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Messages - Karak Norn Clansman

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9th AGE / Re: Vermin Swarm of Fallen Avras (T9A Byzantine Ratmen)
« on: February 19, 2019, 04:42:39 PM »

In honour of a nascent tabletop scourge that brooks no challengers - namely, the infamous cowboy of Eisenhans - with a Byzantine twist: Behold the heavily armoured Catarat monstrous cavalry!

Cataphract pun. Note draco rat standard and X-shaped amulets with the symbol of the Last Human Ruler of Avras Quartered by Four Vermin Hulks hanging from the rat and human skulls beneath the ostentatious saddle. Note also rivetted metal plates strapped to the undersides of the mount's paws, to protect against caltrops. The lamellar armour of the Monstrous Rat is bedecked with a rope harness sporting tiny bells, ringing out to the enemy general or head wizard, for whom the bells toll...


Quote from: Matthew Klaas de Witte
Unofficial fan content

Dark Emissaries are naturally deceitful creatures, and as mercenaries: manipulating their hires into aiding their own machinations. None are more dastardly and Skaven-like than Tornoash, who betrayed even his own master (the daemon Be'lakor) for favour with Tzeentch. Even now he serves no-one, aside occasionally (though with no small amount of spurring) the forces of Chaos. He is more fond of wandering and collecting trinkets from the world, and of foes he has bested, all which aid him in gaining power. A head and hand of a powerful Dark Elf sorcerer who underestimated his foe, which remain animated and tied to his waist so that he may mock it, or ask for advice (by force). A skull of a Bray-Shaman. The Black Stone of Orounnos. The Dagger of Gelenth. And a gift from Tzeentch, a staff which has been ensouled with a Lord of Change that fell afoul of its master and was trapped within.  He also has a bag of disgusting treats for the road, mostly live invertebrates.

9th AGE / Re: Frost Elves, Sylvan Elves Based On Finnic Tribes
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:32:57 PM »
Thank you folks! :::cheers:::

Light torso armour is meant to be some sort of multi-layer enchanted birch bark treated tough.

9th AGE / Vermin Swarm of Fallen Avras (T9A Byzantine Ratmen)
« on: February 15, 2019, 10:48:10 AM »

The Vermin Swarm of the Ninth Age is based on the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantines or Rûm, the surviving Roman state in the east which centered on the nigh-impregnable crossroads city of Constantinople and which survived century upon century of battering attacks from foes assailing it from every direction, in a mind-boggling display of grand strategy clawing the city-state empire back from the brink to great power again and again. While still a formidable foe for much of its history, the mediaeval Romans were no longer the unstoppable force that had once steamrolled the entire Mediterranean after conquering its only true lethal rival in ancient times: Carthage. The well-organized Byzantine military in its heyday won renown with its Theme system (local garrison troops of farmer-soldiers), mounted Thagmata elite regiments (mobile field army), use of mercenaries, Greek fire, siege engineering, strong navy, Varangian Guard and network of fortified cities to fend off often superior foes at more fronts than the empire could usually handle. Yet ultimately, treachery from within would undermine the army in battle again and again (for Byzantium was rife with vicious power struggles), and cowardice would rear its ugly head all too often: It was not easy to be a soft and rich urban realm confronted by a wide range of hardier and less sophisticated enemies who were out for your lands and riches, in a cutthroat world that was a pale shadow of the Roman Empire at its absolute height, centuries before.

Sounds like an interesting historical basis for the dastardly ratmen? Hungry for retaking Avras? Fancy a different aesthetic to your Skaven models? Then let's dive right into it!

By Eldan

The most distinctive feature of Byzantine soldierly gear were the common pteruges: Leather flaps hanging over the upper arms at the shoulders, and from the waist, forming a kilt. An obvious hark-back to ancient Greek and Roman styles, the pteruges grounded this mediaeval army with an aesthetic piece from out of antiquity. For the most part, one would keep it simple and go up to step 3 below, perhaps adding some waviness, wrinkles and fraying. To emphasize the Vermin's decaying ways, perhaps many flaps could be torn, gnawed or missing altogether? Note that all below tutorials show stuff that are intended to be sculpted directly on the model:


Next up is scale armour and lamellar. The latter is difficult to sculpt, so one may want to go for a simplified look with scales instead. Just do the scales with rounded edges instead of angular, and perhaps have them pointing upward instead of downward. You can also sculpt gambeson (no tutorial at the moment):


Likewise, some frayed chainmail can be attempted, including trying out some weird chainmail veil/face cover on some ratmen. A tip would be to leave tears and holes in the mail. Rats don't do things too tidy. If doing chainmail over the torso, then why not chuck in the Byzantine "bra", or rather leather harness to keep armour in place, on some models? Probably borrowed from Persians:


A minor detail for some rabble troops could be to add a few wickerwork shields:


And finally, some opulent pearls and large gemstones (painted sickly green?) add such an ostentatious finish to the leaders. Here's a simple tutorial, but more complicated things can obviously be tackled:


And here is a random idea for some Vermin Swarm symbol: The last human Emperor of Avras quartered by four Vermin Hulks:

Do you have more ideas to share here? Or modelling attempts to show? Then please do so! :)

Didn't have time to make a wicker shield, but here are some conversions for the heck of it. Attacking cloth and leather surfaces with a needle can help give a frayed look, and is quick work:

We all know that Skaven was an original invention by Games Workshop, one which gained a lasting popular life unlike their Zoats and Fimir. Before Warhammer, there were no elaborately developed fantasy ratmen to speak of. After Warhammer, they are a new archetype.

The Ninth Age, being the spiritual successor of Warhammer Fantasy with its historically based model, did manage to find a real life historical culture to base their Vermin Swarm upon, one which sports flamethrowers, treachery, cowardice, cunning and brutality alike: The mediaeval (Eastern) Roman Empire, known as Byzantium after its fall. In case anyone is interested in getting their hands on more knowledge about this nigh-forgotten Roman realm, to get more resonance out of their reading of future Vermin Swarm background, you will get some tips below. Mainly documentaries, lectures and podcasts, since rat players can be expected to have their hands and eyes busy with painting hordes of Vermin miniatures.

Please share your own, whatever finds you can recommend!

Intro 1: The Rise & Fall of the Byzantine Empire (5 minutes)

Intro 2: Engineering an Empire - Byzantium

If one truly wants to start from the beginning, then Mike Duncans podcast, the History of Rome, can be recommended. It ends with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, which is to say roughly around the start of what is usually coined Byzantine history. (Youtube videos which compile the many episodes.)

John Romer did great documentaries, and his production on the Byzantine Empire is warmly recommended.

As to reading, the blog Byzantine Military is a nice one. Jumps between various topics.

Lecture series on the Byzantines.

Video series on Byzantine Emperors & Varangian Guard

Concept art of guard unit for the Vermin Swarm of Avras in Vetia. Heavily inspired by the artwork of Simulayton, who mix in extra elements of ancient styles (inspired by the Macedonian renaissance) to aesthetically underline that Byzantium is nothing but Rome.

Guesswork: These Ratmen overthrew the strongest Human empire to ever emerge in temperate Vetia during ancient times, and then proceeded to lord over a shrinking realm where they tried to maintain the captive high culture and material achievements (such as architecture and engineering) of ancient Avras through a bitter cycle of ruination, repair, setbacks and decay. Through ages of struggle this mighty people lost their dominion bit by bit as they had to battle against foes beyond counting on more fronts simultaneously than could be managed. As such their history beat to a pulse of slow, drawn-out yet inexorable decline, where dips into dark ages may be followed be resurgent might and reconquest, and even brief golden ages of blossoming population, wealth and culture, only to see corruption, decadence, disease, treachery and fell fortune topple their restored ascendancy and cast the Vermin Swarm anew into a maelstrom of struggles against overwhelming odds. Diplomatic sowing of divisions abroad, choice assassinations of enemy leaders, and baffling grand strategy (centered upon their capital of Avras) all allowed the Ratmen to carry their beset empire through ages of chaos and destruction. For it was cunning, more so than raw strength, which saw them win through to survive for yet more ages of war and disasters.

Yet nothing lasts forever. Avras of the Vermin Swarm is fallen, for the fabled crossroad city is once again in Human hands for the first time in many millennia. Yet the Ratmen will never accept this loss, for theirs is the power and glory...

The overarching story of Avras in the Ninth Age is a parody of a parody. For it taps into the commonplace way in which the long history of the Roman realm, ever since the Enlightenment and Gibbons in particular, is unthinkingly wrought into a parody of the past, with half of Roman history (the mediaeval half) being artificially separated from its own antiquity by the label of Byzantine - a name which still has a good ring to it. These Byzantines then have their scandalous parts and failings highlighted, while skipping over the fact that this declining realm managed to hold on for an astounding number of centuries in the face of way too many enemies beating down upon it from too many fronts at once. The reality of the mediaeval Roman Empire is a fascinating and bitter story of a realm and culture that had long since passed its peak, yet still refused to lie down and die where greater powers of its era went under the bus. The parody version casts the Byzantine Empire as little more than a tiresome parade of monks, eunuchs, craven defeats, stupendous titles, and incessant palace murders and civil wars: And so what can be more fitting than to take hold of the parody, and run it to the hilt in fantasy fiction through Byzantine Ratmen?

After all, both Warhammer Fantasy's Skaven (the most original of Games Workshop's major WHFB armies, and one not based upon any historical culture) and the historical Romans/Byzantines do have mediaeval flamethrowers and treachery in common.

Enter, the Vermin Swarm of the Ninth Age.

Please share feedback and ideas of your own!


Quote from: Matthew Klaas de Witte
A small fortification for a minor chieftain. The structures are based on "brochs". I capped the thatched spires with some La Tene, and Pictish symbols. Thureos, and Carnyxes to adorn the ramparts.

To be honest I pull a lot of ideas that I had from my Stonemen and they're getting a little muddled. But maybe that's the way "La Tene fantasy" is, because I haven't seen anyone else do it. (not saying it doesn't exist)

WHFB The Electors' Forum / Chaos Dwarf Culture Project
« on: February 13, 2019, 09:07:04 PM »

Howdy folks!

This is just a quick mention with link for those interested in Warhammer and Chaos Dwarfs, or just curious overall for this largely community-developed faction.

A great amount of stories, songs and fables (some illustrated) have been written for Warhammer Fantasy's Chaos Dwarfs, and here you have it all in a handy link compilation: Check it out!


9th AGE / Re: Illustrations of Scythians (2017 Image Salvage)
« on: February 05, 2019, 07:03:45 PM »
And this one:

9th AGE / Re: Dwarven Hold: Kegiz Gavem
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:07:11 AM »
Developments on Kegiz Gavem have taken a digital turn over on the Ninth Age: Little Joe has started designing Gavemite items in 3D, as part of his learning the crafts!

First finished 3D-model (file good for picture image, not for printing) by Little Joe, an ancestor face (you'll find plenty of technical explanation in the link):

My reference image, I basically added a beard to get it shield shaped.

The Count's Tavern / Re: What literature are you reading?
« on: February 03, 2019, 05:07:21 PM »
The Last Hero is glorious! Illustrations are ever welcome, and it's Pratchett narrative through and through. Most inspiring book. :)

I've just finished reading Ammianus Marcellinus' Res Gestae in English and am following up on it by reading this densely detailed exposition of Sassanid Persia versus Rome.

Got Ernst Jünger's Storm of Steel and Guy Haley's Dark Imperium awaiting a resuming of reading on the bedside table.

9th AGE / Koghi Empire (T9A Ghana-Mali-Songhai)
« on: February 03, 2019, 01:54:01 PM »

There has been a lot of brainstorming and homebrew development (especially from Calisson and Ghiznuk) for the Ninth Age's version of the rich empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai in West Africa, all ruled from the saddle by mighty warriors and slavers. This is one example of something that might have chafed for a community project to introduce into Warhammer Fantasy.

If you like the sounds of salt, gold, slaves and lordly riders, then check out the link above!

Some laidback smalltalk somewhere in western Taphria, in lands under the imperial reign of the Koghi, with a handy armrest for the brave warrior and dauntless slaver to lean on.

Entry in T9A's Art Contest II.

Please share ideas of your own for this great Southron power!

Cheers Rowsdower!

I can recommend the History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan for a rollercoaster through the ancient world upon Roman tracks. Follow that up with Byzantine History (there is a great lecture series out there, but it's for whatever reason lacking several videos when I checked just now), Byzantine Emperors Series by Thersites, and Byzantium: The Lost Empire by John Romer. Every documentary by Romer is worth searching out and seeing.

Because the ancient Mediterranean world conquered and encapsulated in the Roman empire didn't just die in the 400s, but lived on through harrowing times and times of reconquest in the eastern Roman empire right up to 1453.

One rather remarkable easy-going way to get to know the ancient world a bit in some form is through the Europa Barbarorum mods to Total War games Rome I and Medieval II. Both through images and by reading all descriptions. A hassle to install at first, but there are tutorials and people to ask, and it will be worth it once it's up and running!


Quote from: Matthew Klaas de Witte
With any location on the map, I have to make due with what is available, which is absolutely nothing beyond the image itself. Llenog is clearly an important location, as it is one of only  two settlements/ fortifications that are illustrated (beyond a hut shape).

Though the tribes of Albion are deeply divided, The Belenii of The Tower of Llenog are its most powerful and the fortifications are the island's most impressive. The spire of the main hold strikes prominently into the sky, and can be seen well for miles, which is saying much as the island is often shrouded in fog.

If ever a capital were to be needed for an alliance it would be here.

The chief is proud and perhaps worthy of it, as she commands Albion's largest army, and greatest settlement. She bears the huge and incendiary Spear of the Heavens into battle, a sign of favour from the gods of the sky and fire. Aboard a near unstoppable bronze chariot (worry not, this all will appear)  that casts its enemies aside like wake on the waters surface.

Cheers! Plus this Thracian one:

The Count's Tavern / Oldhammer Art Contest
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:30:13 AM »
Check out the Oldhammer Art Contest! Deadline 22nd of March 2019. Feel like doodling something '80s style, by any chance? Empire, mayhap? Sci-fi, fantasy, bring whatever genre you like to the table. ;)

Miniature prizes up for grabs.

9th AGE / Re: Dwarven Hold: Kegiz Gavem
« on: January 28, 2019, 06:30:59 PM »

Mountainous Kegiz Gavem have long fielded a considerable navy to safeguard its share of the Southern Ocean's trade. Likewise, the ancient naval traditions of the Gavemites have allowed them to strike unexpectedly by landing forces on the coast and overtaking their foes from the rear. Most famous of all of Kegiz Gavem's naval affairs, however, is the ages-long tug of war fought against the despised Infernal Dwarves over the Sacred Coast overseas.

Zalaman Tekash the Great and all her baleful holdings is undoubtedly the stronger power of the two rivals, yet the core realms of the Infernal Dwarves are much more distant from the Sacred Coast, compared to the Gavemites. For where their benighted cousins face a primarily overland logistical nightmare to wage distant wars, the Gavemites with their easier access via the sea can reinforce, supply and outflank their enemies with a speed that has frustrated Infernal Dwarf efforts through a long succession of conflicts. Such have long been the state of affairs of wars fought for the Sacred Coast beyond the Southern Ocean, with Gavemites having the upper hand in most clashes.

Yet nothing lasts forever.

The Ninth Age has seen a great number of grudges recorded by the dour Gavemites against their hateful adversaries to the northeast, for Zalaman Tekash is once again on the rise, with an unrelenting hunger to dominate and reshape the world in its image. For the demented minds of the Infernal ones' artificers are putting out an endless stream of inventions, which is slowly giving these infamous Dwarves a technological edge of increasingly acute sharpness. And so their manufactories and shipyards glow and echo to the birth of ever deadlier weapons of war, and woe betide whosoever will stand against that ravenous will to power which drives Zalaman Tekash to rebound and reforge itself from disasters that would have toppled lesser empires.

As a hereditary arch-enemy to the south of the Infernal Dwarves, the warriors of Kegiz Gavem and her colonial possessions has borne the brunt of this renewed Infernal onslaught. Where once her fleets ruled virtually supreme upon the waves, now the northwestern sections of the Southern Ocean has become a truly contested battleground, and the naval supremacy of the Gavemites have vanished in the face of Infernal technological advances. The trend is a dire one, yet the outcome of this naval warfare is still in doubt and far from being predestined. As such the devout folk of Kegiz Gavem turn to the Heavenly Light on high for guidance, call upon their saintly ancestors, and gird themselves for war. For nothing alive can be more stubborn than a Dwarf in the face of adversity, and the sworn admirals and mariners will serve their Light-touched Ras unto death, no matter come what may.

The legend of the Sunken Souls will serve as an illustration of the difficulties that beset the Gavemite navy. It tells of a recent grudge by Dwarven standards, and follow the exploits of a dogged crew upon the Southern Ocean.

The fleets of Kegiz Gavem are led by finely carved stone vessels that are the marvel of the seas, and the subject of fanciful sailor's tales the world over. Gavemite lore holds that it is only by the blessing of the Light that these ships of rock may float. Their ornate hulls and interiors are evidence of a mastery of stonecarving far beyond the ken of Human hands, and their surfaces are bedecked with sacral runes and iconographic fresques. Each stone ship is a massive monument wrought by the hands of Kegiz Gavem's Runecarvers, and each vessel hewn out of the mountain is an incredibly costly crafts object, and an overbearingly powerful instrument of naval war. The loss of a single stone ship is a disaster, for it is the equivalent of seeing a giant obelisk or fortress sink to the bottom of the ocean.

The vessel known as the
Radiance Upon Akurem was carved out of the naval quarries of Kallugiz Marak, south of Kegiz Gavem. Naval stonecarving is a most demanding craft, and the Runecarvers and quarrymen of this fortified stone shipyard toiled for years to fashion her into a smaller class of warship known as a Vrek within the Gavemite navy, to serve as a squadron leader for one of the many small patrol units who are the day-to-day workhorses of the fleets of the Ras Taphria. The timbermen of the Mastmaker Guild equipped her stony hull with stout wooden masts. The seamstresses and tailors of the Clothier Guild made for her durable sails, both of leather and of linen. The Ropemaker Guild crafted her rigging, and the Blacksmith Guild made all her details, implements and ornaments that were forged out of metal. And the Armsmith Guild provided the ship's mariners with an armoury of spears, sickle-swords, axes and many other weapons.

When the
Radiance Upon Akurem was launched, she rocked heavily seven times to the chanting of clerics and assembled worksfolk alike, as well as by a masked member of the royal clan. And they all rejoiced and sang hymns of praise, for the Divine Light had approved of their arduous efforts and found it to be good. The Vrek did not sink, but proved herself well carved to handle waves and winds, as well as to withstand ship-to-ship battles and sea monsters. The Crown was in possession of a resilient weapon of war, bedecked with a roaring lion's head of grey stone at both bow and stern.

For four centuries and three decades did the
Radiance Upon Akurem serve the Ras of Kegiz Gavem, and for four centuries and three decades did she protect Gavemite interests and thwart Goblin raiders, Human pirates and Infernal Dwarf battlegroups. The Radiance Upon Akurem was usually deployed in a squadron with four or eight wooden vessels of war attendant, or in convoy duty to escort merchant vessels and pilgrim ships, and at a few occassions did the Vrek earn her honours in large naval battlegroups facing full enemy fleets.

Her many captains served with distinction, and the stone ship was well cared-for, and proved herself well able to sail for extended periods between drydock refits. Runecarvers would occassionally board her with their apprentices, as part of instructive inspections, where the novices of the secret craft would observe firsthand the handiwork and test of time in the field of the fruits of their Guild's labours. Master Runecarvers always brought up the
Radiance Upon Akurem as a fine example of naval stonecarving done right, as opposed to other stone ships where cracks and repairs were regularly required from the wear and tear of mere sailing service.

But all tales of success and fortune must come to an end, for the career of the
Radiance Upon Akurem ended in fatal disaster by the hands of the hated Infernal Dwarves. Yet another war for the Sacred Coast erupted during her 437th year of service, and the stone ship left the grand royal harbour of Kegiz Gavem as part of one of two relief fleets that would reinforce and supply the realm overseas, intercept enemy vessels and seize any opportunity to land forces and strike from the rear. The voyage began under ill omens, for dark clouds blocked out the sun at the very moment the masked Crown Admiral blew out the signal for departure. Heavy rains drenched the sailors on deck, and fierce winds began tugging at sails to rock ships in the water. Then, lightning struck. First once, then thrice, then a hundred-fold. Thunder rolled ominously while the Gavemites prayed beneath deck and toiled sourly without complaint on deck and in masts, and over fifty sailors were struck by lightning in that hell-spawned storm, of which three Dwarves died.

Nevertheless, the Light shielded its devotees from the worst of the storm, and both fleets emerged quite intact out of the harsh weather. Half a week of repairs was called for by one of the admirals, yet the leader of the
Radiance Upon Akurem's relief fleet had to stop for a whole week out at sea. During this time, the admiral in charge held his fleet together, anchors down, sails rolled up and vessels moored to each other in squadrons, while sailors and timbermen toiled night and day to restore the damaged ships' rigging and sails, and replace broken masts. At last, this second relief fleet set sail anew, yet soon hit dead in the failing wind and found itself stranded on an uneerily calm sea without a single gust of wind blowing.

Three weeks passed in this manner, and ships' clerics organized penitent masses to appease the Heavenly Light. The mariners asked each other what they had done to so anger the Light, and they repented of sins and prayed earnestly. At last, after a time of fruitless waiting that was torture to the soul, did the winds pick up again, and the second relief fleet sailed straight for their destination with great speed from strong winds.

Yet even this stroke of luck turned out a curse, for it led the sail-borne Gavemite fleet straight into the clutches of an Infernal Dwarf trap close to rocky Cape Myrrh. Out from a cove did the steel behemoths churn through the turqoise waters, unfettered by wind and spewing black smoke from their spiked chimneys. Steam enginges gasped and clanked and creaked, and harsh voices rang out upon rivetted decks, to the cracking of whips and screams of slave flesh. The brisk winds had taken the Gavemite fleet into the worst possible position, and every squadron was out of position to respond to the lumbering metal monsters of the Infernal ones, for the enemy was close by and quickly upon them.

The Infernal Dwarf ships fired mortars and rockets as their armoured hulls cut through the waves in spite of the wind direction, and Volcano Cannons unleashed their searing flames at close range while steel rams crashed into the sides of wood and stone. Sharks gathered to feast upon the doomed in the brilliant waters. The Infernal fleet had struck without a single sail unfurled, but had waited behind rock formations and pounced with their hot engines from a spot by the coast where sailing ships could not have hoped to do so and catch their prey. It was a slaughter, and Gavemite ships sank into the salty depths.

This battle was to be the last of the
Radiance Upon Akurem, for its captain, Avrakam Palebeard son of Rezilak, managed to steer it around to come back upon the Infernal Dwarf fleet, bearing down upon a three-chimneyed warship with full ramming force from the side and buckling her plate hull so badly the Infernal vessel sank within half an hour. This loud impact of stone upon twisting metal gained the attention of Bazerak One-Eye, the commanding Lord of Fire in the Infernal fleet, who commanded a handful of his steamships to deal with this flanking threat. The Radiance Upon Akurem managed to catch and crush a slave galley filled with shrieking thralls while this response force was incoming, yet the Infernal Dwarf steamships were too quick, and they bore down upon the Gavemite Vrek from all sides, putting their paddle wheels in reverse gear and striking the Light worshippers again and again with their rams.

The crew of the
Radiance Upon Akurem fought off their attackers as best they could with bolt throwers, crossbows and composite horn bows, yet their stone ship's hull cracked in places from the repeated ramming blows, and its deck was awash in the vomit of Infernal fire weaponry and guns. Finally, the Might of Azhebarak landed a titanic hit upon the weakened rock hull, and the Gavemite stern broke apart as the jagged metal ram ground into the Radiance Upon Akurem. Most of its crew abandoned ship and leapt overboard as their marvellous stone vessel sank, yet their chances of survival by escaping upon flotsam or their own rotund Dwarf guts were grim indeed. Infernal Warriors scoured the surface of the sea with blunderbusses and gouts of flame that even burnt underwater, and many sharks gathered to the shipwreck, throwing themselves at Gavemites in a frenzied bloodfeast. Captain Avrakam Palebeard is said to have been finished off by a shoulder-launched red rocket that blew his head clean off while he led a desperate boarding party who tried in vain to conquer a nearby steamship with grappling hooks and sickle-swords, and thus secure their escape upon captive enemy hull.

Yet the sacrifice of the
Radiance Upon Akurem and her dutiful crew were not in vain, for the diverting action of Avrakam's manoeuver saved half the Gavemite relief fleet from destruction, and allowed them to limp into harbour on the Sacred Coast. The survivors of the ambushed fleet repaired their crafts and spent the rest of the war making Infernal Dwarf naval squadrons pay dearly for their cheap victory early-on, for these sailors of fabled Kegiz Gavem struck with holy vengeance to avenge the Grudge of Sunken Souls.



Border Rosary: Attempt at geometric base.

Border: Anyone may copy and use it for their own iconographic drawings, no need to ask for permission. Credit is nice, but not a must.

Lineart: The clutter of details loosened the paper fibres and made it fold.

9th AGE / Re: Dwarven Hold: Kegiz Gavem
« on: January 27, 2019, 10:53:15 PM »

Artist Matthew Klaas de Witte over on Deviantart accepted a commission from me to draw us his own vision of a Kegiz Gavem Hold Guardian for the Ninth Age. Be welcome to leave a comment for him under the artwork on Deviantart. de Witte has a deft hand at playing with historical styles in fantasy artwork, as can be seen in his gallery!

The Dwarves of Kegiz Gavem are masters of stone, more so than of metal, and their splendid architecture in stones laid upon stones or cut out of the living rock is a testament to their engineering capabilities and sheer mastery of shaping such hard matter. Dwarf lore in far-flung Holds record how Gavemite stoneworking secrets and arcane techniques of magical stone-carved runes were transmitted from the fabled lands of the Ras, through overwhelming dangers during long ages of chaos, by brave adventurers, heavily armed trade caravans and Dwarven pilgrims seeking the rocky cradle of their first ancestors. One such secret from the Runecarvers of Kegiz Gavem is asserted to have been the creation of Hold Guardians out of stone. It is disputed whether all similar constructs in distant Dwarven Holds originate from the secret lore and crafts originally developed by the Gavemites, or if parallell and mutually isolated instances of invention took place over time in several different beleaguered Holds.

Be that as it may, most Dwarves of learning recognize that the Runecarvers of Kegiz Gavem were the first ones to fashion stone-faced Hold Guardians to protect their settlements and forest-surrounded shrines. The sturdy Hold Guardians of living rock have been a staple sight in Gavemite settlements since ancient times. And for many ages of ravages, loss and bitter reconquest have these statuary protectors of Kegiz Gavem been seen among the ranks of her armies, striding heavily into battles beyond counting, ever unchanging of expression, and ever serving their creators unquestioningly by crushing their foes.

Furthermore, Prince of Spires over on Ulthuan.net had some comments to share:

Quote from: Prince of Spires
I like the depth of fluff you're working towards.

The idea of using handguns for the elite as a symbol of their wealth is an interesting idea. It's sort of what's behind the magical item allowance of characters (and certain units). Though I must say, if gunpowder is actually seen as the domain of the infernal dwarves, there is an argument to be made for not allowing any firearms in an army list (or having them distrust allies with gunpowder weapons).

The hiding of the heir (and family members in general) is an interesting twist. It did conjure up an image for me of a society where this happens and the rules doesn't actually have an heir and they (try to) hide this being having different people parade around in the mask etc. There should be an interesting story there. Now, where is my pen... ;)

9th AGE / Re: T9A forum - engaging with game creators - does it work?
« on: January 23, 2019, 09:48:48 AM »
I will say this in favour of T9A when contrasted with Games Workshop: For all its flaws, it is easier by an order of magnitude to launch ideas and get them implemented in the official setting as an outsider in T9A, than it is with GW. It's much easier to get concepts through to the team. So as a creative workshop where concepts brew, T9A have an edge in this regard.

As to army book output, it is crucially dependent on volunteer artists. These cannot be taken for granted. It's a lot of work to create artworks, and you cannot expect all of the unpaid enthusiasts to always show up for every new project. Good art is what makes or break a good army book. I hope we will see more army books released quicker moving forward, but please do not be surprised if art becomes a bottleneck.

Be grateful for what we have.  :smile2:

The Count's Tavern / Re: Share Your Snow Sculptures Here!
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:00:53 PM »

Fimir and Orc:

Dwarf head Tetrarchy carved out of icily lump and gravel-filled snow. Not good material:

The Count's Tavern / Re: Share Your Snow Sculptures Here!
« on: January 18, 2019, 07:45:51 PM »
Thanks! I hope you get snow and make more snowmen.  :smile2:

By Sigmar's hammer! A plague of Dwarfs!

Historical Games / Carnyx Doodle
« on: January 15, 2019, 01:13:36 AM »
CiLiNDr0 on Deviantart asked if I wanted to contribute a Celtic warhorn doodle to his brewing Kingdoms of Myth game. So here goes a quick little doodle, based on the Gundestrup cauldron. Drawn after a bout of sickness following New Year, but had to wait with uploading until the pale scan image could be edited (with this site):

Historical Games / Painted Runestones
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:24:52 AM »
The ancients liked colour. Dyes and paints were a luxury, especially so for the most vibrant ones. Rather much of the finer ancient stoneworks were decorated with at least some spots of colour in their heyday. I think we as wargaming hobbyists can sympathize with this: Would you rather have grey plastic or a painted army?

Here are some painted runestones (originals and replicas alike), to replicate how they might have looked like:

Just something to keep in mind for scenery and Hold Guardian painting. ;)

The Count's Tavern / Share Your Snow Sculptures Here!
« on: January 13, 2019, 10:25:24 PM »
Anyone up for a snow sculpture challenge?  :biggriin:

It's that time of the year!

The snow is currently too frosty and lumpy to be much good for detailwork. It would not have been advisable to attempt teeth with such material:

And old ones from previous years:

9th AGE / T9A: More Than Just Renaming
« on: January 12, 2019, 02:34:11 PM »

The King of the Giants

Quote from: Matthew Klaas de Witte
Original fan content

Here we see the King of the Giants facing off against Draoiorix the king of the Truthsayers, and protector of Albion. Drawing power from the ogham stones that dot the isle to cast a powerful spell likely to distract him and send him away from a human population.   

In truth it has no name, but is called this by the folk who have the misfortune of sharing Albion with him. He is the height of a Bonegrinder Giant, he carries a titanic sacred ogham stone as a bludgeoning device, a magical necklace of man sized ogham stones, a tremendous moustache, and a belt of shields belonging to all the tiny-things it has crushed.  An immensely powerful being, the King normally frolics among his kin in the Giant's Causeway and Beast Peaks, sticking to the mountain range in the centre-North of the Isle. Descending to gather ingredients to make intoxicating beverages, or to steal from the unfortunate inhabitants of Albion. Throwing rocks at nosey ships of the various foreign races of the world attempting to make landfall (and laughing about it) is also a favourite past-time. The King has no title to lord over his brethren, he just happens to be the biggest, meanest, and hairiest, and this holds great sway in the giant world. Also he has a big smashy stick.

Draoiorix though also immensely powerful, and likely the most powerful being on the isle, does not try to subdue the giants. They are necessary to keep balance on the island, and scare away pesky invaders. But the King has a trick, it is his magical necklace of (previously) standing stones which protects him from the influences of chaos and magic spells. This does not stop him from sometimes aiding the corrupted Albion natives of Chaos that live in the North, so long as they steadily supply him and his friends with good drink. His only allegiance after all is to alcohol, and the pursuit of it. But when they run out, he adds a few more shields to his belt.

9th AGE / Re: Dwarven Hold: Kegiz Gavem
« on: January 01, 2019, 04:23:01 PM »
The 13th issue of the 9th Scroll webzine is out now, ready for download. It features a quick homebrew showcase of Kegiz Gavem brainstorming and artwork. Check it out!

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