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