Well, I must say it's nice to see that someone took a look at my plog, rated me down from 5 stars and left a nice comment as to what they did and didnt like so that I could take their criticism on board....oh wait. That last part about the comment isn't true.
Come on gents, if you don't like something tell me what and why. Give me a chance to respond, explain, maybe agree and change - you know, improve my stuff. Duke Donald wasn't afraid to do it and I'm thankful he did.
Anyways. Sad time over, on with new stuff and pics. The Assassin is now finished:
Sholen Skara; The Spiraling Blade, adept of the Assail, reader of the Tiles.
Born to the Autarii clans of the frozen forests, Sholen has forged a new life for himself in the city-state of Clar Karond and in the service of Hiroth Arkitaine. The Autarii are a mystery to most civilized Druchii, content to live a simpler life in the inhospitable mountains and dark forests of Naggaroth, disdaining the usual trappings of civilized life. They are secretive and rarely seen – even when the legions of the Witch King march to war, the Autarii act as scouts and skirmishers, harassing the enemy from the shadows and melting into the shadows before they can be faced.
Thus, it is rare for a city-dwelling civilized Druchii to see an Autarii, let alone retain the services of one and rarer still for the Druchii to survive his meeting with the Autarii clans. The Autarii see city-dwelling Druchii as weak and indolent , cosseted in their fine silks and robes and will often as not hunt Druchii to their deaths if they trespass into their lands. As such, little is known to Druchii scholars of the ways of the Autarii, their rituals and customs. Even Autarii that have been gently ‘questioned’ by well-meaning scholars have remained tight lipped, displaying a tolerance for pain and hardship doubtless earned during their hard life in the wilds.
Despite several decades in the service of Hiroth, Sholen still remains tight lipped about his life amongst the Autarii. Hiroth knows that Sholen belongs to a small number of Autarii known as the Assail – a sect that seems to worship or acknowledge Khaine as their patron. The Assail are not a clan themselves, but a collection of Autarii that have been touched by Khaine or invested in some way in his name. Peerless warriors, it is said that they are amongst the few Druchii that can match a Temple Adept in combat and it is believed that they perform a similar function amongst the Autarii as the sinister Temple Adepts perform amongst the Druchii courts. Certainly Hiroth has found Sholen indispensable as much for his skills at gathering information as his combat prowess and is grateful that he does not have to rely on the fickle Temple Adepts and the steep cost of their services.
Sholen is rarely seen in the halls of the Arkitaine tower, instead preferring to stalk the streets and alleys of Clar Karond. Information is hunted as readily as enemies of the family and will often fetch a greater reward in the future. As such, Sholen has bent his skills as a hunter and tracker to infiltrating and influencing the network of spies and informants that are spun around the courts and Houses of Hag Graef with great success and is known amongst the Household Guard to be Hiroth's spymaster as well as his personal bodyguard.
The bond between these two was forged decades ago in the frozen mountains of Naggarond when Sholen acted a guide to Hiroth, taking him to visit an ancient Autarii Crone known to be a talented reader of auguries. The details of the Crone's augury are known only to Hiroth, though from that day onwards his demeanour grew noticeably more closed and guarded. Sholen was appointed as his protection by the Crone, initially against both Druchii's wishes but over the years each has saved the others life on several occasions and have become as close to friends as Druchii will allow themselves.
The deep scars marking Sholen's features were gifted to him by several Temple Adepts in his first year in Clar Karond. The Temple Adepts took exception to the barbourous Autarii claiming to be touched by Khaine and took it apon themselves to show him the 'true touch of Khaine'. Since that time, Sholen has taken great delight in hunting Temple Adepts through the fog-shrouded alleys of the city in vicious games of cat-and-mouse. Blood is often spilt, though no mortal wounds are dealt - the Temple Adepts rarely kill without a contract and do not wish to expose the Temple to a blood-debt. For his part, Sholen has been warned by Hiroth not to antagonise the Temple by killing an Adept and instead contents himself by mutilating them and crippling them in amusing ways - removing fingers from sword-hands, cutting ligaments in legs and flensing skin from faces. To date, these malicious games have held a kind of truce between the Temple and High House Chains, though Sholen has noted of late an increase in the tender attentions of the Adepts towards the Arkitaine brothers.
Sholen can be seen here accoutred for war - a rare sight due to his propensity for stalking the twisting alleys of Hag Graef. Wrapped in skin tight leathers, Sholen bears a few light sections of plate, though the seemingly random placement of the sections would suggest they are for asthetic purposes rather than protection.
The archaic weapon wielded by Sholen is a whip-sword - rarely seen in these modern times. Constructed from several links of razored blades strung together and weighted at the end with a heavier crescent blade, the use of this weapon demands great focus and a fighting style that seems almost like a dance. The whip-sword can be wrapped around outstretched limbs, the raxor edged section cutting to the bone and lopping limbs clear with a swift flick of the wrist. This blade is well suited to the athletic, dance-like fighting style of the Assail and has gifted Sholen the name he is most commonly referred to by - The Spiraling Blade.
Here can be seen a few additional items useful to Sholen in his role as spymaster and killer. The glowing tubes are used to provide a low level of illumination through alchemical means - indispensable when navigating the dark catacombs of Clar Karond. An additional blade is always close to hand, usually coated with some virulent toxin or venom. Currently Sholen prefers paralytic agents, revelling in the suprised look on his quarries faces as their limbs freeze and muscles cramp.
Also visible is a lock of luxuriant red hair - shorn from the scalp of the last Temple Adept to cross paths with Sholen. The Adept was skilled and swift, managing to draw Sholens blood before falling victim to his paralyzing blade. In salute to her skills, and in part her deadly beauty, Sholen held his usual mutilations to simply clipping her scarlet tresses as a keepsake. He will not admit it, but he hopes that their paths will cross again soon...
Finally, the small pouch contains a set of Wyrm Tiles - usually seen as a childs game by the city-dwelling Druchii as the simple pictograms are used to teach young Druchii the intricacies of courtly life. However, the Autarii know that to a skilled reader, the laying of the tiles can be used to augur the future in a similar way to the Norscan runs or the Empires tarot decks.
For now, Sholen seems content in his position and is as loyalto Hiroth as is possible for a Druchii . Of late though, his readings of the Tiles have gifted troubling glimpses of the times ahead. A new tile, Chains, has appeared and dominates each laying of the field. Paired with the tile denoting Suffering, the omens are dark and Sholen has begun to hear whispers in his dreams, offering great power and reknown...
Really happy with how this chap turned out, from the Dark Eldar bits to the skin colour. Rethinking his fluff has turned out for the better as well, allowing me to add an extra dimension to him and the overall background.
Game wise, he counts as:
Assassin - extra hand weapon, Rune of Khaine, Touch of Khaine and Cry of War.
So thats between 5-7 poisoned attacks with killing blow and causing fear. Tasty.
C&C welcome ladies and gents, thanks for taking a look.