Kryptman’s Scouring: An Inq28 project

Kryptman’s Scouring: An Inq28 project

It’s been 5 years since I started my first steps into Inq28 modeling. In that time, I’ve grown and pushed myself as a hobbyist, doing an annual themed army project, expanding my techniques and tools, etc. How I game has also greatly changed. Where once I was playing in local 40k tournaments to get games in, I now mostly play Warhammer Quest and Necromunda in my basement with a few friends. My old collection spans a wide range of stages in my development as a hobbyist, but it is also kind of sprawling and not much of it is up to the standards I try to hold myself to now. I’m at a point where I have so many models that I’ve left unfinished or would like to repaint that I have a years long backlog. As a result, I’m trying to sort through old projects and conversions, armies and bits on sprue. I want to bring all my armies up to a solid standard while getting rid of some of the fat.

Inquisitor Kryptman, art vs my interpretation

First Captain of the Lamenters, possibly the highest ranking of his Chapter left alive

One of my collections is my Inquisition army. I have the space hulk terminators converted into lamenters, a death watch force, an inquisition army, and a group of arbites i use as guard vets. This includes models I first built 5 years ago as well as minis that i assembled recently. Unfortunately, it is not of a consistent good quality. As a result, I’m going through and cleaning up the models I’m keeping, stripping useful bits off the ones that I’m not, and generally purging the less needed parts. In unison with this project I’m working on coming up with venator gangs for necromunda using the acolytes so I can game with them in the system I’m currently using.

One of Kryptman’s acolytes in full war plate, surrounded by a Deathwatch kill team

3 of Kryptman’s Crusaders

Thus begins Kryptman’s Scouring. A log of the forces Inquisitor Kryptman (formerly of the Ordo Xenos, now nominally stripped of his authority by the High Lords) has brought to bear across the galaxy in his obsessive quest to defeat the Tyranids. This will include abhumans, even some xenos allies, and it will functionally build a few different groups of “acolytes” who would go on to become inqusitors in their own right under his tutelage.

One of Kryptman’s beastman assassins

Another beastman assassin

More Acolytes

Along the way, I decided to pull the trigger on something I’d been wanting to do since I got my Death Watch. Obviously, my Inq28 projects were first inspired by the hobbyists who paved the way in our little inq28 community, and one of the frequent projects I saw in those halcyon days were truescale marines. My deathwatch were originally built out of the marine models that were not much taller than humans, but I didn’t want to convert every single model out of expensive terminator legs etc. Enter primaris marines. I had given all of the pushfit primaris marines i got in the last year to my son to play with. He loves them, but he didn’t have a specific chapter in mind, so we decided to make his first army Death Watch. As a result, I hacked apart the Primaris marines, added the Death Watch parts from the kill team kit as well as several of the models from overkill I cannibalized.

A primaris based truescale marine next to the watch master

Chaplain Cassius

WIP black shield, i need to fix his legs as he was originally a reiver

My first 10 plus heroes

Primaris Captain PIP

All in all, he’ll have roughly:

-15 Death Watch Marines, various armaments

-2 Vanguard/Assault marines (I have a vanguard vets on sprue ive been trying to sell that I may give him in order to make this a unit of 7)

-3 Terminators

-3 Bikes

-Chaplain cassius

-Captain artemis

-Primaris Captain

-3 Inceptors

-2 Razorbacks (I have the bodies, but I want to get psycannons and inquisition rear doors from FW)

-Drop Pod (which not to brag has the awesome armored panels that I think I got from Chapterhouse of all places)

Eventually, I’d like to get him:

-Primaris Librarian

-Primaris Apothecary

-Pushfit Redemptor

-Another kill team

-Corvus Blackstar

I’ve begun the conversion process, but I want to do some sculpting work on a lot of the guys to smooth out the conversions. I’m pretty happy with what I’m building for him here, lots of variety of models, he’s only 4 so he doesn’t need them to be a force on the tabletop, but he can use them when I start teaching him how to play kill team 🙂 I’m going to magnetize the bottoms on all of his models and set him up with a case with a metal bottom so he won’t have to deal with the crappy means of transportation I started with lol.

Most of the Gamg together

Overall, I really am enjoying this process. I’ll finish striping bits off my old marines and sell them off cheap. Next army to get the treatment will be my chaos, where I will probably purge nearly all of the non-cult marines, as I would start over again with primaris conversions if I was going to get them game ready again.


Malign Portents Battle Report 1: The Blood Moon

Malign Portents Battle Report 1: The Blood Moon

“Stormcast!” The bray shaman’s voice was full of hatred. “They killed many. They pay.” The creature was still angry over their last encounter, his favorite Ghorgon had been cut down by the golden armored man-things. “Song says march, go to Shyish…” the beastlord was concerned the grudge was clouding his seer’s judgement. “NO! Blood owed. Blood paid.” Taking out his ceremonial dagger, the shaman began carving runes into his own flesh. “Bring sacrifice, blood moon rise tonight!”

Neeve Blacktalon and her companions were searching for an artifact in what must have once been a human civilization. Shyish had a way of turning civilization into ruin at alarming speed. No sign of life, but Blacktalon thought she saw movement in one of the remaining structures’ upper windows. Screech! The stormhost’s drake was growing restless, too much time had been wasted here already. “Is the key here or not Loman?”

She glared at the priest. “The signs say we must look deeper, it’s either buried or in one of the basements of these structures.” The priest was annoyed to be telling her this information for a second time. Just then the priest was wracked by a vision, a painful message from Azyr on high. “READY DEFENSES, They are coming…”

The shaman was almost giddy with excitement, his sacrifices had been found worthy, before him stood a potent tallyband, ready to slaughter the manthings in Nurgle’s name. “Charge, kill, feast!” The beast shouted. The stormcast were prepared, that much was clear. Volleys of bolts slammed into their lines, the drake let out and ear splitting roar and brought lightning down on the massed daemons.

Nonetheless, the daemons made contact, cutting down some of the stormcast and taking surprisingly little damage in return. Despite their tenacity, the drake would not allow an army of plaguebearers to outflank them and hit their more fragile ranged support, so he took the charge of the swarm, swallowing, slashing and immolating the advancing bringers of rot.

Neeve charged into a great unclean one, slashing it with her axe, doing grievous damage that didn’t even phase the enormous creature. It looked down on her and vomited a stream of acidic bile that burned through her armor. Her retributors also charged the enormous creature and they cut it down. Meanwhile, monstrous toad like creatures were eating their way through a unit of liberators. The battle was raging, but despite their disadvantage, her stormhost had held the line. Just then, the priest re-emerged. “Blacktalon, we’ve found it, the key” he said in a rush. “Good,” Neeve responded, “time to get out of here.”

“NO! NO RUN, NO ESCAPE!” The bray shaman shouted as the stormcast rallied and continued on their path, leaving the slow moving daemon hordes behind them. The shaman was furious. That dragon skull had eluded him once again. The Stormcast had escaped and chose the path of the eye. The saga of the Malign Portents was only just beginning.

Malign Portents Muster Progress

Malign Portents Muster Progress

Now that I’ve finished my 10 short stories, it’s time to kick off the first proper blog post of the year. My Maggotkin army is coming along swiftly, I’ve completed much of the painting so far:

  • 4 Mounted Characters
  • 4 foot characters
  • Gutrot Spume
  • 40 Marauders
  • 30 Chaos Warriors
  • 25 BlightKings

What remains is painting on:

  • 3 chariots
  • 15 marauder horsemen
  • 25 Chaos knights
  • A spawn I just scratch built

What I still plan to add:

  • Glottkin
  • Maggoth rider
  • Festus
  • 5 more blight kings (I need starter set stormcast to convert)

Some photo updates:

Ill Weather Friends

Ill Weather Friends

(This post is part 10 of a 10 part series in honor of the Malign Portents event. Part 1, “The Carnival of Vomittongue the Magnificent” is located here, Part 2, “At the Lady’s Command” is available here, Part 3, “The Tin Woodsmen and the Beasts” is available here, Part 4, “The Dead Can’t Sail” is available here”, Part 5, “The Fly and the Raven” is available here, Part 6, “No Honor Among the Dead” is available here, Part 7, “Horticulus Ascendant” is available here, Part 8, “The Road Less Traveled” is available here, and Part 9, “The Malatrice” is available here.)

Ill Weather Friends

They were losing. For all the preparations brother Jericho had seen in the war plans against Nagash, he didn’t recall any contingencies for losing the beachhead and realmgate in Shyish. The notion that the combined might of Horticulus Slimux’s horde and the stormhost might be completely routed was not seriously considered, and yet…here they were, losing reforged by the dozens, their human warriors long since crumbled to dust by the wizards of the dead, and the rotbringers and daemons they’d brought as insurance barely able to support them due to their own mounting losses.

Molex Soulpox was the last of his crew still standing, the captain and first mate had been torn to shreds by countless skeletons, and most of the rest brought down by the tides of vampire cavalry that had charged in behind the shambling and endless hordes of dead. Even as he ascended the hill in front of him, where he could see a few other blightkings holding out, he looked across the field and saw nothing but more tides of the dead, as far as the eyes could see. Horticulus had been busy back at their staging grounds, the forest’s border was shrinking as the dead brought the rot trees falling to the ground, but it became clear that the gardener had been planting extensively inside, turning the small section of Nagash’s domain into a piece of grandfather’s garden. Molex was glad there would be a foothold for the followers of nurgle here, even as the other realmgates would fall. “THE REALM GATE” he shouted to the other warriors on top of the hill, they could see the shimmering passageway to Aqshy with a dwindling guard of stormcast. An undead dragon bearing a vampire lord was incinerating the front lines of the remaining warriors of order.

The heat of the dragon’s flames was melting armor, rendering shields and weapons useless, but the stormcast dared not to break their defensive formation to charge, lest the protection spell they were relying on break. Suddenly, the dragon’s flames let up, and the warriors were surprised to see a serpentine creature, with what appeared to be malformed wings and shrunken legs tearing at the flesh of the undead behemoth. The dragon snapped back at the creature, tearing into its long but slender body, doing wounds that should’ve killed the beast outright. Undeterred, it continued to tear at the dragon, who was slowing and showing signs of loss of control. It appeared the creature’s venom was so strong, it could even damage reanimated tissue. The dragon began to seize, falling over and throwing its rider. The Malatrice pounced, tearing off the dragon’s head, rendering the reanimated creature a pile of rotting meat and not much more. In that instant, a lance pierced the head of the chaos beast, killing it instantly, the vampire lord dropped the handle of his mounted weapon, leaving it in the monster’s skull, and drew his sword to challenge the stormcast. Before he had a chance a flash of light left an enormous hole in his chest. A tall, hideous beastman let out a bray and lifted his staff over his head as a dozen of his pestigors charged in and cut the vampire to pieces before the creature turned to ash. The shaman said a few words over the dead beast he had summoned, a prayer perhaps? He then lifted the skull of the dead dragon and handed it to one of his warriors. The beasts quickly made for the realmgate, the stormcast doing nothing to stop them. Aqshy had worse things to worry about.

As the blightkings fought their way to the realm gate, they saw the dragon fall, and some of their bestial allies abandon them. “Cowards!” Cursed Molex, “What right have they to abandon us what have been chosen by grampy nurgle”

“Beasts always run when they don’t see a way a winnin” responded Dolkin Phlegmus, “that’s why we’re blessed and they’re cursed, there ain’t no life of eternal service destined for any beast.”

“Still, if we make it out, I should like to take that shaman’s head off.” Molex wasn’t looking for an argument, but he couldn’t contain his frustrating at a retreat when their situation was beginning to look dire. The blight kings reached the stormcast just in time to see the battered warriors facing down a spirit host. The lord castellant lifted his lantern and the blazing light of Sigmar burned the spectral things away until nothing remained. The light also singed the flesh of the advancing blightkings, but they did not stop their charge.

A wave of ghouls had rushed onto the battlefield, unlike their dead allies, they were alive, and the blightkings worked best when their toxic blades were cutting down living flesh. The warriors threw themselves into the wave in front of the stormcast, amused to be showing up the golden armored warriors, beating back the advance such that their defensive line was not overwhelmed and held against the tide of ravenous cannibals. As the blight kings fought they laughed and joked to one another, mocking the dead, the reforged, the fearful beastmen, making crude jokes about the miserable creatures they were cutting down by the dozen. The laughter stopped when the crypt fiends reached them. One by one, each of the proud warriors of nurgle fell, their poisonous flesh then stripped unceremoniously from their bodies by the hungry pack.

Molex was the only survivor, but he was locked in combat with two of the brutal creatures and losing ground. He was quickly being overwhelmed by their lesser kin from all sides, he didn’t have long. Despite the certainty of his fate, he fought on, nurgle’s blessing was upon him, his tally this day had been great, he would fall and rise anew in the garden of his master. Just then, a hammer cracked the larger of the crypt fiends in the skull, stunning the beast. Molex took the opportunity to drive his blade into the other’s throat, finally killing it as the toxicity quickly spread to its brain, leaving the creature seizing on the ground. The liberator in front of him made quick work of the other and they soon found themselves back to back, fighting close and keeping each other alive. “You got a good sense’a timin there, golden boy, I think me card was punched.”

The liberator let out a laugh, “I’ve seen your kin take more damage than I can imagine and walk away from a fight, I wager you don’t have much to fear from these pathetic creatures.” His hammer cut the ghouls down 2 and 3 at a time, shattering their skulls and breaking their limbs. Each sword stroke from the blightking left any it touched, even those just nicked, in a convulsing fit. Together, the warriors fought to keep the pressure off the gradually shrinking line of defenses behind them. Each stormcast in the line took a dozen opponents or more with them, but despite their prodigious efforts they were outnumber by so many that each loss took them closer to total collapse.

“Didn’t think I’d die back to back with a whelp of Sigmar, mate, but it’s been an honor to fight with ye,” the Blightking wasn’t tired, but he could see no end to the tides of the dead and he knew this was where he would meet his end, his first one anyway.

“Don’t give up hope, despair will lead you straight to the arms of nurgle,” the liberator laughed at his retort, slipping into a more serious voice he said, “Maybe we’ll meet again, maybe this moment is destiny and we’ll spend the centuries finding each other and seeing who’s the better. I could hope for a worse rival.”

“I hope so, what’s yer name, pretty boy?”

“Jericho, of the Hammers of Sigmar.”

“I’m Molex, by rights the captain of the weeping maid, though I don’t think I’ll get to see the helm in this lifetime.”

As the warriors continued to fight, each was slowing as the weight of injuries mounted on their superhuman bodies. The sky began to beat a hard rain that made the slope they were standing on slick. Their opponents fell even faster, but they were both losing their footing as well. Just as both had fallen and were being overwhelmed, a crack of lightning struck just behind them, ionizing the air, arcing across the forces of death. Another flash, and a brilliance neither warrior had ever seen or could describe lit up the land of the dead.

The Malatrice

The Malatrice

(This post is part 9 of a 10 part series in honor of the Malign Portents event. Part 1, “The Carnival of Vomittongue the Magnificent” is located here, Part 2, “At the Lady’s Command” is available here, Part 3, “The Tin Woodsmen and the Beasts” is available here, Part 4, “The Dead Can’t Sail” is available here”, Part 5, “The Fly and the Raven” is available here, Part 6, “No Honor Among the Dead” is available here, Part 7, “Horticulus Ascendant” is available here, and Part 8, “The Road Less Traveled” is available here.)

The Malatrice

The swamp water was still. The center mirrored with increasingly thicker costs of algae as you got closer to the land. A few trees jutted awkwardly from the water, not ready to concede their scrap of land even to the swamp itself. The constant din of life filled the air, the sound of insect wings and toads, birds calling out, etc. The blight tree stood above this still, fetid swamp. Hung from its arms, an dozen different bodies, one only freshly died of thirst recently.

This place was once one of offering and punishment, but in the short time it had been out of use, the forest had already started to make efforts to reclaim it. Part of this was enabled by the children of the forest’s primitive ways, their ropes and bamboo cages wouldn’t last long in a jungle that could reclaim a city in a matter of weeks. The only thing keeping their offerings in place was the fact that they’d pleased their dark god, but he was fickle and his admiration would soon fade.

A serpentine shadow appeared over the water, small at first, but growing larger.

The Malatrice hit the water with a splash, the sudden appearance of the large proto-dragon lead the wildlife to flee, but a large tentacled creature was unlucky and the enormous beast tossed the writhing thing down its gullet. The Malatrice was long, perhaps 30 feet at his full length was unfurled, but his vestigial legs had shrunk to the point where he supported his body with the muscles in his tail instead. The beast had a long trunk extending from his face, his mouth able to expand to an enormous barbed maw. The creature was once a cockatrice, a sort of lesser dragon, but nurgle saw fit to reshape the creature after it contracted a potent contagion known as the weeping pox. As the proud creature began to despair, nurgle opened his hands and embraced the creature, changing it indelibly.

Suddenly, the water began to thrum, droplets kicking into the air from the the vibration. The Malatrice kicked up and tried to take off, his misshapen wings capable of flight, but with limited strength and stamina he wasn’t able to escape before the chasm opening underneath him fully opened and sucked him in. For a moment, the dragon was in darkness, every inch of his long body squeezed as though he was being swallowed.

And then, light, air, smell, sound, the creature was somewhere new. Around him were dozens of furry, goat like creatures, crusted in filth. Beyond them, the scent of dust and decay, the undead. The grunts and clang of steel filled his ears, but suddenly a loud grunt got his attention. He craned back at the large beastman with the staff. He knew this creature, it had called to him for aid before. Each time, he’d feasted on manflesh before the battle was over. “Kill the beasts,” his summoner commanded, eyes burning with magical authority.

The Malatrice burst forward over the brayherd warriors, he whipped and bit at the zombies in his way, but they tasted foul, so he didn’t attempt to eat them. This foe would be dissatisfying. He cut a path through the swarm of zombies, their clawing hands barely able to scratch his thick skin, only succeeding in bursting boils on the creature’s skin, the liquid within rendering the creatures unable to move. The dragon hadn’t found the beasts his master instructed him to kill yet, so he kept searching.

As he snaked his way through the battlefield, leaving a path of corpses behind him, he came upon a group of blightkings cutting vampires apart with their rusted weapons. Suddenly, an enormous chimera of bat and man charged at them, two more bounding close behind. The Malatrice charged at them, tearing off the first’s limb and swallowing it down his gullet. The arm turned to ash before it reached his stomach. The creature leapt on him in a rage, but the dragon simply twisted his body around, crushing even the beast’s resilient bones. The creature turned to ash as the dragon bit its head off.

The Blightkings were fighting the other two, one of their number had already fallen. The malatrice tore off one of the creature’s wings and twisted the other in his tail. He bit at the writhing creature, his fangs depositing paralyzing venom, slowing the beast, the blightkings’ blades finding his form and turning him to dust. He flung the final of the beasts to the ground and the blightkings made short work of it as well. The dragon set off to find his next prey, tearing his way across the field, unflinching as it crushed hundreds of foes under his massive body.

Just as the creature was growing frustrated, he heard a scream. An enormous zombie dragon was burning a line of stormcast alive…

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

(This post is part 8 of a 10 part series in honor of the Malign Portents event. Part 1, “The Carnival of Vomittongue the Magnificent” is located here, Part 2, “At the Lady’s Command” is available here, Part 3, “The Tin Woodsmen and the Beasts” is available here, Part 4, “The Dead Can’t Sail” is available here”, Part 5, “The Fly and the Raven” is available here, Part 6, “No Honor Among the Dead” is available here, and Part 7, “Horticulus Ascendant” is available here.)

The Road Less Traveled

The travelers cowered in their wagon, the din of battle growing closer by the minute. Darius was breathing only shallowly on the floor, already smelling of rot before he was even dead. The leader sharpened his blade while his ranger berated him. “What the bloody hell have you gotten us into Varen? Out of the death forest and into literal hell?! What are we going to do?”

“They said the stormcast had a realmgate, into Aqshy, why don’t we find them?” He was clearly out of ideas and desperate. Another party member wheezed, looking barely able to move. “I say fuck it, let’s make a run for it, I’d rather die on me feet.” He pushed himself up and stumbled out of the carriage. “Darius, brother, it was an honor to be by your side. But your number is up mate. See you on the other side, please forgive.” He tipped his hat and wandered out. His companions got up and followed. Darius choked out a faint “noooooooo…” before going silent.

As the party entered the wood line, Varen looked back at the carriage and was terrified to see the wooden vehicle being burst apart by a swollen beast of a creature with his friend’s face. Darius, it seems, had taken the easy way out. In his final moments he asked grandfather nurgle for his help, and the god, who’s need was great, gave a great power to him. More, it seemed, than his frail form had been able to take. He twisted and burst into a creature like nothing the travelers could even describe. They turned and cut their way through the foliage.

Darius’ pain was gone. His self was gone too. What was left was a sort of disjointed collection of emotions. He was hurt and angry but couldn’t remember why, and he knew he wanted to please grandfather. He heard the fighting and wanted to do a good job, so he pulled himself out of the carriage and rushed at the sound, his senses overwhelmed by his surroundings, he could tell he was sprinting, but didn’t know where to.

The other travelers pushed through the last of the rot trees, and stepped onto dry, cold ground. The winds were kicking dust into the air, and the travelers each felt a deep sense of despair. As they took each step, their hair greyed and skin sagged. The wind was tearing their life essence from them, but they pushed on. The man with the wheeze pushed himself but began to slow, so Varen went back to help him. A skeleton grabbed him by the leg, but Varen removed the creature’s arm with his axe. “We can make it, I feel lucky!”

Darius reached the skeleton lines. He didn’t remember why he was angry at them, or what he was doing before they appeared before him, but with a swing of one of his fleshy appendages he tore bony figure after bony figure apart. Suddenly, a large skeletal creature descended on him from the sky, and he found himself clinging to it as it lifted from the ground. Undeterred by the height he was ascending to, he proceeded to cut and tear apart the large skeletal flying thing, showering its bones upon the battlefield below. The creature tried to shake him loose, but the wayward traveler had punched through the creature’s chest and was tearing off the skeletal wings that kept them both afloat.

The travelers were feeling a little better, after pushing out a bit further, the ill wind faded and they regained some portion of their strength, though each of their hair and skin was marked with advanced age. They used the dust of the battle as cover as they searched for the stormcast army, their ranger keeping their path clear of any of the hordes of death or nurgle followers. When they found their first golden corpse, they were overjoyed, but it was still anyone’s guess where the realmgate was.

Darius’ landing was softened by the brittle collection of bones he’d ridden down from the sky. His new form seemingly unaffected by even severe damage, he rushed at a skeletal chariot, shooting razor sharp spines he didn’t realize he had into the skeletal horses, blowing them apart. Their chariot rendered inoperable, the skeletons charged with spear and mace, but were no match for the nurgle blessed traveler. He smelled something, something that made him angry, as he scrambled to find the source, he bounded through a dozen or more of the undead, each leap growing closer to the infuriating aroma. When he found the pathetic source, a vampire general casting a potent spell resurrecting many of the fallen dead, he realized it was death magic he was smelling. Not one to put up with the disgusting smell anymore, he leapt at the mounted warrior.

The stormcast were fending off a charge from blood knights riding wild undead horses, boars, oxen, clearly the armies of the dead had scoured every possible source of soldiers for their renewed war. As two liberators were speared by a lance, each continued to fight despite blood spurting from their wounds. The offending vampire knight was thrown from his horse and battered into dust by the pair. The firs of whom then collapsed and died from his wounds. The realmgate, it appeared, was behind their lines. The travelers advanced as quickly as they could, trying to work their way behind the undead assault. As they made their final sprint, Varen was pushing his ill friend to the limit, encouraging him to just go a bit further, that they’d be breathing the sulfurous air of Aqshy soon. Unfortunately, Varen didn’t see that one of the armored bodies they strode over wasn’t dead, and within seconds a vampire was tearing out his throat to drink. The ranger fired a single silver tipped arrow through her leader and into the undead creature’s chest, and they both fell dead, the vampire crumbling to dust. As they reached the stormcast they begged for aid, and a lord castellant stepped in their path. He lifted his lantern at the 4 figures before him and cast its holy light on them. Their sick companion fell to his knees, screaming as though the light was burning him, but a moment later, he stood, renewed. “Go with Sigmar, to the realm gate, warn the garrison this gate will fall within a day. The dead are coming, there will be no second chance to stop them.” As they ran to the glistening doorway the stormcast were guarding, they heard the horrific scream of a dragon. The ranger looked over her shoulder one last time before stepping through the threshold, and saw an enormous zombie dragon burning the front lines of the stormcast.

Darius was surprised by the speed of the hated magic user, the vampire had leapt off their mount and slashed off one of his limbs before he even had the chance to attack. As the missing appendage regrew, he circled the dead thing, testing its reflexes. As he feinted a charge, the creature spurted out a black magical substance that largely missed the misshapen traveler, but where it did come into contact burned horribly. Not wanting to see what other tricks the dead thing had up its sleeve, Darius bounded at it. As he connected with the tall, strong creature, it seemed genuinely surprised as Darius’s face split in half and he bit its head off. The head and the body turned to ash, and Darius was pleased, he was free of that smell. But now that he knew what it was, he could sense it faintly everywhere. More would have to die.

Horticulus Ascendant

Horticulus Ascendant

(This post is part 7 of a 10 part series in honor of the Malign Portents event. Part 1, “The Carnival of Vomittongue the Magnificent” is located here, Part 2, “At the Lady’s Command” is available here, Part 3, “The Tin Woodsmen and the Beasts” is available here, Part 4, “The Dead Can’t Sail” is available here”, Part 5, “The Fly and the Raven” is available here, and Part 6, “No Honor Among the Dead” is available here.)

Horticulus Ascendant

Horticulus Slumux was joyful. Even in his wildest dreams he couldn’t have imagined the numbers he was able to muster, despite the foul influence of Sigmar in his precious Ghyran, the legions of nurgle were as impressive as ever. Calling in every favor and allegiance he had at his disposal had helped, if the fleet carrying much of the armies hadn’t been badly damaged by the dead, their numbers would be even more impressive.

He drove his steed Mulch to ride the perimeter faster, tossing seeds as he went. By planting the seeds he would be able to bring the foul blight trees of Nurgle’s garden to these dead lands. As Nagash knew, and hated, the dead made excellent fertilizer. The trees began to burst from the ground, growing with unnatural speed. In the distance, the sound of battle echoed across the hills. The fight could begin at any moment. “The time of fighting is coming, the eyes of Grampy ‘imself are upon us. Glory is yours to grasp me brothers!” His voice amplified to a boom that reached the ears of all his little pawns. The great game was afoot, glory be, true chaotic, cataclysmic excitement.

Cresting the near Hill, what was left of the Order of the Fly company joined the ranks. They had seen battle. The dead were near. Lady Cankerwell rode to Horticulus, making a show of bowing to the ancient being. “Sister, you’re cuttin it close m’dear.” She flashed what her face could approximate as a smile, “The Azyrites are reeling, we were hit by a forward assault. The true armies of the dead draw near. From what we surveyed, they stretch for miles.”

“Miles, eh? We’ll need some more scriveners to keep the tally today! Glorious rot is coming for the armies of the dead.” The dread trees continued to grow, ringing the army with a potent protective barrier. The magical defenses the plaguebearer had enacted prevented any unexpected surprises, the ancient being still had tricks the Sigmarites couldn’t match.

As the armies of the dead finally arrived, the trees had formed a formidable living wall. They marched up to the tree line before a great being appeared, one of the Mortarchs stood before the warhost and issued a calm demand: “Drop your arms. Surrender. Your deaths will be swift, you will feel nothing. Surrender. Join us.” Laughter burst out from behind the trees. The dead didn’t seem to care. “Your choice is made.” The mortarch boomed, and sent the dead forward to step between the trees.

Dozens of the skeletal warriors began hacking at the trees. Suddenly, from the filthy oozing maws of hundreds of trees, countless daemons burst forth. Tearing into the skeleton hordes, first came plaguebearers moving with unnatural speed, then beasts and plague drones, and even daemon princes and a trifecta of great unclean ones. His trap sprung, Horticulus gave the signal for his throngs to charge. As the warriors launched themselves into the skeletal lines, an ill wind began to blow. Horticulus’ brow furrowed. What magic was this?