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Who are the Ten Thunders? - an account


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Last week I injured my hand, rendering me unable to paint for some time. I've been itching to do some hobby stuff and now I have an idea for what:

This thread will be a showcase of my painted TT models (photographed badly) coupled with a bits of fluff writing. The world of Malifaux is so rich in details and flavour, and I've often found myself imagining a place for the models I paint in it. The named characters are, of course, well established, as is the general relationships between the models in a faction, but the actual organizations, people and places are left just vague enough that we as players have to fill it in ourselves.

I enjoy that immensely.

The first entry will be my Ten Thunders Brothers. I uploaded this to facebook two weeks ago, and the positive response (as well as the hand thing) spurred me on to start this project.


ten thunders brothers.jpg
"The Red Demons run the dockside markets of the Little Kingdom. Now, we all know crops just don't grow right this side of the Breach. If it isn't the taste, then it's the texture, or the tiny, singing mouths only visible in moonlight. But these guys? They've got peaches that taste like your childhood summers – you name it two days in advance, and they'll bring you any amount of fresh fruit or vegetables, hell, they can even get you flowers! Who can afford to pay the Guild cargo rates to bring in flowers? And how do they keep them from growing those tiny lidless eyes?

Oh, and I guess I should mention the crates and crates of illegal weapons.

I'm sure they'll have what you need. Couple of rules, of course: Payment in soulstones, immediately. And don't mention the masks. If they start talking about you meeting their little brother, or if they mention the name Ototo, just give them what you have and back away slowly.

But if they mention The Lady, you run."

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Thanks for the views and likes, everybody. It's nice to engage with the hobby a little again.

These are probably my favorite models from Wyrd. I painted them more than a year ago, and oof, it is a bit hard to look at them up close. I do, however, enjoy them on the table very much. I wanted to give them a proper purpose in Malifaux as well and may have gone a little overboard, so I apologize if the prose gets too purplish.


The trade in secrets is lively in the Little Kingdom. And lethal. The Gossip-mongers on Copper Street recently started a fierce shadow war against the so-called Master Behind Seven Mirrors that has already seen nine bystanders killed just for overhearing a name. This, and many other feuds, has every scribe and back-room tattooist double- and triple-checking everything they write in case it contains a hidden sign of allegiance or a subtly veiled insult to one part or another. In the world of secrets, betrayal is repaid with a gruesome death, whether it was intentional or not.

Fierce as the competition may be, none dare question the mark of the Dragon, or the women who bear it. This secretive group of Oiran comes and goes freely in all parts of the Little Kingdom – and many places beyond it.

These women move beyond and behind the petty conspiracies that so confound the Guild and eat away at its authority in the Little Kingdom. The Dragon feeds on secrets, it is said, coiling around the city of Malifaux and growing strong in preparation to rise up and devour the city whole. The Dragon's chosen can be found in music halls, leisure gardens and pleasure houses all over the city, plying their trade seemingly with no pattern to their actions. They have however, been seen moving with an almost unreal degree of synchronicity with each other, as if each was carrying out a small part of some great and hidden agenda. Often what seems to be just another night at the public house can turn out to be a carefully manipulated show, intended to put the Oiran's target at ease until they can strike.

They are the undisputed masters of the secret trade and each secret spent to reach their target is sure to reap a bounty of new ones given patience, care and just the right amount of ruthlessness.

Whether they strike at a life, a rumor or some unknowable goal, none on Copper Street will guess at what actually happens when they do so, though there are faint rumors whispered all throughout the Little Kingdom. Some claim the Dragon's chosen can kill with a song so beautiful it draws the spirit from the body, leaving a lifeless husk. Others swear they are marked by the Dragon in a very literal way, that their blood is poison and their kiss is death, and that they wear their makeup to hide scales and fangs. 

The chosen of the Dragon, of course, tend to the rumors about themselves most carefully. It wouldn't do if any of them came close to the truth. Oh, it wouldn't do at all.

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  • 4 weeks later...



Parks and gardens in the Little Kingdom will occassionally be closed off to the public by very big masked men with very big guns “due to an unfortunate future incident of very localized bad weather”. These precognitive weathermen/warriors are not afraid to spill blood if challenged, and so the people of the Little Kingdom have learned to simply accept it and move on. It is nothing but another strange occurrence in a strange, strange world to them.

One thing that has helped them accept it, of course, has been the fact that shortly after the thugs close off the park, crashes of thunder and the din of howling winds can be heard from within the parks or walled gardens. How fortunate then, that a band of masked samurai had the foresight to close off the park – surely somebody would have been hurt otherwise.

After the Event, Yamaziko has taken up tutoring Misaki again. She has her young ward duelling with Ototo, hoping that some of the Little Brother's mastery of his own rage will rub off on Misaki. The girl's power astounds Yamaziko, but she also knows that it very well seal Misaki's fate. If she loses control of that power in front of her father, the Oyabun may well discard her as he has done with so many other rebellious tools. And if the Oyabun finds out just how powerful his daughter has become, Yamaziko knows that she will never see her pupil again.

So Misaki will learn control, or she will perish. The people of the Little Kingdom will have to live with a little bad weather in the meantime.

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23 hours ago, FoeRender said:

Love the terrain setting you have for them 

Thanks! I'll grab a picture of a full board next time I set one up. I've been building a Little Kingdom city/garden board for a little over a year. Most of my buildings are Plastcraft's line for Kensei, but Antenocitis Workshop also have a wonderful "Asian garden" series that I use. And there's the filler from lots of different places.  In general, I try to cram as much clutter onto a board as I can. It doesn't need to have a gameplay effect, it just helps the board come alive that much more.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to my first tournament this weekend. It was great fun! MVP was Yan Lo, who is the center of the next picture/story. Unfortunately his friends didn't get to come. I use them as proxies for Toshiro and Yin (I'm not keen on organs outside the body)

EDIT: Oh, I just noticed the smudge of brown paint on the Soul Porter's lantern. I'll have to fix that soon.


“Yan Lo! We see you! What is this place, and why has that -thing- brought us here?”

“Ah, old friends. So good to see you again. This “thing” has been my faithful companion for many long, long years. And a useful companion he is! All it takes is a whisper, the name of some great beauty – or conspirator – and off he goes on the paths between this world and the next, seeking them out and bringing them back to me. As for this place? It is called Malifaux, and it is where we shall taste life as we did in our youth. For now I have prepared a banquet. Please, go ahead...”

When Chiaki brought Yan Lo into Malifaux and into the flesh, she did not just reunite the Katanaka clan with their ancestors. She also opened a direct conduit between the present of the living and the spirits of the ancient past. As Yan Lo mends his fractured soul, names and phrases come to him. He whispers these to the Soul Porter, who goes into the spirit world and brings back those who respond to Yan Lo's muttered commands.

One of these is the Nameless Traitor, whose name was struck out from every record in the Three Kingdoms after a deed so dark that all knowledge of it has been eradicated. Of course, the dead keep their secrets only to the living, and now he is back, commanding living and dead with stolen authority.

Another is Feiyan, the Hateful Concubine, who was cursed by the Emperor himself to be the snake in death that she revealed herself to be in life. Her existence is a long agony, the poison boiling inside her only abating when she spreads pain to others.

In dark and abandoned places, Yan Lo feasts with his macabre court. Chiaki knows, of course, but says nothing. This is an opportunity for her to learn just how bonds of loyalty and service transcend the barriers between life and death. There's power to be had wherever bargains are struck, and she does not aim to be apprentice forever.


Edited by Carecalmo
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a bunch of bad phone pictures of a few different setups I've used.

The buildings are all Plastcraft's Fukei ColorED.
The walls, garden planters and tables+benches are from Antenocitis Workshop.
The mats and 2d ponds are from playmats.eu
The trees and statues I found in a gift shop, and the same with the "vases" and jars of flowers.

Also a little more fluff, though I am less enthusiastic about it now that my hand is better - I'm even painting a little again. I might switch over to just displaying miniatures.



The Ten Thunders represent an extremely varied array of interests working together for a common goal. The Katanaka clan enforce their will throughout the organization in many ways. Some subtler than others. When they need someone removed silently, they turn to their Master of Assassins and his Katanaka Snipers. There are few that can match the marksmanship of a Katanaka Sniper, but their true value lies in their loyalty to the clan.

That is the reason they have been entrusted with a task of supreme secrecy: The Katanaka Snipers maintain and guard a network of hidden refuges and information drops spanning from Promise to Fortune Falls. Here, the local operatives can hide when things go hot and deliver information for safekeeping to the snipers. Whether you are a living doll clothed in shadow or a monk who has learned to ride the roaring winds, sooner or later you will entrust these silent guardians with your secrets and your life. And they will make sure at least one of those things will serve the Katanaka clan going forwards.

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