One of the heroes (if that’s the right word) of the Cursed City game is the dubious character of Octren Glimscry. Octren is a founder member of the order of wizards known as the Pact Mortalis, who are just as jolly as they sound, an organisation dedicated to finding the secrets to immortality by any means necessary. He used to be best pals with Torgillius the Chamberlin, until the latter stole his research and ran away to become a lord of undeath and one of the leading villains in the game (still unpainted sadly but his time will come…). Now Octren is out to give his old pal a serious shoeing and get his research back (to use it for good, obviously, who could think ill of such a charming and friendly-looking old man?).
We still need at least two more characters painted up before we can start adventuring in the Cursed City but, after a long time of not much progress, getting Octren finished is another step in the right direction.
Back in March I painted up one of the Kosargi Nightguard for Cursed City and it’s been weighing on my mind ever since that I never painted the other one. Time to roll up my sleeves and do something about that!
With him done both of these undead ogres are ready to go stamping through the streets and terrifying the locals…
…and I’m one set of models closer to getting the game fully painted up!
Hulking undead Ogres, the Kosargi Nightguard are amongst the most dangerous servants of the Cursed City’s vampire overlords. The game contains two of these mighty brutes and you would think, if I had my brain properly engaged, that I would have painted both of them at same time. I didn’t though, I got all excited about painting this one whilst the other is still lurking in the box.
He was a lovely model to paint though so at some point soon I’ll get it together to paint up his partner in crime.
With all those skeletons shambling onto the streets of Ulfenkarn on Friday the people of the Cursed City are going to need a hero if they hope to survive for long. Step forward the first of the game’s champions – Emelda Braskov.
Once a warrior fighting to defend the city from hostile invaders she now finds herself a victim of that old phrase “it is the duty of every true patriot to take up arms against their country”. In the ruins of her former home, she finds herself surrounded only by the hungry dead.
To save her from having to make a heroic last stand I’ll need to get to work on painting up some allies for her. That however will have to wait a little longer as I’ve got a few other things on the painting desk that I’d like the tackle first.
One of the most powerful and iconic pieces of artwork from Cursed City is this image of the city watch on patrol. As soon as I saw it knew this game was for me.
We’re used to seeing battle scenes in which the undead rampage against hapless mortals, or two armies are pitted against one another in desperate and pitiless combat. This however is something more subtle, and more sinister. This is life under vampiric rule. The undead have conquered the city and there’s not a lot poor mortals can do about it. Skeletons walk the street brazenly in broad daylight – and there’s something particularly spooky about that I always think. No tricks of the light to confuse the eye, no uncertainty about just what might be lurking in the shadows, no all-to-human fear of the dark to add a spice of dread to something which – once the sun is up – will prove to be quite mundane. Nor is there any hope that if one were to survive the night – barricading oneself inside one of those crumbling buildings, dousing the lights and waiting out the darkness with one’s heart hammering in one’s chest – that daybreak will make the bad things go away. The sun is well up, but the dead still walk.
What about the child? Somehow the threat to them feels more inevitable than immediate. Yes, they might well be cut down any moment – and clearly civilians have been killed here, we can see at least two corpses in the background. My interpretation however is that the skeletons will pass on by, that the child will live – at least for now – scavenging through the rubble for sustenance, their playthings skulls and bones – if they play at all. In the faces of the adults all around them they will see only constant fear. It will be a life, to use a topical phrase, in constant lockdown; a life with little room for love or joy – and someday the dead will come for them.
Probably as a result of the impact this image had on me I’ve been particularly drawn to the skeletons from Cursed City and so even though I’m not yet ready to focus all my attention on the game I couldn’t resist painting a few of them. Here we have the first recruits to the Ulfenwatch; law enforcement Cursed City style.
The 2021 graduating class of the Ulfenkarn Law Academy pose for a group photo.
…and with daylight fading Watch Captain Halgrim gathers his troops for another patrol.
Seeing all the skeletons makes everything feel a bit grim and hopeless doesn’t it? What we need around here is a hero…
Time to delve once more into the dark streets of the Cursed City, and this time it’s the turn of one of the Vyrkos Blood-born. These were once the young nobles of the city who traded society do’s for an unlife of bloodthirsty immortality, throwing in their lot with the city’s new vampire overlord in an effort to save their own skins.
They’re odd-looking creatures these, and I’m not entirely sure I like them as models (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say I’m in two minds about them). I certainly don’t like the studio colour scheme for them so I’ve used this one to try out a slightly different, and more bestial, colour pallet and I think I’m happy enough with it so this will probably be the way I paint the other two when I get around to them.
Life is still fairly busy at the moment so painting remains firmly on the backburner but I’m still itching to get my teeth into the rest of this box so expect to see more creatures of the night showing up sooner or later…
Time to dip a toe into the filthy streets of the Cursed City and what better place to start than with Watch Captain Halgrim. Once a senior member of the city watch, when the vampires took over the city and the purges began Halgrim betrayed his oaths and turned his coat, signing on with the new overlords in exchange for joining the ranks of the undead nobility. Sadly for him his treachery failed to pay off in quite the manner he was expecting. To this day however Halgrim leads the ranks of the city watch – though now both he and they are nothing more than decaying automatons.
It might be a while before I get around to painting the troops under his command but I’m certainly looking forward to them. Before that though, my next targets are a few skeletons of a different stripe…