Since writing this post about Squad Abholos, the core of my Beasts of Ruin warband, I’ve been working on more treacherous scum to join the ranks. First up we have this rogue who’d been on the ‘half-finished shelf-of-shame’ for a while. I imagine there’s a wounded Imperial Guardsman lying just beyond his base, about to be finished off a quick jab of that bony talon.
Next we have one of my favourite additions to Squad Abholos so far. He’s more understated than many of his heavily mutated squad-mates but he still carries an air of menace and murderous intent.
Although I love the tribal intensity of Chaos I’ll admit I’m also quite a fan of chaos armies with fewer mutants and more spiky, vicious marines (although it should be added that the most interesting loyalist marines are also fairly spiky and vicious – Executioners, Minotaurs and Carcharodons I’m looking at you!)
However, that wasn’t the army I wanted. I remember the first time I saw the cover of Slaves To Darkness. I was amazed by the sheer variety of weird and monstrous figures (all of which, I now recognise, were just the followers of Khorne). I wanted that rebel freakshow, or at least an injection of it, arrogant, hedonistic and wild, held together only by the formidable will of its master.
Flicking through the pages my fascination grew (always a risk when dealing with Chaos as any Grey Knight would tell you). It was like a murderous carnival; bright and gaudy and exciting. Everywhere you looked you saw something new, something stranger, ready to spin you round and say “You think this is weird? Wait until you see the next guy!” One glance and I was hooked. Here was a true army of individuals, people (and things) who had not merely taken up arms against the monolithic, impractical, stifling engines of Imperial bureaucracy but physically reacted against it. Not for them the drab life of industrial serfdom beneath the Emperor’s heel. They had slipped out from under a brutal and repressive regime and into a world of colour, of sex, drugs and rock-and-roll that went far beyond the fundamentals of reproduction (to feed the Emperor’s armies), the chemical stimulants that kept one labouring at one’s station and the lonely drumbeat that called the faithful to war. They might well die young, swallowed up by the devils to which they’d sold their souls, burned out by lives bigger, brighter and faster than should have been their lot, but surely that would be better than to be spent and expended, the detritus of a bloated state? They lived and died like rock-stars, glorying in the brief moment for which they held the approval of the gods. They did not settle for breaking the laws of the Imperium, for mooning its stern, passionless authoritarians. They broke the laws of physics, thumbed their noses at mother-nature, laughed like drunken hyenas at the mewling jobsworths who sought to define the boundaries of the possible.
All of which brings us to the opposite end of the spectrum from that last Chaos Marine. Whilst I favoured a brutal simplicity for him, this guy has clearly been too long under the whispering influence of Tzeentch.
Anyway, as usual comments/feedback/abuse is welcome in comment section. Did the twisted artwork in Slaves to Darkness stir your own corrupted soul or are you too stoic a Grey Knight to mess around with such perverse nonsense? Let the world know below!