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 Iron Wolves (Warhammer 40,000 – Space Wolves) 2013-2014

Along with the Flesh-Twisters of Krüll and Boo-Ha-Ha Klan Goblins, The Iron Wolves are one of my “main armies”. In fact, they’re one of the most beloved forces on my shelves.

Their saga began shortly after the Flesh-Twisters’ finished. After finishing an army of evil vikings, it seemed only reasonable that the next project would be “good” vikings. Well, “good” in the loosest sense.

The idea of hulking great brutes in beaten metal armour trudging through snow is too evocative to resist. I began with the idea of creating a so-called “Logan-Wing” army, that is a force of Space Wolves Wolf Guard led by the special character Logan Grimnar (in that edition, taking Logan as the leader of your force allowed you to count the super-elite Wolf Guard Terminators as basic troops). This small, elite force gave me the opportunity to really lavish detail and attention onto every model (there were originally only 12 models in the whole army!) and give them each individual background stories, just like Space Wolves should have!

The colour scheme, obviously odd for Space Wolves, is my rebellious attempt at avoiding the default baby-blue that everyone else painted. I just found it an off-putting and inglorious colour, and so instead looked for a way around it. Inspired by this army, I took to work on making super dark and super gritty Space Wolves.

The Iron Wolves are a “historic” army, in the sense that they represent Iron Wolf Lord Ránnulfr at the height of power sometime in the forgotten past, well before Logan Grimnar took reigns as Great Wolf. As such, Ránnulfr counts-as Logan in game.

I used a mixture of Chaos parts, Forgeworld parts and normal Space Wolves bits and painted them in heavily washed Boltgun Metal. In fact, every part of these guys was heavily washed (perhaps too heavily) to create near black shades and brutal battle damage. These guys aren’t gonna be sitting at home polishing their armour, after all, their going to be out there, beating in the heads of giant monsters.

So unleash the Wolves of War!

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The Wolf Guard of Ránnulfr Tribebreaker

The Wolf Guard

Because the Iron Wolves are a bit of a special case (with almost every model having its own name and back-story), I thought, in-lieu of posting a collage, I’d post each photo individually along with their respective Saga. Enjoy!

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Ránnulfr Called the Tribebreaker
Long before the time of Logan Grimnar, Ránnulfr called the Tribebreaker was favoured among the twelve Wolf Lords to be the next Great Wolf. A bloodythirsty and violent Wolf lord, Ránnulfr was the most feared Wolf Lord to have ever taken the World Wolf as his company’s sigil. A long running rumour among the company is that Ránnulfr lost his compassion for humanity when more than half his body was replaced with cold iron.

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Ørnstein Dragonslayer
Thought lost when a great chasm opened up beneath him, Ørnstein returned to The Fang months later bearing the multiple skulls of monsters. Ørnstein claimed that he had been eaten by the World Wolf itself and forced to do battle with the giant creatures that hide beneath the ice of Fenris. His shamanic powers were put to great test, but with the World Wolf’s favour, he emerged victorious.

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Hallbjörn Warsong
He who calls the winds forth and with them his howling brothers. They fight and rip, tearing into the enemies of the Russ. Warsong breathes fire, roars thunder.

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Ingjalder The Blooded
Ingjalder served faithfully by the side of Ránnulfr as he plundered and destroyed his enemies. At the head of his pack, Ingjalder caused great devastation, tearing down tanks and fortifications alike. During a campaign that saw the arrival of Dark Angels on a hunt for the fallen, Ingjalder’s pack was caught in plasma crossfire and was completely wiped out. Ingjalder painted his armour blood red, inscribed the names of his fallen comrades on melta bombs and weapons and set out to find a glorious death against monstrous creatures and Sons of the Lion.
Brutus and Gnarshuk
Ingjalder’s only mortal companions, the two Fenrisian wolves Brutus and Gnarshuk have become mascots of the company. While Brutus is loyal and heroic, Gnarshuk is vicious and wild. The two wolves never leave the side of their master.

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Olov Bloodiedclaw
Olov is the longest serving member of the Iron Wolves Wolf Guard. His favoured Wolf Claws are never far from him. He believes that through these weapons he can summon the ferocity of Morkai and slaughter enemies in his name.
Gudbrand Flamebearer
Once a great smith, Gudbrand favours the holy burst of Plasma weapons. He is a constant worry to his companions as his fervour for melting things is slowly growing out of control.
Isak Steeleater
A young member of the Wolf Guard, Isak is famed throughout the Fang for his ability to chew through metal. As such, he is assigned a Chainfist, all the better to tear apart enemy armour.
Randulfr Siegemaster
Called the Siegemaster for his ability to quickly break the backs of any foe. With his antiquated Storm Shield and Power Axe, Rangulfr always cuts a striking visage as he lops heads off this way and that.
Greger Longreach
Fiercely loyal and protective over his younger brothers, Greger plows down his foes with a rune-emblazoned Assault Cannon. He has been nicknamed ‘The Sweeper’ for his brutal volleys of fire, and also for his almost  fatherly qualities.

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Bjorn Wildcall
Almost as animalistic as Gnarshuk, Bjorn never sleeps under a roof, favouring the strengthening winds of the outdoors. Bjorn and Olov have an enduring rivalry, a friendly competition that began with Olov drinking the entirety of Bjorn’s plundered mead.
Folkvar Foehammer
A notorious tank hunter, Folkvar is never happy until he is charging headlong into an occupied building or rumbling tank. He wears a muzzle in battle for fear that his canine instincts will one day cause him to harm his brothers.
Agni Sharpblade
Agni has been called ‘The Spurned Knight’ for his obsession with chivalry and honour. The other members of his pack constantly berate him over his choice of knightly weapons and totems that he favours over pelts and claws.
Gulltoppr The Young
The youngest member of the Guard, Gulltroppr is claimed to be ‘Touched by the Sun’ for his bright yellow mane. He is feared for his reckless abandon in swinging his Thunder Hammer.
Anvindr Stormwrath
Most tech smart of his battle brothers, Anvindr is the mortal representation of the storm. His missile launcher is an invaluable tool for the Wolf Guard, and has slain uncountable foes.

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Torbjörn The Ironforger
Under the tutelage of Ránnulfr, Torbjörn became the company’s greatest smith and protector. Torbjörn sailed to the Iron Islands to teach new Iron Priests his inherited skills. When Ránnulfr was almost killed in a failed armoured assault, Torbjörn oversaw the rebuilding of his body. Since then, Torbjörn has held an honoured place in Ránnulfr’s Wolf Guard, guiding younger brothers on the path of steel.
Agmundr Brightblade
A personal friend of Torbjörn since even before they were elevated to rank of Grey Hunter, Agmundr has fought by Torbjörn’s side for hundreds of battles. He was involved in the operation to return Ránnulfr’s broken body to the Island Islands, fending off ravenous creatures of the deep as Torbjörn tended to his wounds.
Oddmund the Reviled
Not much can be said about Oddmund the Reviled, as he rarely speaks. There is a rumour among the guard that the ugly Oddmund is just as happy eating human flesh and drinking blood as the others are eating elk and drinking mead.


The Pack

I still had a rather wolfish itch after completing The Wolf Guard of Ránnulfr (perhaps it was fleas), and so I set out to add some more long-fanged brutes to the army. Along with the force below, I also put together 20 Grey Hunters that, unfortunately, never seemed to have found paint.

But anywho, the extra Wolves below are members of the same Great Company, following Ránnulfr through the cosmic wilds. They were painted after the main force of Wolf Guard Terminators.

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The Iron Wolves on the prowl