Smaragdus, but occasionally takes to the field on a warhorse.

      Evana, Warden of the East:
      A cousin to Yvraine and Chaynal, through one of the lesser branches of House Cyroc Evana’s recent elevation to Warden of the East came as a surprise to many. Evana was a warrior of some repute amongst the druidic warrior order tasked with defending the island’s forests.
      Evana’s young, fiery temper contributed to her reputation as a war hawk, constantly pushing her uncle to deploy the forces at his disposal in defense of forests throughout the world.
      It was in one of her rescue missions to a forest in Vetia where she found her mount, Nelenor. A precious dragon hatchling, the object of a feldrak raiding mission, Evana’s forces were too late to save the forest from the inferno, but she and her forces slew the feldrak ancestor before it could kill the hatchling.