This model has been waiting for me to write a blog on it for absolutely ages. Before Kell was built he ruled the Beasts of Ruin and it’s about time I showed him off.
I built Byatis, as I named him, a couple of years ago to be the leader of my Chaos Marines and although Kell has now supplanted him in command of the growing army he remains a real favourite of mine and a centre-piece of the collection.
The daemon prince model has as many detractors as it does fans, and although I fall firmly into the latter camp I’ve always reckoned that the head looks a little goofy. Possibly used on other models they could look fierce and imposing but on the daemon prince itself I feel they weaken the look of the whole model. Rather than make do with a sub-standard coupon I managed to lay my hands on this suitably monstrous bonce instead (from the Beastmen Minotaurs kit).
As usual I wanted to come up with some kind of background story for the model, explaining who he is and how he fits in with the rest of the Beasts of Ruin warband. As a result I’ve given a lot of thought to who Byatis was before he became a daemon prince but in the end I’ve stuck with my initial gut feeling, that he started out as an apothecary from the Blood Angels chapter. Why I came up with this is a good question – and quite what a Blood Angel was doing amongst the nascent Hawkmoths is another. It may be that he was seconded to the chapter to assist during their early days or in the service of a dept – although it rather lends weight to my idea that the Hawkmoths are a Blood Angels successor. One possibility I keep playing with is the idea that a cabal of Blood Angels apothecaries attempted to find a cure for their genetic curse by experimenting in secret on an unwitting successor chapter. Assuming for a moment that this was the case, and that the experiment was abandoned, the result would be that the Hawkmoths, orphaned sons of Sanguinius, developed as a chapter ignorant of their genetic history. Imagine what that would do to them. The source of their battle-rages, the loss of some brothers to incurable fury, the haunting visions that might plague them as they go to war – all this would be a mystery to them. The fate of the Crimson Sabres in the official cannon certainly serves to show that nothing good can come from suffering this kind of thing. Of course the honourable Blood Angels would never allow their brothers to suffer such a fate unaided – unless of course they were ignorant of it. What if the secret was buried forever because those very few who knew it were murdered by one of their own?
This might also serve to explain why an apothecary would give up his role as a healer and instead dedicate himself to Khorne. The traditional gods of choice for apothecaries gone bad are Nurgle (a disease that cannot be cured – a desperate man – a whispered promise from the darkness for power over all illness – you know how this one goes) or Slaanesh (access to all those drugs!). Even Tzeentch might make sense (it’s a thinking man’s profession after all) but Khorne? However a Blood Angel, living with a constant fear of the Black Rage and the horror of having it consume him with his work unfinished, might justify all kinds of grim self-medication – maintaining control by his fingernails alone – until a chemical cocktail is all that holds in check the rising tide of his fury. In desperation he might cry out, and Khorne would offer him a boon, mastery of the rage within him in exchange for the blood of his brothers.
Anyway, cheers for looking and as ever any thoughts or comments are welcome in the box below.