In the Horus Heresy novels the Warmaster’s equerry is an individual known as Maloghurst the Twisted. For those who’ve not read the books the nick-name comes from the complexity of his mind but is later compounded by the crippling injuries he suffers when his Stormbird is shot down (that’s not a spoiler – it happens four pages into a series of 34 books and counting). Maloghurst appears first in the early novels, particularly Horus Rising, then reappears later on in Vengeful Spirit (which I’ve not read yet so keep your spoilers to yourself!) As well as being an advisor to Horus he also serves as an enforcer, strategist and herald to the Warmaster.
You may be wondering where all this is going. When I came across the rules for Maloghurst in Forge World’s Horus Heresy series it struck me that for a Chaos lord to stand out he really needs an equerry. Horus has Maloghurst, Angron has Kharn, Lorgar has Erebus and so on. If my own Chaos Lord Kallamoon Kell was to keep up with the Joneses, as it were, he’d better find himself an equerry too. Someone to threaten his enemies into submission, rally his troops and carry his banner. Thus Kordel Bitterblade was born.
Once a proud Astartes, then a twisted son of Chaos. Built for war then broken by it. Shattered by fell weaponry on a nameless terror-world, rebuilt upon Kell’s order by the finest of his flesh-wrights to serve as his herald, to go before him so that all might know the horror of his wrath and the desolation of his mercy.
At some point much of Kordel’s body has been rebuilt following terrible injuries (echoing those suffered by Maloghurst in a little nod to the original character). To represent this I gave him a bionic leg and arm to replace those he’d lost – a very literal sign of what the favour of the Chaos gods will cost.
I used the banner as an opportunity to practice freehand, with what I think has been a little success. I’m also rather pleased with the greenstuff work on his shoulder, creating a fanged mouth biting at a strip of sigil-tattooed parchment.
I’m still in two minds about the background of the character. Was he a rival Chaos Lord who fought against Kell for dominance – only to be defeated and rebuilt in shame as a banner-slave to remind everyone of what passes for justice and compassion from the Lord of Ruin? Or was he a former battle-brother of Kell’s who fought at his side for the Emperor’s glory, fell alongside him and – after nearly dying in the defence of his lord – was rebuilt and honoured with his current role in recognition of his loyalty? Or is the truth somewhere between the two – were they once brothers, then rivals? Does his rank and the banner he carries serve as a symbol of both treachery and fidelity? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
March 24th, 2016 at 7:30 am
The truth is somewhere between the two! Lovely model. I’ve expanded the pix to admire every little detail and it is chaotically flawless hehe. Well done. Great post.
March 24th, 2016 at 2:33 pm
You’re too kind – not sure I’d say he was flawless but I certainly improved a few things so he was well worth all the (teeth-grinding, hair-pulling) effort that went into him!
March 24th, 2016 at 8:48 pm
If I’m too kind you’re too modest.
March 24th, 2016 at 7:49 am
Good free hand. Is it the logo for the whole warband or just his symbol? One of the many things I hope for with a new chaos codex would be a command squad / retinue of evil bastards that support a warlord and are just as customizable as the Lord himself.
March 24th, 2016 at 2:34 pm
That would be amazing – a dark version of the loyalists command squad. Get’s me thinking actually, it’d be a fun project to make even if there isn’t something in the rules for it. As for the logo I’ve never come up with something I was happy with for the whole warband, although I do try to use a few recurring sigils. In the end I just went for something that I thought looked decent and fairly easy to paint for practice.
March 24th, 2016 at 7:53 am
Awesome sauce – great mini, nice work on the shoulder pad, and the banner is lurverly. I like the thought of him being a subjugated rival 🙂
March 24th, 2016 at 2:35 pm
Cheers! Sounds like the consensus is for ‘rival’ at the moment, perhaps the whole ‘fallen brother’ thing smacks too much of those goody-two-shoe’s loyalists!
March 24th, 2016 at 8:04 am
Great concept – I like the duality of him being both banner slave and fallen brother/rival. Perhaps he was the superior in ranking before they fell to Chaos?
March 24th, 2016 at 2:57 pm
That’s an excellent idea! Perhaps Kordel believed that he would hold onto his rank after they turned from the Imperium. Perhaps then the injuries he’s suffered were inflicted by Kell himself. The idea carries a certain gravitas doesn’t it – I destroyed you, you only live by my command, and what I gave I can so easily take away. Yet I doubt Kordel is really broken, not with each god whispering to him that he should reclaim his former throne and bind the warband to them alone. Perhaps that steely face is the countenance of a man who’s biding his time…
March 24th, 2016 at 11:18 am
Cool mini! I like the shoulder pad and the weathered effect you have achieved. As for his history, I’d go for the rival. It’s just like a Chaos Lord to want to rub his shame in his face and the resentment building up in him would make him a bitter foe. Great work as always.
March 24th, 2016 at 3:04 pm
Cheers mate 🙂 It makes for an interesting narrative doesn’t it, and suggests how utterly arrogant and confident Kell must be (or at least appear to be in front of his followers) that he would take a man who hates him, who tried to kill him, and not only arm him but send him out as a herald. Wha daur meddle wi me indeed!
March 25th, 2016 at 10:43 pm
I demand to see the Chaos Lord Jones and his minions. Please?
March 26th, 2016 at 9:20 pm
I’ll see what I can do 😉
April 22nd, 2016 at 2:27 pm
[…] they followed their master into the darkness. As he began his rise to power as the chaos lord Kordel Clawhand they formed his murderous elite, yet having shared in their master’s glory during his reign they […]