Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mhorrigot


Cultist-assassin of Mhorrigot

Hiya!
This time I have something a bit meatier than my standard update. 

For quite a while I´ve been toying with the idea of creating a new chaos deity. This using the old "Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned" book, which apart from information and background concerning Tzeentch and Nurgle, also has an entire section devoted to guidelines and tables (lots and lots of lovely tables...) for randomly created minor chaos powers and their pantheons.

When I came back from my adventures in Warhammer World I was brimming over with inspiration so I managed to find a good PDF online ( I unfortunately don´t own the book myself) and set to work. Won´t post the link here because of copyright issues - but if you´re interested I hear of a magical soothsayer by the name of "Google" who can aid you in your quest for this unearthly tome...

Picking up a handful of d10 and d6 I started with deciding what creature my nascent god would be based on. I was quite liberal in interpreting my dice rolls - when rolling a d1000 for instance I rolled all three dice at once and which gave me a few choices depending on how you ordered the results. A result of 3, 5. 9 could be interpreted as 359 or 953 or 593 and so on. I rolled up a assassin on the generic creatures table, which I found interesting  He was spliced with a cockatrice and received lots of nice little attributes. Many of them concerned with consuming the souls of his champions: a belt with a pouch wriggling with tiny champions, a cauldron full of tiny soulfigures he sometimes feeds on, a tiny former champion imprisoned in his mouth frantically trying to get out. Also spikes/nails and and a neck iron, which is cool. 

As he was based on a assassin the idea of a patron god of killers of some sort started to form. I gave him a sickle as his weapon of choice and based the symbol of that. I didn't roll for a name (there´s of course a table for that) - instead I decided on "Mhorrigot", which is a mix of the celtic death godess Morrigan and also a nod to Morgoth the god of evil from Tolkiens Middle-earth

I liked this image so much that it became the basis for his greater daemons as well (just like Great Unclean Ones are the spitting image of father Nurgle). 

For the lesser daemon I rolled up a Zombie who recieved an extra pair of louse arms, lost his legs entirely and got a fly´s mouth. Pretty good combination. Attributes turned out as staff, cloak and nails. 
I added levitate as that would: 
A) look good 
B) allow me to use Brians wraith for another conversion. 
As a weapon he recieved a spear which I incorporated into the staff to make a sort of sickle-scythe.

For the daemonic steed I rolled up a ghoul. Made quadrupedal it also lost its hands in the process so they were replaced with skewers. It also received a skeletal skull - I went for a cockatrice skull to keep in line with Mhorrigot himself. Attributes were broken body, belt/pouch and neck iron. I also added nails to keep it thematically uniform.

The beast started as a werewolf who lost both his snout and eyes - already a pretty nasty looking creature. He recieved the legs of a boar and a extra pair of ant legs. I decided to fuse them into four sort of cloven hoofed ant legs, centaur style and keep the upper body more werewolf like.
I then rolled up a shroud as attribute covering most of its body and decided give him iron claws and teeth. And, of course, a healthy sprinkle of nails.

So now the whole pantheon was complete. I then set about sketching them out on paper and then took them into Photoshop to make minor adjustments and a simple greyscale rendering. 

I really had fun doing these. It was a very interresting design experiment - the lists provide wierd combinations that I never would have thought of otherwise. I might actually start using these tables as a working tool when concepting creatures for games...

Here´s a small background text I cobbled together along with the final concept sketches:



Mhorrigot 


The Heartless one,  Lord of Indifference,  Iron-heart,  Reaper of Reapers

)x(




)x(

In a vast and uncaring universe mortals must do what they need to survive. Though a majority somehow manage to cling on to their humanity and compassion, many succumb to disillusion and cynicism. The constant warfare of the 41st millennium also breeds hordes of mercenaries and paid killers. This has led to a new nascent power stirring in the warp. A god of callousness, cynicism, ruthlessness and indifference.  

Mhorrigot is the patron god of  the stone cold killers, cut-throats, the gun-men and the mercenaries - the soul of every man or woman who kills others only for the sake of worldly gain belongs him in the end. As reaper of reapers the sickle or scythe is his symbol, along with the image of an iron heart. 
He has the final answer how to survive in a universe teeming with horror and suffering. Survival becomes all the easier when you have no qualms about dispatching those who stand in your way. Forget about compassion, adopt the nihilists creed and care only for yourself. From this worldview also follows a laconic sense of of humor - the world is a joke and humanity bares the brunt of the punchline.

While Khorne´s adepts revel in bloodlust and warfare and followers of Slaanesh take a perverse pleasure in unspeakable acts of brutality, Mhorrigots scions does not kill for joy or martial honor. They take no pleasure in the taking of lives, but on the other hand does not think twice about committing the most heinous atrocities if it can bring them the slightest worldly gain or further their own objectives. There is a fine balance between this utter ruthlessness and the "The end always justifies the means" -philosophy of many inquisitors and other imperial servants. Many of these seemingly devout servants of the Emperor slide closer and closer to becoming unknowing servants to the Heartless one.

Mhorrigot himself quite literary has a heart of iron - his real heart is locked away in an iron chest in a vast citadel somewhere in the warp. To attain the status of daemon prince, his champions must quest for this citadel, fight the horrors that guard the casket and leave their own heart there after they tear it out of their chest. His followers often have their hearts taken out and replaced with mechanical implants as a symbol of their disdain for compassion and devotion to their patron.


Scythe-Lord

Sickle-Kin

Schythemare

Shrouded Stalker



24 comments:

  1. Simply fantastic! Well done.

    Cheers
    Dave

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  2. That is a great plan and those sketches are brilliantly done. I loved the old RoC books, but I never managed to own copies either. One day when I am rich...

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    1. Yeah. Theyre pretty expensive. I found both books in a games store about ten years ago at very reasonable prices - 20-30 euros per book, but didn't buy them. Still can't understand why.

      Oh well...
      There's one copy of "Lost and the damned" on Amazon for 140 quid which isn't that bad actually considering the cost of the new 40k rulebook...

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  3. Amazing work! I really love the craziness that the old roc books allowed.

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    1. They are simply fantastic - especially Lost and the Damned. It's pure chaos.

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  4. I always loved coming up with weird and fun daemons and so forth from that book.

    Your art work is pretty damned cool sir.

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    1. If you have any please post them - I'd love to see what other people come up with using those tables.

      And thank you!

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  5. Awesome work, mate! Love the mini, but not as much as the love the concept art... beautiful stuff :)

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    1. Thanks man! At fiest I tried to do the concepts in a Blanchean style - something you pull of very well - but I just can't do it. Guess my style have more in common with Jes's and Mark Gibbons.

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  6. This is some fantastic stuff. It is an excellent concept, and it was exciting to hear about your thought process in its creation and how The Lost and the Damned helped with it. The randomness of the tables allows for some pretty crazy combinations that would be difficult to come up with, but work very well if you just let the Chaos flow, he he. I particularly like the iron heart aspect and even more the use of nails. It is a small touch that I think pulls everything together, and gives it a sort of archaic feel, steeped in myth and hearsay.

    Your art is just wonderful as well. Very detailed, yet not overly concentrated on them, allowing the simple elegance (brutality!?) of the creations shine. It really reminds me of the work of Mike Mignola. Fantastic! And your new cultist fits perfectly with everything!

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    1. Thank you, sir.

      The iron heart idea came from the old folk tale anout the giant who had his heart locked up in an egg, in a duck, in a pond, in a castle at the end of the world. Always loved that concept.

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  7. Oh my, this is truly something else! Great work all around, mate!

    To tell you the truth, I always found the randomness of those tables a bit off-putting, and certainly not all that much help for my creative process. But the fact that you're a kick-ass illustrator means that you were really able to bring those random results to life.

    Marvelous work, from the background text to the art! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Well you have to steer the dice rolls somewhat and don´t follow them slavishly. They´re not rules per se, more of a creative tool (that´s my view at least). If you´d stick to them too close you might get some truly awesome results but you´d just as likely end up with a one eyed halfling with sloth heads for arms and a peacock tail. Which might be interesting but perhaps not the coolest daemon possible...

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    2. Ah, well, I'm confident you'd still get a brilliant illustration out of that unfortunate halfling, though... ;)

      One thing I forgot earlier: The post on the creation of Mhorrigot shows that you should definitely post more background on your blog! Don't get me wrong, your models are always brilliant, and I certainly can't get enough of them. However, this post nicely proves that you're also quite adept at coming up with well-composed background (not to mention the artwork), and I think this is something that would add a cool aspect to your blog and make your (already astounding) models even better!

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  8. Well, normally I leave the characters open for interpretation. It´s often more evocative to present a model and perhaps a name or a short sentence and let the viewer fill in the blanks.

    This was a bit different though, as I wanted to construct a whole new pantheon and that required some actual story to ground the creatures in the warhammer world and just not be a random collection of daemons.
    There will be more background on the individual daemons. Perhaps even some mock-up rules ( a "Gifts of Mhorrigot" table would be fun...).

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  9. Both approaches certainly have their merits: Filling out the blanks can be fun, especially if that one sentence of background (or the model. or both) are suitably evocative. Which is always the case with your stuff, of course :)

    However, it's sometimes equally fascinating to read more detailed background, precisely because it offers a glimpse at other people's creativity and may give you an idea you wouldn't have come up with yourself.

    Anyway, all that I'm saying is that your fluff was interesting enough that it would be great to see more of it in the future ;)

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    1. Right ho!
      I´ll scribble away then!

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  10. Wow, those drawings are absolutely kick-ass!

    As for the RoC books, they really are an awesome read, when I read about the random warband generation just a couple months ago, I simply had to get them. Really excited to see where you are taking that...

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    1. Thanks!
      Where did you find them? Did you buy them online or manage to find copies in an antiquariat?

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    2. You can find some on ebay at any given time. However, it may take some serious time and patience to find some that are reasonably priced ;)

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  11. Fantastic illustrations and a nice bit of grim dark background. Short and sweet and to the point. No pages of flowery purple prose and overblown carnage.

    I don't know if you are aware of the Nagelmänner (Nail Men) Charity Statues in Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nail_Men

    This bit of history even features the infamously pragmatic stone cold killer, Otto von Bismark; surely a prime candidate for a Champion of Mhorrigot.

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    1. Wow. That is just bizarre. And somehow profoundly germanic. Thank's for bringing this to my attention!

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  12. And a really cool icon too B)

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