So I have a problem with starting only to get frustrated and stop before getting much of anywhere. I am a true Neverborn lover. I have every lilith model that has come out but not one is finished. ( I also have at least one crew from every faction, addiction is a problem.) So I decided to finally start and finish a model. I bought the iron zombies. I figured if they weren't perfect I wouldn't freak out so much because they were just fluff characters to be used with the scenario book they came with. I was excited because it was going to be the first plastic minis I was going to work on. The plastic was beautiful but the models seemed very delicate. I was right to worry. I assembled the valedictorian, primed and had almost finished painting her when I snapped her arm off. I then promptly lost the loose arm. So instead of get frustrated I bought a new box, you can never have to many models. While assembling the new one I dropped her leg into a friend's couch never to be seen from again. It's like do I get angry or just accept the failure? So hopefully I will find the leg soon and have a finished model to show for it.
We pick up with the Captain in this chapter as she prepares to evaluate and break in her new crew. They are a fresh batch straight from the academy on their first tour in Malifaux. The Captain had requisitioned this squad to help with all of the strange on goings on that have been popping up lately, namely one case that she has yet to solve. Let me know what you think of the characters so far, and if there is anything I can change. As always feel free to submit characters to be included in the story. We have one player submitted character appearing in Chapter 3 so far, so stay tuned. Now, I hope you enjoy Chapter 2, leave your comments below or leave them in the forum post under the same name.
Chapter 2: Hard Choices, Easy Answers
Vivian looked out over the foyer at the new recruits that were assembled there. From her perch from the second story walk way she could look out over the room and amidst the throng of Guild members that were busy heading to their various meetings and going about their duties on this level she could view the recruits below without attracting attention to herself. She wanted the chance to observe them before going down to meet them to see what she was about to get herself into. She disliked new recruits, bright young faces fresh off of the train and straight from the academy without any real experience under their belts. New recruits were untested, sloppy, and in a land where a half-second could mean the difference between whether or not the corpse in the dirt was yours or your enemy’s there was little room for a wavering resolve. She had planned to make them wait; see how they would react to a break in the normal organization of the routine they were normally accustomed to.
To be honest to herself though, the liquor and pipeweed had helped in her tardiness but the desired effect had been achieved none-the-less. They had been ordered into the foyer in formation and instructed to remain so until otherwise ordered, but the time that has passed had begun to take its toll. She could see a few already starting to fidget about themselves, shaking their stiff muscles loose and relaxing their posture to accommodate their long standing. To their credit however, none had broken rank and they still retained the formation they had formed when they were brought in; Sergeant Dashel had trained this bunch, their file had stated, and Dashel was not one to disappoint. His methods, at times, were seen by some as harsh and perhaps a bit cruel but his trainees had the highest life expectancy of all of the new squads to come through the Breach.
“How many will you lose this time Vivian?”
She didn’t turn at the sudden comment, even though she hated being addressed by her first name, for she knew who the voice belonged to, and even more so, she knew how many rungs below the voice’s owner she was on the political ladder of the Guild. The Guild Lawyer, Jericho, stepped up beside her and made a small gesture to the men and women assembled below them. She could feel his eyes upon her; feel his penetrating glare from underneath the ornate mask all of the lawyers for some reason seemed to adorn themselves with when they took up office. She did not dislike the Lawyers of the Guild, they served their purpose, did their part, but for some reason she always felt more vulnerable with one of them around; the experience was always the same, the feeling as if one was being weighed and measured, tallied and accounted for in ways she did not wish to understand or be read into.
“Your patrol expenses are beginning to grow into numbers not easily overlooked by those who hold the purse strings. You seem to expend Guild resources faster than the ink can dry on the paperwork required to requisition you the replacements.”
His voice was smooth, smooth as a piece of imported silk would be if it was wrapped around a coil of rusty barbed wire and dipped in mechanical grease. It was as if his words would splash against her body as he spoke, sticking to her at first then burrowing deep into her skin and taking up root as the conversation went on; the longer he spoke uninterrupted the deeper his words would sink into her, wriggling their way below her defenses and sinking into her psyche. The worst part of it all is that the
longer she listened, the longer he – or for that matter any Lawyer – went on, the more the lot of it made sense, the more her displeasure lessened, and the more attractive his position seemed. She had seen the staunchest of opponents oppose them in court, holding fast to their beliefs at first, only to be reduced to nothing more than an oozing mass of agreement and pacification on the well-stained floorboards of the Guild courthouses.
“The job gets done Counsel Jericho. Have you a complaint with my method of executing my orders?”
She had said this with a little more emotion than she had wanted to convey but not enough to care about trying to reconcile her position. The one thing she hated more than any other was when someone tried to say she was not fulfilling her duties correctly, followed closely by anyone or anything getting in the way of her doing her job.
“You misjudge my intent. Your success rate has always trumped the costs associated with your endeavors; I only wished to remind you to make sure that it stays as such. The Guild always turns a profit, Vivian, and as long as you continue to do so you have nothing to fear from me, or any other.”
She could almost hear his teeth grinding together as his face split into a devishly wide grin. She heard the threat that had lain within, as a well-oiled trap that could withstand the tests of time waiting patiently for its prey to stride into it. She dismissed the notion, for she had other thoughts on her mind. She wanted to test the mettle of her new guardsmen, and knew of a way that even Jericho would approve of. She finally turned to him, not surprised that his gaze was still locked on her.
“How many guilty verdicts have you pocketed so far this week Counsel Jericho?”
“Thirty-seven, but it is only Tuesday, and the week is still young, and the populace still ever so reckless and drunk with their perceived freedoms.”
“How many have not yet met the executioner?”
His smile, wide as though it already seemed, only grew wider and he began to wring his hands together greedily.
“How many do you require? The courts are still in session if you need me to go and gather more.”
“I think I could make my point with six, but I need thirteen, if you feel inclined to spare them”
He turned and looked over the guardsmen gathered below.
“You may need more with this lot; those on their first tour in Malifaux, however well trained, always seem to not be fully ready to accept the realities they will face.”
“Bring them up and we shall see.”
He slunk off at once, disappearing from her sight soon after down a side passage. She pulled a tarnished pocket watch from inside of her lapel and with a quick glance at it she pocketed it again and
set off for the stairs, she had made them wait long enough, time to go and welcome them to Malifaux. She made it half of the way down the stairs before one of the guardsmen noticed her and took stock of her uniform’s adornments. He snapped to attention, the others quickly following suit, even those who seemed to not know the reason why, their training taking over.
She crisscrossed her hands behind her back and slowly walked in front of them, raising her voice loud enough to be heard.
“My name is Captain Griswalde, and you will address me as such, or Captain or Sir, and until the time comes that you are deemed unfit for duty you will remain under my charge, and by unfit for duty what I really mean is dead. Make no mistake; you will most likely not die in the soft embrace of old age. You will most likely not leave this world in a peaceful manner. Everything outside of this building that is not wearing a Guild uniform is a potential threat and should be treated as such. If you are lucky you will be shot, stabbed, clubbed, slashed and will bleed out in the dirt and muck. If you are not of the lucky sort your end will not be as merciful, will not be that pleasant. You have been trained to avoid this, trained to deny this and if by the powers that be I have been graced with good fortune you will not leave this world alone and your corpses will fall upon the bodies of the Guild’s enemies, and not on top of those standing to your left and right. I will do my best to keep you standing and make sure you make it back in one piece, but I will not accept failure. The job gets done, the mission accomplished. We will complete the tasks we have been assigned or we will die trying. By standing here before you, you can plainly see that I have yet to renege on that promise. There may come a time, when the chips are down, the bodies piled high, that you may think to yourself that you would be better off breaking ranks and attempting to save your own sorry backside so let me make myself perfectly clear. If any of you ever decide that you do not wish to follow an order given, if you attempt to run and abandon the mission, you will immediately be deemed unfit for duty. Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?”
She did not have to wait long for a resounding, “Yes Captain” to rebound back to her from the nine assembled guardsmen. She nodded and turned around.
“Follow me; we have an internal matter to attend to before we depart.”
She led them through the double doors in front of her that would lead them into the large assembly hall that sat in the middle of the building. It was mainly used for large gatherings, and for when units needed a place to assemble and brief their teams before heading out onto the streets of Malifaux. It was a rectangular room with a slightly raised dais on one end. The dais stretched from one end of the room to the other on one of the shorter sides of the room, it was raised a mere three feet from the normal level of the room and normally housed a podium that stood in the center, though today the podium was not in its place and was set to the rear of the dais and out of the way. The dais was made of wooden planks and set with iron rings along its length that you could fasten a chain to and when they entered the room she could see twelve dirty and kneeling men and women chained at the neck by a length of chain to those iron rings. They had burlap sacks over their heads and they were all silent. Standing behind them was Counsel Jericho, his face a wide smile. He watched them approach, standing there hunched over wringing his hands incessantly. Vivian instructed the guardsmen to fan out and stand before the dais while she ascended the steps off to the side and strode up to the middle standing with half of the prisoners on either side of her. Jericho slinked up to her side and let his gaze wash over the new recruits, lingering on each long enough to appraise them before moving onto the next. When he was done he spoke, turning his head to her as he spoke.
“The twelve as you requested,” he pulled a tightly bound stack of papers from a deep pocket on his coat and held them out to her. “If you could just sign them into your possession”
She took the quill from his hand, its tip already soaked in black ink and she signed the document, initialed the one below it, signed another below that, then took out a small stamp from her own pocket, rubbed the remaining ink from the quill onto it and stamped each page over her signature. The lawyer, a creature of habit and order, took the pages from her and looked them over then once again before he folded them and replaced them into the pocket from whence they came faster than it took her to sign them.
“Everything seems to be in order, proceed.”
She turned back to her guardsmen and strode to one end of the dais in front of one of the kneeling prisoners. She stood with the kneeling man on her left and the guardsmen to her right. He was a stocky well-built man, and his clothes suggested he was an indentured miner. He reeked of filth and the marks on his body that she could see told her that he had been tortured for information.
“Every man and women you see before you is an enemy of the Guild. They have been caught breaking our laws, tried, found guilty and imprisoned here awaiting their final fate. The courts have judged them and sentenced them to death.”
She raised her right arm and pointed to the guardsman closest to her.
“You, what is your name guardsman?”
“Captain, my name is Guardsman Kenneth, sir” his voice was strong and confident.
She pointed to the man kneeling beside her.
“What are this man’s crimes?”
He looked up at her for a moment, seemingly at a loss before responding.
“I do not know sir”
She replied quickly barely letting him finish his sentence.
“Is he innocent of the charges brought against him?”
He looked to the man, then back to her confused. He paused for a moment, and then opened his mouth as if to speak. She didn’t give him the chance as she reached down with her left hand, pulled her collier from its holster, leveled it at the kneeling man’s head and pulled the trigger. The bark of her
pistol was loud and short. The bullet tore through the bag and buried itself in the man’s head. The man slumped over backwards and a few startled cries escaped from the other prisoners. To their credit, and most likely in no small part to Dashel’s training regimen, none of the guardsmen flinched at the sound of the sudden shot. They did however, especially the guardsman she had been addressing, stare with surprise at the man as he fell over and blood began to pool around his head. She waited a moment before speaking.
“The answer is ‘No’; he was convicted by the Guild courts and was found guilty. His sentence was death. It is not for us to question the court’s verdict. We do our job; we get it done, by any means necessary. We bring in those breaking the law and let the courts sort it out. Anyone, or anything that is not one of us is most likely against us, and until proven otherwise we treat it as a hostile element. The Neverborn and Goblins are easy enough to discern and should be dealt with on sight, but it will not always be that easy. There are elements out there, men and women, that would like nothing more than to bury a knife in your back or unload a load of lead into your gut, and that is if you’re lucky. There are reports of Neverborn walking around in the skins of humans; they may look normal, like they are just an average citizen but wait until your back is turned, your guard lowered and they will be leaving you to bleed out on the street faster than you can say ‘well they looked normal to me’. There was a guardsman on my squad when I first got here that let his guard down one night. He was going home after his shift and last anyone saw of him he was walking off with a lady on his arm. We found his head on our doorstep in the morning. I lost all respect for him that day. It is simple, stay alert, stay alive.”
She walked to the next prisoner in line and stood before him like the last. She pointed down to him and looked at Jericho as she spoke.
“Counsel Jericho, what were this man’s crimes?”
Jericho stepped forward, smiling as he did, as he spoke, almost hissing his words as if they put a bad taste in his mouth.
“This man was found to have ties with the Union and was involved in the shootout at the quarry that took the lives of three of our Guild Guards that were patrolling the area.”
She looked back to her guardsman with a scowl on her face as she furrowed her brow.
“These ‘Union’ members are trying to upheave us from our position of power and cause unrest and disorder amongst the citizens. They are nothing but mobsters and thugs, who will kill anyone who gets in their way.”
She pulled the hammer back on her collier and aimed it at the man’s head and pulled the trigger. The man rocked backwards then tipped over sideways falling to the floor. She walked over to the next prisoner, a woman in threadbare clothing, whose skin was an unnatural greyish color. She pointed at the woman and looked to Jericho who seemed to brighten at the chance to speak.
“This woman was found practicing the dark arts; she seduced, murdered then raised numerous men. When the guardsman that were sent after her did not return the Death Marshals were sent in. They
were confronted by the reanimated corpses of the men she murdered along with the missing guardsmen. The Marshals put those poor men to rest and captured this vile Resurrectionist and after questioning her they discovered that she had found restricted material in a quarantine zone and had been using it to dire effect.”
The woman began to sob and pleaded through her burlap sack.
“Please, don’t do this. I didn’t know what I was doing, I found something when I was out scavenging and it spoke to me. It made me do those vile things, I was not myself, you must believe me! I have a family back Earthside, they are counting on the money I send to survive!”
Her sobs became too much and her words became a stream of mumbles and incoherent sentences. Vivian walked up to her and stood beside her. Her face had a solemn look as she looked out to the guardsman, some staring at the woman, some at her.
“You will sometimes hear stories such as this; criminals will say anything when they are cornered and facing their end. You may feel bad, feel guilty in doing what needs to be done. Maybe you will be faced with a pretty woman claiming no knowledge of what she was doing, maybe a small child that seems lost will come up to you during your night time patrols seeking its lost parents, maybe you will end up looking at a dead comrade brought back to life and you will be faced with a hard choice. When you are faced with those choices, I want you to know there is always an easy answer; it is you or them, completing the mission or failing and possibly dying and letting those who depend on you die because you couldn’t muster up the nerve to do what needs to be done. I have seen a baby, yes a baby, pull a knife on a guardsman so fast that he didn’t even know he was done for until he saw his own blood splash on the pavement before him. I was on patrol investigating a disturbance at a home when I saw an overgrown teddy bear bite the legs out from under the guardsman I was with because he didn’t think the little boy that came out of the alleyway was a threat. He was pulled apart and strewn over the cobblestones so quickly that by the time I heard him scream it was too late.”
She stepped behind the woman and put a hand on her shoulder. She used her free hand to slide her axe from its strapping. The wooden handle was well worn and smooth in her grasp. The heft of the metal head was reassuring, the tug of its weight felt comfortable, familiar. She raised the axe high above her head and focused on a spot on the woman’s head before bringing the axe down in one fluid motion. The resounding “thunk” of the axe as it cleaved into the woman’s skull sent vibrations down Vivian’s arm and into her shoulder. Warm blood splashed onto Vivian’s face. She pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped it away before replacing the handkerchief back into her pocket. The woman spasmed and twitched though she remained kneeling, held upright by whatever was left of her willpower. She tried to bring her hands up to the axe but it had sunk too deep and must’ve affected her motor control because she fumbled and missed entirely. Vivian put a boot between the woman’s shoulder blades and pushed hard against her tipping the woman over onto to her face where she twitched sporadically.
A small wheezing laugh escaped Jericho’s throat at the site of it and Vivian swore he nearly clapped his hands. She ignored him and reached down to grab her axe. At first the axe would not budge so Vivian had to put her foot on the woman’s neck so that she could gain some leverage. The axe came
free with a “squilck” sound and she wiped it clean on the woman’s tattered clothes before replacing it in its strapping. She looked up to her guardsmen, to the horror that crept onto their faces. They had been trained, and well, but she doubted that any of them had seen any death so far in their lives that wasn’t of natural causes. They needed to learn, needed to experience it so they did not hesitate in the field, so they didn’t freeze up when faced with the gore of killing someone up close. She let her gaze linger over each of the nine before her, gauging their reaction to what had just transpired. They seemed a little shocked but no worse for wear so she spoke to them firmly.
“One thing we have found is that when dealing with Resurrectionist types, it is usually a good thing to aim for the head and cause as much trauma that you can. It makes it harder for them to reanimate fully functioning monstrosities, but be warned it does not mean that it is impossible, just harder than normal. Step up now and I want each of you to stand before one of the prisoners.”
She watched the file up onto the dais and fan out so that there was one guardsman in front of each kneeling prisoner. She waited for them to be in place before she gave her orders.
“These men and women before you have decided to go against all that the Guild stands for, all that we have done to promote peace and prosperity in this place. They wish for chaos and disorder, they would have us be free to murder each other and violate our bodies in our death. We are forced to do what must be done to protect our way of life, to protect the citizens of Malifaux from the creeping corruption of darkness and evil where no others will. We may be forced to deal with the hard choices, but let it be known that we know how to deal with those so intent on destroying everything we have worked for and everything we hold dear.”
She took one last look at each of the guardsmen and tried to ignore the frantic wheezing of Jericho behind her.
“This is the choice you have to make to serve me, the Guild, and the greater good of Malifaux. Now, what is your answer?”
I'm lucky in many ways. Very lucky. The story of how I got together with my now-fiancée is strange and hinged a lot on luck. I think I drew a red joker with her! It would have been very easy for us to never have gotten together, but fate was on my side. Either that Or I spent all my soulstones to cheat fate.
Anyway, she's awesome because she's a geek like me. She plays more xbox than me, takes over my PC and steals Skyrim for weeks on end and now she's showing an interest in cosplaying.
She automatically defaulted to 'Anya Stroud' and 'Femshep' but I keep trying to navigate her towards Malifaux characters as I believe their designs and aesthetics are better than most other things out there. It's a hard sell though, as miniatures are the one thing she hasn't gotten into - yet! She even plays Magic: The Gathering with me for gods sake and has her own deck.
But she loves strong female characters and Mallifaux has a lot of them.
So, any suggestions? What would people like to see me attempt to transform my fiancée into? She might just tell me to get lost because she's gonna be an Elder Scrolls Elf but you nover know!
We need to win her over to the miniature side!
This will be the new home of The Case Files of Captain Griswalde in an attempt to not clutter up the forum with page upon page of the same story. I will keep the main thread in "The Writing Room" so that there is an easy way to get from the forum to this exact blog. This should just streamline everything together and make use of the nice new blog feature of the site.
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Leave a comment either here/ on each different chapter or you can post your comments on the forum post in "The Writing Room" under the topic of the same name as this blog.
A Different Sort of Case
The smoke swirled in the air; slowly, turning over itself in a lazy pattern as it circled upwards into the stale air of her office. She drew deeply from the wooden stem and felt the heat radiate into her palms as the pipeweed smoldering in the bowl of her pipe brightened from a deep mahogany brown to a hazy cherry red. She rolled the thick smoke around her mouth, letting it drift over her tongue. It tingled as it passed over her taste buds, and when she inhaled it and brought it fully into her lungs it brought a warmth to her body, a warmth that gradually faded into a dull ache as her lungs began to reject the air held within them. She forced back the urge to release the burning smoke, let the pain build and roil inside her. The sensation was sharp, clear, and she sat back into her leather chair and closed her eyes. She pursed her lips, the dryness of them quenched and smoothed as she ran her tongue gingerly across their surface. She wanted to stay in this moment, here and now, with the pain building inside of her protesting chest; the dry air cooled her wet lips, their sensitivity heightened as they began to lose their glistening luster. Her lungs had had enough and breathed out deeply in one uncontrolled burst, the smoke racing up her throat and escaping over her tongue and lips. She blinked once, twice, and tried to focus through the smoky cloud she had released. Her gaze shifted down to the files strewn about her desk.
Thirteen women had gone missing, which was not overly strange in a place like Malifaux. People went missing nearly every day, and that was during the slow days. Usually files like this didn’t make it to her desk, that a was a different department in a different wing of an entirely different building. Quote un quote normal disappearances were recorded and sometimes followed up upon by junior members of the Guardsmen as per staff and resources were available. These were different, they were not normal cases. Her division was tasked with the cases that were beyond ordinary explanation, the cases that defied what was normal.
She closed her eyes again and rubbed the bridge of her nose gingerly. “What was normal anymore” she thought to herself. This was Malifaux, and most on goings on this side of the breach were anything but normal. Earthside you could count on the simpler things in life, simple things like normal people killing other people for normal reasons. Money, sex, drugs and other vices were reasonable enough reasons and easy enough to quantify, but cross that threshold and take a step off of that train and you could throw “normal” into the nearest spittoon on top of the Guild handbook that was thrown there first. This place rewrote the rules on what you could expect, the things you could count on. Even the random killing to repower the rare and expensive soulstones Earthside was explainable. A population of untapped reserves of power ready to unload their lifeforce into those precious stones. Simple. Your stone runs low, kill someone and you’re all charged up and ready to go. Malside, however, was a different animal entirely, one with teeth longer than you’d expect and a hunger far deeper than you could fathom. Killing, she thought, was still present, even more so at times, and sometimes even for the same reasons; look deeper though, and usually you could find a motive far more sinister. Bodies shred beyond recognition, a frightening number missing pieces and parts or missing all together. Sometimes you would find leftovers, a bit here a bit there, perhaps, if you are lucky the whole body, but sometimes the leftover pieces and missing cadavers would find you. The worst part was that those days, when the missing came back and you got your answers you thought to yourself, at least that is all that found you.
The mysteries and horrors of this place never ceased to amaze, disgust, repulse and terrorize her, usually all at once and most of the time later that night in her dreams. The pipeweed helped, as well as the bottle she sometimes climbed into but it did nothing to hide those memories, or erase those feelings, it only provided a momentary release and served to dull her senses.
She took another drag and closed her eyes once more. She didn’t want to look at the files now, didn’t want to read about another woman who was found dead, mutilated and rent in strange poses, frozen in the immeasurable agony and fear that befell them at the moment of their demise. It didn’t make sense. The bodies were never found right away, their morticians always said that they had been dead between a few days to a few weeks. The similarities of the deaths were not strange, the fact that they had found the bodies at all was what was troubling her. Not a single body had risen, and by the look of the surroundings they always found them in they were never moved, not by their own or by any other means of motivation. Those up the ladder breathed the usual fears of the dreaded Ressurectionists into the populace, condemning those vile and wicked souls partaking of the darker arts but questions had begun to stir, queries as to why the bodies remained and why none of the missing had rampaged throughout the city via unnatural life.
Her division had been tasked to discover why this had transpired, and how they could connect it either to the Ressurectionists or the blasted Arcanists. At least the latter had the decency to only kill off those they couldn’t buy out or silence, she thought to herself, when a body was found in a sewer or dark alley that didn’t awaken in an undead stupor they could usually tie them to some faction of the union or some deal gone bad that would shine unfavorably upon them. Why then? Why were these women so different? A few had ties to the union, with this number it was almost a given, but some had even had ties to the Guild, some to no organization to speak of. Beyond the fact that they were women there was little else to tie them all together. Well, little else than the way they were killed, which was usually attributed to some sort of knife or bladed instrument; that and what they were missing. Thirteen women stared up at her as she looked down at her desk, thirteen sets of eyes stared up at her burning their gaze into her brain and she knew she would never be able to forget them; their faces contorted into a frozen expression of fear and pain beyond what she had seen so far into her term here.
Her gaze shifted from the women upon to the door that stood open now across from her desk where her secretary stood. He was young but the rigors of this job in this division had aged his youthful features. His sandy brown hair showed streaks of blandness that would soon turn grey with a premature age. Small wrinkles pulled at the corners of his eyes and mouth and his forehead was furloughed with lines etching almost all the way from hairline to hairline. His lips were moving but her gaze had lingered on his features and she was not paying attention to the words they were forming, she shook her head and focused.
She cut him off curtly, “what is it now?”
"The new recruits have been gathered in the foyer as you requested Ma’am. They are awaiting your briefing.” His voice was a solid beacon for her to focus on and her head began to clear.
That’s right, she was getting a new crop of academy graduates to assist her in this case and she had been ordered to brief them upon their arrival. “Alright Kevin, I will be down in a moment.” Her voice was tired and she probably looked the part because he lingered for a moment. She guessed he had something on his mind and was deliberating on whether or not to tell her what it was.
“Ma’am, are you alright? You don’t look so good.” He nearly squeaked as he spoke. She shot him a look that must have been steely enough because he swallowed hard, bowed his head and left her, closing the door behind him.
She sighed as she stood and tapped the bowl of her pipe into the ashtray on her desk. She strode to the mirror on the wall beside her desk and took note of her appearance. A worn out women stared back at her. Her dark raven hair was loose and hung listlessly about her shoulders, she would have to do something about that. She grabbed her locks and spun them around and stuffed them together into a tight bun on the back of her head fastened with a gold clasp that was in the shape of a ram’s head. She buttoned up the front of her uniform and made sure that all of the bells and whistles were in place. Last thing she needed was the greenhorns thinking she was a mess and not respecting her or her station. Not that the mess part wasn’t entirely untrue, she had already been cited numerous times for indulging a bit too freely on the local pipeweed, and more than a few times she had been caught with an overabundance of liquor on her breath. She didn’t care, it helped her sleep and to forget, and as long as she got her job done, most of her superiors looked the other way and forgave her indiscretions.
She opened the small armoire below the mirror and fumbled through the empty bottle held therein until she picked up one that sloshed as she moved it. She pulled the cork from the bottle with her teeth and spat it roughly over her shoulder. The resounding clunk of it falling into the wastebin next to her desk was at once gratifying and slightly unnerving. She couldn’t decide if she should be proud that her aim was getting to the point where she never missed or worried that she had had enough practice to get good at it. She let that thought drift from her mind as she up ended the bottle and drained the harsh liquid down to the last drop. It didn’t burn as much as it had once, and she sighed, soon she would have to find a stronger liquor to quench her thirst and ease her nerves, but that would have to wait. She gave herself one more onceover in the mirror and reasonably satisfied with what she saw she walked to the door, opened it and strode down the hall to go and break in the new meat.
Not a Real Tale of a Malifaux Blogger (ToMB) - Month 0 Intro
So I have faction ADD and bought into every faction in this game, even the Not a Real Faction Gremlins, back when they were part of the Outcasts. I have a small Ophelia crew that consists of her starter box and a couple of Slop Haulers, that is actually my most self-painted Malifaux Crew. (I got a few painted crews when another local player unloaded his stuff). At the time I had started to pick up Somer's box and other related models with the intention to expand my Gremlins, but faction ADD took hold and I moved on. Those models have sat in their boxes/blisters since 1.5 without ever having taken the field in a game of Malifaux.
With the start of the Tale of a Malifaux Blogger (ToMB) event (see more info at: http://taleofmalifauxbloggers.blogspot.co.uk/), I thought now would be a good time to look into starting up my Somer crew. I know the dollar limits on ToMB will cause issues with my crew expansion and game size, but those same limits might actually help me with painting and such. The local scene is fairly small, so players are still willing to get in smaller soulstone sized games, which should help my Somer Crew take shape those in smaller games.
From my previous purchases in 1.5 I have the following: (All are metal figures)
Somer Box ($37.50): Somer Teeth (Master), Warpig, 4 Bayou Gremlins
2x Giant Mosquito (two $8.50 blisters)
Hog Whisperer & Piglet ($10.50 blister)
2x Slop Haulers ($14.00 blister of two) - partially painted as part of existing Ophelia crew (as a side note I actually got these as a trade for a Miss Pack nurse in the Ophelia box, back when I didn't think I would get faction ADD and never intended to pick up Ressers, oh how I regret that trade...)
Egg Hauler & Rooster Rider (can't remember their costs, I have until later months to figure that out)
3x Stuffed Piglets ($10.00 blister of three)
Naturally that all won't fit in the Month 1 budget, so for Month 1, I'll pare that down to:
Arsenal Deck ($8.00) = needed for M2E cards
Hog Whisper & Piglet ($10.50)
Total: $56.00 ($4.00 in bank for Month 2)
I know the Giant Mosquito totems are probably a good purchase, but the 1.5 Somer Box includes only ~21 soulstones worth of actual models (3 soulstones for each of 4 bayou gremlins, and ~9 soulstones for the Warpig), so to get up to a reasonable game size, I thought the ~9 soulstones in the Hog Whisperer + Piglet blister would be a better start than the 2 soulstone Giant Mosquito. I'll look to pick those totems up in Month 2. Additionally, I should have some important data on playing without the totems (whether they are auto-include or not) from Month 1, if I can actually get in any games. I also thought the Hog Whisperer would be good to take with the Warpig, since a Warpig that's been set off is probably not a good thing for my plans. Finally, I like the idea of pigs and might go with a pig themed list in the future.
Anyway, the above list will give me:
-Somer Teeth, my master, whose tricks and such I will need to learn
-A big beatstick in the Warpig
-A model that controls and supports my beatstick in the Hog Whisperer
-A little melee model in the Piglet
-and 4 utility/shooty/scheme models in the 4 Bayou Gremlins.
These models total ~30 soulstones before additional cache or upgrades, and seems like a good amount to start with. No idea on how they will play on the board, but from a general Malifaux gaming standpoint, I've got a good number of scheme completion models, a beatstick for killing things and some support for the beatstick. Seems somewhat well rounded, but we'll see how that plays out on the field.
As for initial "progress" or getting a head start on other gamers, all of these models for Month 1 are still new in box/blister. So I guess once I get home from this work-related roadtrip, I need to get my models out of their boxes and onto the hobbytable.
I have a million things I want to do in my life. Not exactly a million - in fact, probably a lot less. But I have a lot of ambitions, great and small.
Developing my own indie video game is an ongoing project and one which could take years. But it's a path I'm on and if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other I will get to the destination.
One of my other ambitions is to fully paint a Malifaux crew to a pro standard! I love the pictures you see of professionally finished pieces, subtle gradients and fine details. I can't do them though - not yet. I can do some things well, and sometimes accidentally do awesome things, but it's nearly always fluke!
I have a bad combination of frugalness and impatience. I squirt a blob of paint into my tray and mix it with water. Then I do a tiny detail. Then I realise I have a WHOLE BLOB of paint mixed with water that's going to waste. It just stares at me. I stare back.
Before you know it I've painted a load of other details in this one colour on my other models purely so I don't waste my 5 pence worth of paint.
So if I ever post pictures of my models and there appears to be a common colour theme throughout different crews, now you know why.
Another ambition I have is to write a novel. An amazing sci-fi/fantasy novel in the vein of those in the Black Library. But not for Warhammer. I'd love to write about Malifaux one day when I feel I know enough about the fluff to do it justice.
I'm pimarily an artist and do a lot of digital painting (when I'm in 'digital art mode') and Malifaux has actually inspired me to design creatures and characters from parts of my imagination I never knew existed. It's such a rich world full of character it's hard not to want to be part of it somehow.
As you can probably tell I get easily carried away. And that's why I have a million things on my 'to do' list.
Now, for the rest of my evening shall I paint digitally, paint minis, fix coding bugs in my game, read a book, write a story, play some games, practice the Malifaux rules or do some exercise? I'll probably just sit here getting agitated because I can't do it all at once.
Well, it's a new year, a new site, let's get a blog started.
That's always the plan right? Fresh start. Resolutions. Follow through...Wait, what's follow through?
Last year, 2013, I had the lofty goal of getting all of my Wyrd models painted before Gencon. Although I have a lot of models (understatement), it was something I could have attained. Sit down, watch some television (marathon a show, ya mean), and paint up a slew of models. How hard could it possibly be?
I did get a good start, courtesy of watching all five seasons of Babylon 5. I worked through a lot of the Ten Thunders and associated models (McCabe, Mei Feng, Misaki, Lynch), and even some Rezzers (Seamus and Molly with the Belles), but I was working assembly line style and eventually the whole thing came crashing to a halt. [M2E, I choose you...Then along came Summer and I started grinding away at Mechwarrior Online, instead.] All of the fire just went out of my painting, replaced by discussions of each week's rules updates...But that's all over now. One less excuse. Heck, my den is fairly organized, and I can actually sit down at my painting station to paint (at the cost of burying my prep station, but I can dig it out for messy work like basing if I need to).
As it's three in the morning, eastern standard time, I think that this is as good as it gets for an introduction. WIPs to follow, eventually...
P.s. Some quick notes:
My name is Johnny.
I live in the Akron, Ohio, area.
I assemble the models for most of my friends.
Our usual game day is on Sunday.
I have a 4 x 4 table that we tend to play three or four player games on.
Usual terrain is usually either Terraclips (Streets and Buildings x2 each with which to use) or Heroscape terrain (plus other odds and ends like a whole forest worth of pine trees I picked up from Dollar Tree around the holidays).
If you really wanna speed up a game, measure by Heroscape hexes instead of inches. It's great for quick demos.