Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Tekumel: the Hluss (more or less)

After dallying on the Isle of Dread for some time, our D&D party has finally found itself in Tekumel, by dint of the 'Crimson Gates' (two vast, red stone pinnacles jutting from the sea with a shimmering horizon between them).

Puzzlement at a starless sky and the infernal heat soon gave way to terror, as a Hluss hive-ship attacked them during Monday's game. That session was largely taken up with exchanges of fire and ballista bolts; in yesterday's session, the boarding action began. And so these beasties - scorpion bugs from Irregular Miniatures - made their debut. 

They're not quite right as Hluss - they lack the centaurish tilt to the upper body and are possibly a bit small. I abandoned plans to give them a third eye and weapons in the interests of just getting them done. But they proved sufficiently terrifying: amid the abundant shrieking, much devastation was wreaked with an Eye of Advancing Through Portals applied to the hull of the hive-ship. We concluded with the Eye-wielder grasped by the Hluss queen deep in the bowels of the sinking vessel ...

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Some 1/72 elements for HotT

These are the first instalments in a large Hordes of the Things project. It may eventually lead to the replacement of my 28mm HotT armies with 1/72 equivalents - and the individual rebasing of those 28mm miniatures.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Tekumel: Thunru'u - "The Eater of Eyes" - and another Hra

The Thunru'u is a nasty creature of the Tekumel Underworld that can serve as a henchthing for nefarious priests and magicians. I made this one by greenstuffing a Reaper Bones flesh golem:

I rather like its "WHAT TIME OF NIGHT DO YOU CALL THIS???" expression:

It's big for the base, but as the beast is going to accompany various human NPCs, it made sense to have it loom vertically rather than horizontally.

I also finished another Hra - this time, a Ral Partha "trill" ("troll", I think - probably a typo; Citadel certainly sold it as a troll in the 80s). I gather that this is the miniature used to represent the Hra in Barker's own games.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Tekumel: Hra

This Reaper Bones zombie ogre is the first of the Hra I have planned for the campaign. I'm not sure if his bared bones and seeping wounds are quite right for the relentless Tekumelani undead, but he'll do. I have a few more in the pipeline, including the Ral Partha "trill" figure that Professor Barker used in his own games, from what I've read.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Tekumel: a kitbashed Qol

Here's a quickly kitbashed and hurriedly speed-painted Qol. I didn't bother with the tentacle arms shown in the Tekumel illustrations (but not, as far as I can see, mentioned in the text of EPT, etc.). The tentacles are a wonderfully pulpy touch, though, so I might have a go at greenstuffing some in later versions. I think it's a fool's errand to seek utter consistency in one's snake-mutants, though!

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Red orc, wizard and D&D

Our lockdown D&D campaign must be about 90 sessions long by now. We've been playing every day with only a handful of skipped sessions over the past three months. 

In that time, the players have ransacked the Caves of Chaos, explored Quasqueton, hunted demon-worshippers, saved the Keep on the Borderlands from a titanic and long-buried giant, played off merchant-prince factions against each other in the city of Kalbarad, explored the sewers of said city to break up an illegal orc-fighting ring, stolen a ship, sailed to the Fire Isles and the Far Isles, destroyed the threat of sea devils to shipping, rid the roads of Rothia of non-human bandits, fought off Red Hand assassins, killed the wizard Imrin Sark and - today - toppled his black tower. The wizard destroyed their ship with blue fire, however, thwarting their plan to get rich from trading Rothian wine. 

But soon a ship will sail from Rothia to a far, far land and a fabled city called ... Jakalla. One player has found a Tsolyani grammar, and others are intrigued by the prospect of powerful magical items said to be found in the underworld of this city - like the Eye of Advancing Through Portals, which they found on a foe's body. We'll see what they choose to do next ...

The late Imrin Sark

Anyway, one side-effect of the campaign's breakneck speed is that I'm now always dredging up half-painted miniatures to finish them off and get fresh foes on the table. I got two red orcs finished in time for yesterday's session and this wizard done in time for today's.

Essex goblin

The Essex range of goblins are a little undersung, I reckon. Yes, they're fairly primitive. But they've got buckets of charm. Rather than echoing Tolkien directly, they're more akin to the goblins of George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin - which in turn was the ur-source of Tolkien's orcs.

The direct inspiration for the range, though, appears to be Down in the Dungeon.

With his plate armour, this fellow doesn't really belong in Middle Earth. But in D&D, he and his ilk will make a nasty surprise for the party. A mere goblin becomes quite a different proposition once he's acquired a couple of hit dice and armour class 3.