Friday, July 13, 2007

Exquisite evil

As a first installment of the dark elf army presentation, I'd like to show you the characters.

Drazhar Urien-Rakarth is the army general. Ruthless, cunning and possessed of a morbid sense of humor, he guides the druchii mercenaries with dreadful precision, his dragon mount Kadrasull adding to Drazhar's own considerable prowess at causing destruction.

Born into a rich and influential clan, Drazhar was forced to abandon the courtly ways of the druchii nobility (which he had held in very low esteem anyway) after slaying a rival house's heir in a duel in the main street of Naggarond. He took his arms, armor and whatever wealth he could carry, and rode off to begin a new life as a sell-sword in the harsh, barren tundra of Naggaroth. He did not go alone, however. A trait unheard of among the dark elves, Drazhar's sympathetic and respectful attitude towards the soldiers under his command assured an almost idolizing trust from his charges. No less than three regiments of city infantry, with the welcome addition of a small band of light cavalry, followed Drazhar out of the relative safety of the druchii capital.

The model itself is made of Malus Darkblade with the torso and the left arm replaced by that of the Executioners horn blower. After seeing Imrik the Dragonlord with his imposing blowhorn, I decided this is an excellent idea for a dragon-mounted character. The original draich blade was replaced by that of the Executioners' champion. I've also added some minor bits and pieces to his panoply, like the bundled crossbow from the chariot kit.

The dragon is an unconverted wood elf forest dragon, the original edition. In my opinion the best dragon model made for Warhammer.

The base will definitely be redone, as I seem to have put too much faith in the Vallejo Still Water compound... To make a long story short, it really does not live up to the level of standard Acrylicos Vallejo made its name on. Or I just can't work with it. Both are possible.

Yenlui Khaladh the High Sorceress is Drazhar's current employer and, as the rumors go, love interest. She is a very wealthy descendant of a family much older than Drazhar's, but notably having less in the way of a standing army. After forsaking the city for the sake of fortified manor in the coastal wilderness, Yenlui faced the inevitability of hiring additional military troops to bolster her limited bodyguard. Drazhar's force was chosen, again as the rumors go, for both the economic and more private reasons...

The model is a slightly converted Vth edition Morathi. I changed her staff's headpiece to something more bearable and that's it.

Karir the beastmaster is a long-standing employee of the house Khaladh. Equally apt in the sword as well as the whip, he is a robust, quiet and grim individual. Older than Drazhar and Yenlui, he has seen many battles and raids and often his experience comes very much in handy during a skirmish. He is possessed of bravery bordering on insane abandon, battling a jousting combat a hundred feet above the field or charging a war machine emplacement on his own being just two of numerous feats he is capable of. He takes to the battlefield atop one of his favored mounts - a dark pegasus.

The model is a manticore rider with the head replaced by a shouting head from the Dark Elf Warriors kit. Also, I've replaced the odd-looking spear with a cold one knight's lance. To make Karir stand out more, I sculpted a fur coat collar and fur lining on his bracer.

The pegasus is an unconverted Vth edition dark pegasus model. Much, much better than the current dark pegasus atop which Morathi is plucked if you ask me.

The Manticore Knight is a very mysterious, masked warrior who joined the force one fateful night. Nobody knows his identity except Karir and he's not telling. The two seem to have a curious bond and can sometimes be heard conversing late into the night. Drazhar is very suspicious of the Manticore Knight motives and agenda, but the latter - along with his ill-tempered mount - has demonstrated to be a very welcome addition to the force. He is clearly some sort of renegade, just like Drazhar. Wherever his loyalties an agendas lie,
his presence can tip the balance of the battle and his skill in combat is second to none.

The model is a slightly modified rank-and-file cold one knight. I filed down his saddle, spread his legs a bit (ehehehehe... spread...) and swapped his lance tip for a warriors' spear one. The manticore is unconverted.

No comments: