In the far north of the Realm of Shadows, winds carry mists and flurries of snow through long ruined cities. The wind teases a mournful tune from the shattered remnants of a lost civilisation; but there are more than ruins here. There are relics of great power for those that have the will to use them.
The warriors of this ancient place wore armour which somehow bound itself to them; it granted strength and protection but allowed the wearer to move lightly, swift of foot. None alive today know how to craft these suits, nor even how the original wearers bonded with the metal. But the Drune Lords found a way.
The lowest of their tribes forswear their identities as only the strongest are allowed to claim a name. Until then they are known by the trophies of their enemies, skulls and bones and teeth driven into their own flesh, trophies bound to themselves with chains and hooks. Many an unwary traveller's final sight has been the blank unfeeling helm staring down upon them as their skin is flayed from their flesh....
The lowest of them are known as The Faceless.
The strongest of the Faceless, the ones who have fed the Bone Orchards well with the remains of their enemies, are granted the chance to undetake the Ordeal of Iron. They are led to darkest groves where the Drune Lord strip them of their trophies and their clothes; and then they are presented with the armour. The armour has been in the fire for three days and glows a sooty red. It is placed onto the new warrior and, as the red hot armour sears and strips the flesh from his frame, they are both doused in water. When the hissing steam is gone, swallowed by the eternal mists, most of the warriors are dead. But some live, sealed screaming into the armour, bound to it, a steel sarcophagus seared into their flesh.
They are the Skald. And the Faceless and the Skald march to war.
They march to Shadespire.
Our local Warhammer store is having another painting contest for a small warband and I thought - well, why not? I took a selection of my AOS28 figures who were already part of a similar milieu and set about creating a base for them. I used the trick about photo frames I learnt while doing the T-34 and built it up with foam and polyfilla. I added some slate to match the bases of the miniatures.
And then I started to play.
I'd already played with the LIT pigment before but this seemed to be a perfect opportunity to use it subtly to underline the idea of shadeglass and to feed into the grungy high fantasy aestherticm I'm looking for in AOS28.
I'll keep you posted on the results, but it would be nice for some more AOS28 stuff to win, wouldn't it?
UPDATE: I WON!