Light the Flux-Fires

War. The drumbeat of war sounded throughout the Mortal Realms. In Ghur, armies mustered in the wild places, as the great powers sought to claim dominion over uncertain ground. And amongst the most uncertain was the Great Fenland of Chiropteros – better known to its inhabitants as the Ghost Bat Bog.  

These fenlands are an ever-shifting sump of thick grasses and bald patches of rough, muddy ground, dotted with the broken remnants of a hundred forgotten marsh-kingdoms. Trees rise wild among the peatlands, growing strong on a charnel feast served over centuries. The dead still walk within sunken mansions in the Ghost Bat Bog, and strange, cyclopean shapes prowl the misty marshes, preying on the degenerate descendants of the old kingdoms. 

It is among these savage marsh-folk that the Unseen first came, as the skies grew black with the war storm. He – or she, for none knew who or what they were, beneath their golden helm and dark robes – spoke cryptic truths, and drew the marsh-folk out of hiding, helping them to recall the ancient arts they had long forgotten – or perhaps never known in the first place…

Picking up from where we left off last time, I’ve begun to assemble my Disciples of Tzeentch army for Age of Sigmar. As mentioned previously, I started with a Magister and two boxes of Kairic Acolytes. I decided to go for two units of fifteen acolytes as a base for the army. The remaining ten acolyte models will most likely be used as the nucleus for the Arcanite AoS28 warband I’m noodling with.

My first game, played a few weeks ago, and using some Silver Tower models, borrowed from my friend Rich (who you might recognise as the voice of the Royal Occultist, if you’re interested in that sort of thing), taught me that the acolytes have the potential to be quite nasty, if they’ve got the numbers and they’re kept away from anything stronger than a skeleton warrior. Also, don’t…don’t charge a Wight King. It doesn’t end well.

Anyway, the rough and ready strategy is to keep the acolytes near the Magister, thus ensuring that I can get the most out of their sorcerous bolts. Too, they’ll act as a mobile speed bump, keeping the Magister from having to get his hands dirty, outside of the Hero and Missile phases. Granted, it’s probably not the most original plan, but -eh, I’m still new to all of this. Simple is best.

Next up, I need some punch. To that end, I’ve begun assembling some Tzaangors, as well as a few Tzaangor Enlightened and Skyfires. I’ve also decided on a Tzaangor Shaman as a second (third?) hero for my army.

And speaking of heroes, I got bored and made a Curseling out of bits and green stuff. Originally, I didn’t want to do any major conversion work for this army – mostly because I’m not great at it. It’s been awhile since I did anything more complicated than a head swap, but I got a bit bored assembling Kairic Acolytes, and decided to give something more complicated a whirl. As you can tell from the pictures below, I’m better at concept than execution, when it comes to this sort of thing.

The Magister -known as the Unseen – was an easy head swap conversion. I like the feathered helmets on the acolyte sprues, and decided to use them to designate the inner circle of the Cockatrice Conclave, i.e. the Magister and the Kairic Adepts. I made three adepts – two for the army, and one for the AoS28 warband.

The Curseling – known as Calaspa Bo, the Relevator – was a more involved project, involving extra bits from the Skyfires/Enlightened and Kairic Acolytes sprues, as well as a whole wedge of green stuff. He’s bigger than his fellow cultists, as is proper, and bursting out of his once former robes, thanks to the hissing, serpentine growth that now guides his actions.

Calaspa Bo was once the cult’s high priest, and second in authority only to the Unseen, before he delved too deeply in forbidden things. Now, the formerly gregarious Bo has become a taciturn monstrosity, and one of the Cockatrice Conclave’s most potent weapons. The serpentine tumour sprouting from his back murmurs constantly to the now-silent Bo in unintelligible hisses, alerting him to any wavering in the faith of his former congregants.

Bo will also act as the leader of my AoS28 warband, taking his handpicked coterie of acolytes and Tzaangor into the wilds of the Ghost Bat Bog, seeking lost artefacts and new converts for the Cockatrice Conclave.

Next time…colours! More pictures! Hopefully, I’ll have something painted (but probably not)! And maybe even a battle report…

The Relevator, silent and implacable, stepped forward, lifting the burning witch-brand high. The eerie radiance cast feral shadows across the dull waters and arthritic trees of the marshlands. The gathered acolytes knelt in silent prayer as the thing that had once been their leader thrust the brand into the bonfire, setting it alight. 

The flux-fire roared high, its flames blazing up in impossible colours. The Unseen watched from a safe distance, leaning on his staff. The weirdling light would stretch through the fenlands, signalling to those who shared their faith that the time had come. Already, he could feel them stirring in their dark bowers, far from the sight of man. They would follow the light, and bind their fates to that of the Cockatrice Conclave. And with every victory, more would come. 

The thought brought with it a faint sense of unease, beneath the satisfaction. For victory was not certain – could never be certain. The Plumed Serpent had his own designs, all but imperceptible to those who laboured in the shadow of his mighty wings. The Unseen had spent decades growing his conclave from its humble beginnings, and a part of him feared seeing those whom he had nurtured so carefully left broken on the field of battle, in order to serve some twist in the Great Plan. 

The Relevator turned from the light of the flux-fire, empty eyes meeting those of the Unseen. The serpentine growth that had blossomed on his back coiled about his arm, studying the Magister. There was an unfathomable wisdom in that inhuman gaze – and a malign will. The serpent-thing hissed loudly and the Magister latter nodded, pushing his uncertainties aside. The Relevator was the will of the Plumed Serpent made manifest. ‘Go forth, Calaspa Bo. Lead our brothers and sisters. Cast your gaze across the lands of our enemies and strike dead any who set themselves in our path…’