Friday, 11 August 2017

Mor Deythan

Upon blackened pinions
silence takes flight

sombre be their disposition

Lightless eyes of ink
ever watchful
ever patient

Carrion stink
the only betrayal
too late

Darkness shifts and strikes

Bleak be that beak
that tears
whet with retribution

Talons flash
in shadows
they rip out the heart

Desolate wake, inconsolable
corpses and black blood
in moonlight

Carrion stink
on the wind
the only thing left behind


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Grime Lights - A Prequel

Some time ago (this time last year as it happens), I titillated audiences with a tiny teasing of world building.....

Well, okay, I faffed about with some background ideas (see: Ordo Nemuritorus) that never truly came to fruition and no one really noticed....

Since then I made up this little warband of 'less martial' figures who then sat on the top of my bureau to gather dust and cobwebs (literally), whilst I worked on other projects (my Elven Exiles are growing apace).

I've always been meaning to properly build up the world of Pūrvachāti much in the same way as I did with Lychgate last year. In fact, the roots of Pūrvachāti started out quite a few years ago, beginning with my love of the ancient ruins of India and Thailand and their contrast with the more contemporary structures seen in the countries' today.

Originally, I intended to paint these guys in very subdued colours in a similar palette to the Dutch Masters. However, now I'm more leaning towards something more impressionistic, something of a grubby riot of colours.

Anyway, until then....

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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Ode to Guilliman

So, I've been reconnecting with some albums that I haven't listened to in while and one of them is rather a favourite of mine. A collaboration by some of the most prominent synthpop/futurepop artists in the circuit currently who called themselves 'Bruderschaft' (Brotherhood) under the direction of Rexx Arkana. It was originally conceived as a charity project for cancer research in the wake of Arkana's father's death after battling the disease.

In 2013, they released a second album (Return) along with a remix of their pinnacle track 'Forever' (in what I believe is a definitive edition - but with Tom Shear spearheading the lyrics, I am grossly biased). It is the lyrics that I feel have a rather eerie message within the 40k universe, especially with the birth of this new Dark Imperium.

But I shall let you judge. 

I don't believe in the existence
Of mercy's guiding hand
Not with all that I have witnessed
I cannot understand
Forever burdened with the knowledge
That I could have been so much more
When the truth is hard to suffer
I knew this all before

There is no comfort in faith
The Heavens still will fall
A thousand towers rise before me
And I cannot climb them all
There is no kind of joy in this
There is no time that it can heal
When emptiness and shadows bliss
There is nothing left to feel

I have not abandoned hope
Though I know there's nothing more
Tired and alone
You forget what you have hoped for

I will walk this ground forever
And stand guard against your name
I will give all that I can offer
I will shoulder all the blame
I am sentry to you now
All your hopes and all your dreams
I will hold you to the light
That's what forever means

I was never what you wanted
I could never, never please
I swallowed all our sorrow
In the midst of my disease
All my fortunes, all my gains
All the battles I have won
Now collapsing like the rain
I stand alone your only son

Take solace in these words
Take notice of this place
Hollow whispers that they are
Like the wind upon my face
Sing softly in my ear
And look at me with wonder
I will try to ease your fear
As the darkness pulls you under

I will walk this ground forever
And stand guard against your name
I will give all that I can offer
I will shoulder all the blame
I am sentry to you now
All your hopes and all your dreams
I will hold you to the light
That's what forever means

The track can be heard here:

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

Hi, I'm Gretchin and I'm a Sword Art Online-aholic.

Actually, anyone that knows me will tell you that I am very fond of anime, but SAO is very much a favourite. It's not the best anime by a long stretch and many of its critics will cite that it's commercialised tripe, that it's a very prosaic concept, that Reki Kawahara's other work (Accel World) is better, that Log Horizon is better, but I love it. I even have my own steel-replica Elucidator, collect the light novels and my Elven Exiles are all based on SAO characters (as they appear in ALO).

Yeah, I know, I need help.

I mean it does have its faults: it's criticised as being sexist, that the characters display unrealistic psychology, that the dynamic between the characters is stilted and that it sometimes trivialises the situation the characters are in with mundanities. Personally, I found it an emotional rollercoaster that had me crying quite a few times (the end of the Mothers Rosario arc had me in pieces).

Anyway, you can guess how excited I am to see the new film Ordinal Scale which is due for general release in the UK and USA on June 29th. Until then, the trailer will have to suffice.

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Friday, 26 May 2017

Ennui and on Matters Alien

So, lately I've been doing nothing. Well, maybe not 'nothing', but aside from listlessly pottering about on some commissions and slowly working on two miniatures for the Oldhammer Legacy project, I really haven't had the inspiration or motivation to engage in the hobby. The recent inclemently humid weather hasn't helped either.

(This is the point where my diatribe rambles off on tangents that will come together in the end)

I love telling stories. When I was first introduced to the worlds of the 40K universe, I held a particular love for the little fiction-bites you would find in the rulebooks and codices of the 2nd Ed era (especially the very funny short in the Ork Codex when they try to use a weirdboy to psychically probe an Imperial Titan). Yet perhaps it was the tiny panel-short in White Dwarf 195 in their Legion of the Damned article that really sparked off my imagination.

When I entered secondary school, I was lucky enough to find a very old and seldom used computer set-up in a dusty corner of the library that had since been supplanted by a shiny new bank of Windows 95 PCs. It had a black-and-green monochrome interface and a very basic word processor program. I spent many a breaktime on that computer, typing out little bits of fiction (whatever ideas came into my head) and letting my creativity run riot. I remember these were absolutely terrible and prosaic, but they were my first steps.

Four years later, when I moved out of my parents house and into my first bedsit, I was kindly donated a long obsolete Windows 3.2 PC set-up and spent many an evening with the television quietly muttering in the background, tapping out short story after short story (sadly all lost now).

I was first introduced to the shadowy organisation of the Inquisition in Ian Watson's Inquisition War trilogy (Boxtree edition) and in the very hot month of May in 2001, I was one of the first to pick up my copy of Inquisitor (the book and figures pack - the one that came with Covenant and Preacher Yosef)... since then I've created so many Inquisitors, belonging to many different Ordos and adhering to many different philosophies... but never one belonging to the Ordo Xenos.

I can't really lay my finger onto why this might be, but if pushed, I'd have to say that I find the Ordo Xenos less interesting than their adversaries. Sure, they can use xenos weaponry, but they're less hazardous or damning than daemon weapons and their characters just seemed less 'complicated' than their Malleus and Hereticus colleagues. Heck, even Eisenhorn and Ravenor, despite belonging to the Ordo Xenos, didn't seem to do much alien hunting in their stories.

When Shadow Wars: Armageddon was announced, the knee-jerk cynic in me instantly came to the conclusion that GW had been lazy in rereleasing (essentially) Necromunda but without producing any new models. However, that voice was swiftly silenced as I came to the realisation that GW had actually released a skirmish game that anyone with a 40k army already could join in with.

Since then, I've seen some very funky warbands being built, especially those made by Oldhammerers using RT era miniatures. I've also been reintroducing myself to the Alien universe in preparation for the new film, so when GW released PDFs for the other 40k factions, naturally I drafted up a tyranids warband (just waiting on miniatures). I also glanced at the Inquisition PDF too (which I believe was published later) and pretty much dismissed it because it focused solely on the Ordo Xenos, but it bubbled away regardless in the back of my mind.

Almost a decade ago now, I and a friend on the Conclave (back when the board was still black-and-green monochrome) concocted a grand IC xenos conspiracy story that sadly never came to fruition as it became a little too convoluted and we both had very busy real lives. Anyway, in this grand conspiracy, my characters were operating as the antagonists, but a few days ago, it got me thinking about what it would be like to be on the other side of that curtain and the first seeds of a protagonist were planted....

So what has this got to do with anything at all? In a round about way, I guess it means I'm currently designing my first Ordo Xenos inquisitor. I'm downscaling the original conspiracy to something less complicated (seriously, you'd have to a mind like Alpharius to join the dots of the original), working on character background and finding a suitable miniature....

Watch this space!

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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Prototype Avalonnian Knight

The general background is still being sketched out, so it's just pictures for now. He stands a little shy shorter than the Stormcast. Hope he passes muster in this new Age of Sigmar.

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