The Oathbones – Part 4

For what feels like several centuries I’ve been using this blog to  promise that I was going to tackle my Cawdor gang for Necromunda “soon”. “Soon” it turns out is a relative term. The new Cawdor first emerged from the Underhive in 2018 and I was instantly captivated and determined to start a gang of my own. Of course now we’re well into 2020 and as yet the gang remains in its infancy.

That’s not to say there’s been nothing painted at all, I have managed to put brush to model a few times, enough to finish off these five fine fellows (and their bird).

However I still have quite a lot of these ragged crusaders waiting in the wings and I’m sure a lot of regular readers were starting to doubt that the day would ever come when I finally gave them the attention they deserve (I know I was). At last however that moment has come, I’ve cleared everything else to the edges of the painting desk (already a very crowded place!) and focused my attention on the God-Emperor’s filthiest servants. First things first, every crusade needs a leader so I pushed Marrowkin the Saint of Ashes to the front of the queue.

Saint Marrowkin Cawdor ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Saint Marrowkin Cawdor ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

Once just an ordinary ganger, fighting the God-Emperor’s wars in the badzones and rad-shanties shellward of the Halcyon Gate, Marrowkin’s story took a dramatic turn when his crew discovered a previously undiscovered passage leading beneath the rubble and into a claustrophobic maze of unexplored passages. The air was stagnant, the light of their candles struggled to push back the curtains of heavy shadow and their prayers to Him Upon Terra were devoured by the darkness – and what echoes did come back to them were twisted, mocking things, sounding as though they were spoken by fell, inhuman tongues. Undeterred the gang headed downwards. Clearly this was a place of muties and other degenerates, a place to which the God-Emperor’s light must be brought until fear and fire drove back all the unclean things which dared to dwell in His realm.

They found fire and fear true enough, but it was not them which brought it.

Rumours have long circulated that beneath Hive Volatos lie the Black Manufactoria, entire levels given over to the manufacture of goods and weapons crafted through the foul rituals of Chaos and governed by terrible queens born of the hive’s long lost Escher tribes. Can it really be true that such places exist, right beneath the feet of the Goliaths and Orlocks who dominate the city above? Marrowkin at least believes that it is. He alone was discovered afterwards, washed through an outflow pipe into the chem-lakes that bubble to the south of the hive. His body was burned and mutilated, his memories fragmented, his mind scoured by madness, but his faith and hatred was stronger than ever. Only by the God-Emperor’s mercy had he survived, and now the time had come for him to replay His gift. Hive Volatos was corrupted, its heart dark with the canker of Chaos, and Marrowkin would purify it. He would make the hive itself into a pyre; dome by dome, floor by floor, heretic by heretic if necessary.

The Cawdor of the chem-lakes were themselves a shattered band. Ash-crust miners from the sacrilegious, mutie-harbouring Cult of the Abyssal Gaze had pushed into their territory and the Cawdor were fighting a war for survival. Their leaders and champions were already gone and the last survivors were being hunted down like rats. Yet in the broken form of Marrowkin they found an unlikely saviour, one who would yet see them claw their way back from the edge of extinction. Mad he may be but he recognised that the chem-lakes was not a turf they could or should attempt to hold. Instead he ceded control of the lakes to the xenos and took his new gang back into the hive proper. His crew feared the fate that they knew would befall them as soon as Korg and his Goliaths found them trespassing on his turf but to their surprise they found the way cleared and sudden opportunity laid before them. Whilst they had been battling for survival out in the lakes Korg had been slain, his followers massacred and the survivors scattered. Had Marrowkin’s zealotry and fiery sermons not already convinced them this would have been enough to convince them that truly they walked in the company of a downhive saint. Two miracles could now be attributed to him; first his rebirth from the horrors of the deep-hive, and now the sweeping aside of the once unassailable Korg. Truly the Emperor had turned His gaze upon them, now it was up to them to prove themselves worthy of His regard. Settling in the Sumpside district that runs along the partly-flooded levels west of Ironhouse they have put out the call for those of faith to join their crusade. Already many Cawdor have come, drawn by the words of the Saint and tales of the powers attributed to him. After all, who would not wish to fight beneath the banner of the man who called down the God-Emperor’s wrath on the mighty Korg himself? Truly it is time for the faithless to know fear…

22 responses to “The Oathbones – Part 4

  • Mikko

    That yellow scheme is great, and I really enjoyed the writing too. Definitely frames the warband nicely.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! It’s basically the same colour scheme as my Skaven but with dark blue-grey instead of pale off-white. Glad you liked the story, I’m really enjoying building up Ironhouse and its surroundings, and the more ideas I come up with the more extra ideas that spark off them.

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Nice narrative and looking forward to reading more and seeing more. Figures look great and like Mikko I like the colour scheme. Yellow is not the easiest colour to paint but these look very good indeed. No matter how much is on the table and the to do list it’s always best to paint what interests you the most at any given time I find. Anything else becomes a labour and ends in poorer results.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, yellow is challenging but if I didn’t have a bit of a handle on it after painting at least 150 yellow-clad Skaven then it would probably be beyond me forever! 🙂

      I’m in complete agreement on painting what you’re excited about. You have more fun with it and you get better results, it’s a no-brainer. People often ask how to paint faster, and aside from the obvious answer (move the paint brush more quickly) the key for me is to enjoy it. If it’s fun you’ll make time for it, if it’s a chore you’ll put it off – find a way to make it fun and everything else will follow. Not that you and I really need to be told that, painting being the mainstay of the hobby for us, but I often wonder about gamers who make a chore out of painting – if you’re going to do it you might as well enjoy it.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Thoseare great- lovely painting and their back story works very well for them.



  • muppetman

    Nice little read that … models look excellent

  • 5 on Friday 05/06/20 – No Rerolls

    […] The Oathbones – Part 4 @ Convert or Die – I tuned out of the Necromunda releases a little bit, so I missed the Cawdor release.  The minis look pretty good!  The minis are nicely painted and resplendent in their yellow robes.  I also like that the author includes a nice chunk of background, as well.   […]

  • heresyofus

    Love that kit! Awesome work mate and that yellow is really lovely. 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers dude! The Cawdor kit is amazing isn’t it, there’s just so much mileage in it for downtrodden Imperial serfs and cultists (of all descriptions!). For me it may have replaced the flagellants as the go-to starter kit for Inq28.

  • Alex

    Excellent stuff mate – lovely minis (obvs), but the background is just superb…

    • Wudugast

      Thanks mate 🙂 I struggled with the background on this one a fair bit, a few darlings got murdered along the way and the whole thing evolved a lot from what I originally planned but I’m pleased with how it ended up, and the feedback on it has been very gratifying. I’m really enjoying building up Ironhouse as a city, exploring where it sits within the wider hive landscape, its history and coming up with new ideas for future storylines and characters. It’s all incredibly self-indulgent of course and only a small proportion of it is likely to end up here, but I’m having a lot of fun with it.

      • Alex

        You might be pleasantly surprised mate – a lot of my 5 year old ideas for Spero Secundus are only now seeing the light of day!

  • Kuribo

    House Cawdor looks so cool and I like that you used yellow instead of blue as their primary robe colors. Each member of the squad looks desperately poor and grim which speaks to your skills as well. I look forward to following your work!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I really like the look of the Cawdor miniatures, aesthetically they may be my favourite Necromunda gang. Even for the underhive they look hard-done-by, desperately poor but sustained by bitter, angry faith. At the same time though they’re wonderfully inventive, I love the way they make all their gear out of rusty junk! That’s also part of the reason I wanted to avoid the studio blue colour scheme, blue being traditionally associated with wealth.

      • Kuribo

        I couldn’t agree more on the blue looking too wealthy/royal. A duller or drabber color would be much better. I think they are my favorite Necromunda gang for all the reasons you described. They are one of the better attempts by GW to capture the Grimdark feeling in 40k as well 🙂

  • imperialrebelork

    Please Sir I want some more of EVERYTHING!!! Love the fluff. The mask looks great.

    • Wudugast

      MOARE BOY?! Oh go on then. I’m really getting into the world building for the Necromunda gangs and I’ve got loads of ideas for the Cawdor especially. I’m pleased with the mask myself, makes me wonder what might be underneath it. He was captured by Chaos cultists after all…

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