Krüll, City of Slaanesh

The Hierophant of Krüll cocked his helmeted head, resting his steel cheek on a curled claw. The magnificent white plume on the top of his crown fluttered in the bitter breeze blowing in from the tooth-lined portal across the chamber.

Beneath his throne, a man grovelled, hardly anything left of him but skin and bone and weeping sores wrapped in a hessian sack. He cried for the broken shape in his arms, a daughter once loved dearly, but spirited away to the temples long ago.

“And I was told your family came from stronger stock, Gunther.” The Hierophant weezed. His voice was a cold wind, a metallic rasp and a sensuous whisper all at once. “We were expecting this one to last more than a few years.”

Gunther cried out, stroking back hair from a blue, dead face. He lifted his own head in the direction of the city’s ultimate Lord, suddenly filled with rage. But before he could gaze upon the Lord’s boots, a blade whipped out from the shadows and fluttered around his neck.

“You think you are worthy to look upon our Dark Prince’s chosen voice?” Some one spat out from behind Gunther. “Avert thy gaze, worm.”

Gunther did what he was told. It was all one could do in the city of Krüll.

“Now, now. Don’t be so glum. You have a new world in front of you, child,” said the Hierophant. “Now you are honoured by a truly rare sensation: utter loss. Feel it, embrace it. It’s what Slaanesh wants of you, of us. To truly feel. How many of us can claim that?

“I feel nothing anymore.” Gunther cried.

“That is a shame.”

Gunther heard the armoured giant rise from his throne, but kept his eyes firmly fixed on the marble floor. He smelt a rising musk and heard chains and bells clatter from some far off corner of the room.

“I’m sure we can teach you how to feel again, Gunther … TAKE HIM TO THE TEMPLE!”

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A Walking City

The city of Krüll is a crawling monolith. From across the murky horizon of The Realm of Shadow, it would simply appear as a hive of crenelated towers and spiked parapets. If one was to watch long enough (without going mad) they would see the mass of buildings moving slowly but surely through the land.

Krüll is, itself, a chariot. Upon wheels the size of castles and pulled by an army of 66,666 daemonic steeds, Krüll slowly cuts through the wastelands and swamps of the Realm of Shadow. Like a scythe, it topples lesser cities, crushes forests and shakes mountains. The city is an inhabited pilgrim, crossing the worlds in search of the missing Prince of Chaos, Slaanesh.

The city has moved for countless centuries, only stopping occasionally as the daemonically possessed steeds exhaust themselves and return to the Warp. In these periods of sloth, before the army of yoked beasts can be replenished, vast armies march from the city for the joy of bloodshed and to collect the slaves necessary for the working of the city. It is in these times that the influence of Chaos waxes strongest, causing daemons to rupture into reality and join the endless march of Krüll.

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Society of the Damned

Krüll, like any city, has its own layers of castes and classes. For the largest part it is, for lack of a better word, a civilised city of men. Slaves and “Freemen” (those claiming no allegiance to the so called “god-king” Sigmar) form the lower rung of this society, performing menial work and living in barbaric squalor for most of their lives. Still, inside Krüll and under the eye of its tyrants, they are safe from the Realm’s many monsters.

Above them are the Horselords, Marauders and Bandits turned from their wild ways into slave masters and property owners. Branded with the mark of Slaanesh, the Chaos god of excess, they hold dominion that would make men of Sigmar’s empire jealous. It is the Horselords who ensure the city keeps moving, by goading the horses and keeping the enormous wheels turning.

The Horselords bow in turn to the Warriors of Slaanesh who have taken Krüll as their barracks. These Champions of Chaos live for nothing but the din of battle, the warmth of fleshly-spilled blood and the cries of pained ecstasy that ring out in their wake.

The upper echelons of Krüll’s society are dominated by the wealthy, who dine nightly on banquets of human flesh and commit unspeakable acts behind velvet curtains. They strut through the city without fear, able to pick and choose their human “toys” with the backing of mercenary Warriors. Alongside these lucky few are the priests and priestesses of Slaanesh who run the dark temples scattered throughout the city. They are magic users, daemon consorts and vile monsters all.

Finally, the overall Lord of Krüll is a creature known simply as “The Hierophant”. Though he was once, most likely, a mortal man, he has long since abandoned his humanity to grow closer to his god. He is the Dark Prince’s Chosen Voice and ultimate pilot of the city’s movements. It is The Hierophant who “speaks” to Slaanesh, reading the signs in the winds of magic and following them on the decadent path towards finding the missing god.

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In the Wake of the City

Though Slaanesh can claim the city of Krüll as his domain (should he choose to reappear in the Mortal Realms), the city’s movement leaves in its wake a world belonging to Nurgle, god of sickness, fear and entropy.

The passage of a gigantic fortress city, with its millions of slaves and obscenely wealthy, wasteful tyrants, leaves behind a world totally riven. Krüll deposits a trail of pollution, sickness and destruction for thousands of kilometers, from which has grown a completely different society.

Enter: The Sewer Kings, disgusting Champions of Nurgle who have gathered armies of escaped slaves, local monsters and Wildmen to their side. Though they live in constant filth, they are happy. Grandfather Nurgle has blessed them with a constant supply of fresh meat and ripe disease. They dance in the sewers of Krüll, perform in grand carnivals and raid scattered towns with rictus grins on their faces.

The Hierophant knows well about the Sewer Kings existence, but pays them little heed. He sees them simply as a band of merry madmen, deluded into worshiping a truly disgusting god. At times of war, The Hierophant and The Sewer Kings have even been known to fight alongside one another. Though they worship a filthy deity, the fly-ridden armies of Nurgle are unnaturally hardy warriors who are more than happy to bring Chaos to the Mortal Realms however they can.

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The Search Continues

The Hierophant is seemingly immortal, relentless and cruel beyond reasoning. His search for his missing god has taken him across worlds, through the Realm of Chaos and into battle with hundreds of armies. Yet still he searches, still the city moves.

Perhaps he will never find Slaanesh. Perhaps he doesn’t want to. For if the god were to reveal himself, The Hierophant would have to relinquish his tyrannical grip on the city. Perhaps the search itself is meaningless, eternal for the sake of it. Either way, for someone to challenge this mad demi-god, they would have to halt the movement of an impossible machine, climb a mile high fortress, defeating Champions of Slaanesh and hordes of drugged slaves along the way, before finally entering the marble and gold tower at the city’s peak.

And so Krüll continues onward, for ever into the darkness …

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A Gallery of Evil

I have recently resurrected my old Warriors of Chaos army, giving them a bit of a lick of paint and a whole new over-the-top, Age of Sigmar backstory. I might put together a few “Designer’s Notes” on this whole project in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. The Hierophant is watching.

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The Host of Ashmodeus (Warhammer – Realm of Chaos) 2015

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It was a bit before my time, but holy Warp Entities, Realm of Chaos is by far my favourite supplement to the Warhammer world.

For those who aren’t familiar with the dark glory of 80s Warhammer (I suggest you take a look here), Realm of Chaos was a two-book supplement all about the four dark gods, the daemons and lesser gods of the Warp, their spawn and their mortal champions. They delve into ridiculously deep detail in terms of lore, on par with the later Liber Chaotica books, while also delivering a set of rules for fielding a Chaos warband. They are also chocked full of the most evocative artwork ever published by Games Workshop (from the likes of Ian Miller and John Blanche) and colour scheme examples that really do seem insane (by today’s standards at least).

Realm of Chaos is centred around the idea of mortal “Champions” rising through slaughter, gaining chaotic gifts and mutations from their patron god and potentially reaching daemonhood. As such, armies were small, personal affairs, sort of like modern-day Inq28 or Kill Team forces instead of 2,000 point armies.

Almost everything could be randomised. You could even create lesser gods and their daemonic pantheons from d1000 tables, rolling to see what animal they take the image of, what weapons they favour and what gifts they bestow upon their followers, etc. etc. It truly was a golden time for weird and whacky role-playing fun.

And since I’ve always had a bit of a crush on retro Warhammer models (there’s something so full-of-life, simple, almost naive about them that drives me crazy) and, of course, the daring colour schemes of pinks, blues, greens and stripes that accompany them. In 2015 I went on a bit of a spending spree, hunting through ebay and second-hand stores until I had enough for a small warband. And so, The Host of Ashmodeus was born, not from random tables, but from much searching.

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The Host of Ashmodeus was a practice in painting as bright as I possibly could. Even know, the army stands out among my display cabinet. It was also my first time painting from a white undercoat (Games Workshop’s Skull White which, as you know, is pretty unreliable). I ran into a few problems with chipping, but apart from that, it was a really fun experience. In the near future, I’ll put up a tutorial on making these colours and working with white in general.

It was also an excuse to work my magic writing lore for every miniature in the force. Because each model has “gifts” (mutations and weapons) that mark them out as special, I created a backstory for them, connecting their stories under the Lord Ashmodeus, a Slaaneshi prince gifted with technology from a dark future.

The Flesh-Twisters of Krüll (Warhammer Fantasy Battle/Age of Sigmar – Warriors of Chaos) 2012-2015

THE CITY MOVES… HEAD HERE TO SEE THE LATEST “FLUFF” FOR THIS ARMY.


Krüll was a large and beautiful city sitting near the Western entrance to The High Pass. For all of its promise and early glory, it quickly became a much maligned place. After a few decades, not many in the Empire would even admit that Krüll existed, or at least, that it was populated by any sort of civilised man.

In truth, Krüll was once great enough to match many of the Empire’s great cities in war, trade and culture, but it was these strengths would ultimately prove Krüll’s downfall. For all of Krüll’s glory, it was ruled by a base and brutal regime of pleasure lovers that rejected the rule of The Empire.

In gilded, ivory towers, the elite of Krüll wined and dined on the blood and labour of the poor. The dangers of the wastes outside and harshness of life in the poorer sections of the city meant nothing to the city’s lords and ladies. They lived well, safe in their towers, while the majority of the city slowly died in effort to feed them.

Slowly, but surely, the city turned foul and began to fracture. Cults dedicated to dark powers arose in both sides of Krüll. The high-society turned to the worship of a beautiful and devious entity they called Shalth, practicing ritual sacrifice and taking part in massive orgies for the pure pleasure of it. Down below, in the sewers and slums so neglected by the Lords, worship of a hugely-bloated, talking she-rat bearing the name of Ungalla began. The poor turned to magic and sacrifices of their own in an effort to assuage their daily pain.

Darkness rose over Krüll. Peasants and paupers took to brutal murder and theft. The Lords of Krüll continued to ignore their vassals, instead turning inwards to perverted arts. Many a man was turned inside out and splayed across a room simply because some Lady thought it was beautiful to see the walls painted red. The Eyes of the Gods turned towards Krüll.

Two warbands eventually descended upon Krüll. For what purpose, none could say. Perhaps it was to absorb the pools of dark power that had seeped into the walls of the city. Perhaps it was to recruit new warriors. Perhaps it was to destroy and plunder. The purpose hardly mattered in the end. They came, and with them they brought Chaos to Krüll.

The Heirophant was the first to arrive. On a slithering, unearthly steed, he rode up to the inner sanctum of Krüll unopposed by any guard. With him came a band of incredible warriors, seven foot tall at their shortest and clad in darkly glistening armour. Like a knife cutting through butter, The Heirophant (for he went by no-other name and never removed his immaculate armour) installed himself as the ruler of Krüll. The Lords and Ladies worshiped him, and in return, he taught them dark secrets and blasphemies that none should ever know.

After the Perfect One arrived the Putrid. Luvrot the Unbearable appeared in the sewers of Krüll, as if from the muck itself, surrounded by braying, rotting hounds. Luvrot killed and devoured the she-rat Ungalla in front of her poor, diseased worshipers and presented to them, instead, a greater god. Luvrot told of the Great Father of Plague and the twisted love that he bore for every living creature. The newly installed Lord of the Slums taught a hopeless and bleak gospel that caught on like wildfire. The lower class of Krüll accepted their glorious new role, to spread pain, fear and disease, and they did so, dancing through the streets and laughing all the while.

And so it was that Krüll became a city, not of men, but of Chaos. The inner struggles of the city quickly sorted themselves out and a new way of life was accepted. The Dark Gods, Nurgle and Slaanesh, ruled and from the unholy union was born a great army. The Flesh-Twisters rode forth, shambling plague carts beside beautiful stallions, intent on spreading woe and glorious death wherever they could sow it.


So here we go! The Flesh-Twisters of Krüll were one of my biggest army projects ever and my main table-top force for the majority of my gaming years. The project began with the release of the fantastic plastic Nurgle Lord and grew from there! I was so excited to finally be collecting a proper Warhammer Fantasy army (I’d painted Battle for Skull Pass before but never really expanded upon that), in about a week I’d amassed enough models for a 1,500 point force, including Warriors, wolves, The Heirophant himself and even a Hellcannon (in Finecast…)!

I would spend the next three years collecting and painting the terrible warriors from Krüll. The last major expansion I finished for the army was a small “Carnival of Nurgle” detachment that I added sometime in 2015.

The important thing to note about the Flesh-Twisters is the unified colour palette that draws the disparate aesthetics of Nurgle and Slaanesh together. The soft purple and bright blue is repeated on almost every model. On the Slaaneshi warriors, the bronze and splash colours are more pronounced. On the Nurglitch models, I’ve painted a lot of ooze, stitches, rust, etc. I think I overdid it with the cartoony “verdigris”, though. If I had the time and energy to go back and paint over it to make the bronze more, well, bronze, I definitely would.

Maybe some day soon, The Flesh-Twisters will ride again. But for now, I’m sure they’re happy committing their special brand of debauchery in the depths of their evil city.

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The Heirophant and his retinue of Slaaneshi Marauders

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Luvrot the Unbearable and his Putrid Disciples

 

 

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