TheGM: Over the past year, I’ve created two characters inspired by the comments and input of two followers of this humble narrative campaign:
• Lecia Athena (alias “Ath”)—A freedom fighter (or traitor if you’re Imperial authorities) who is working with the Tau to overturn Imperial rule on the agri-world of Dar Sai.
• Petrov Karlson—Formerly high mayor of Port Aruna, Karlson was last seen fleeing his fiefdom, one of the largest cities on Dar Sai, as it fell to the Tau. Currently, he is operating as a partisan commander in the southeastern corner of Dar Sai’s main continent.
So far, there have been only two articles regarding these noteworthy individuals. One highlighted a “Wanted Poster” for Athena; the other was a battle report of Karlson escaping from a Tau patrol as he fled Port Aruna.
I intent to follow the desperate fight for survival of these two characters, both through fiction and battle reports. But, for the latter, I needed to convert their fictional identities into miniatures that can be put on the tabletop.
To do that, I’ve reviewed the Games Workshop and Forge World websites in search of bitz that would allow me to build these miniatures. For Athena, the problem is that GW doesn’t really produce many female figures, and those that exist really don’t fit the bill.
Now, I try to use only GW models. I know GW promotes this idea to encourage sales, but I kinda bought into this GW-only policy, if only because limitations sometimes promotes creativity.
But I just couldn’t figure out Athena. I don’t have the imagination of those hobbyists who produce those incredibly creative miniatures highlighted in White Dwarf.
So, somewhat reluctantly, I turned to cyberspace and settled upon the very nice castings of Anvil Industry. a British miniatures company that offers a lot of figures that match comfortably with GW figs. For my purposes, what was so useful was that Anvil features a variety of female bitz that captures the smaller physique of a woman.
Petrov Konrad, however, is totally built out of GW bitz, including a Catachan torso and legs, Cadian arms, and a very old Citadel fantasy head.
So, what was my thinking when building these two characters?
With the exception of the aristocracy and a small merchant class, the population of Dar Sai consists of oppressed serfs working the fields of their overlords—and largely at the mercy of their masters. This is ripe ground for heresy and rebellion.
Having embraced Tau propaganda offering a better life for serfs, Athena is fully committed to the overthrow of Imperial rule. She is a partisan. Inside Tau territory, she seeks to recruit the people to the Greater Good and hunt down the xenos’ enemies.
She also is willing to infiltrate Imperial territory, spreading Tau propaganda, committing sabotage, and ambushing civilian and military convoys.
To create her miniature, I selected arms, legs, and a torso that were as “civilian” as possible. Athena needs to blend in with the crowd, so no uniform for her. She has a cloak, as a partisan often sleeps in the wild, with little to protect her from the elements. Her weapon is a shotgun.
This older photo shows Konrad attired in the finery of an aristocrat. He has long since discarded such expensive garments. They are impractical in the forests of Dar Said, and their fine materials could not stand up to exposure to the elements
Konrad’s new clothing reflects his decision to not return to Imperial-held territory. It’s not clear (I haven’t decided) if he believes it would be politically unhealthy to report to Imperial authorities after losing his city—or he has decided that a mayor without a city is is of no value—and he intends to prove he is worthy of regaining his position by staying behind enemy lines and fighting the xeno invaders.
Whatever his motive, he has decided to camp out in the great forests of Dar Sai, gather like-minded serfs and other displaced aristocrats, and create his own partisan army that will take the fight to the Tau.
To reflect that reality, the “high mayor” miniature has been retired, and I’ve created the “war mayor.” He is dressed in military fatigues taken from the corpses of Imperial troops that have been slaughtered by the Tau. His weapons are the only ones he’s been able to find: a lasgun and chainsword.
For some reason, I wanted to avoid too military a look, so I looked around in my bitz box for a head somewhat different than the normal Cadian and Catachan heads I used. I settled upon a fantasy knight’s head, one that features long and wavy hair.
After all, Konrad doesn’t want too look too much like a serf, but, as he obviously no longer has a personal hairdresser to fuss over his locks. If anything, he’s beginning to look a bit scruffy.
Hitting the Tabletop
It may be a while before I get these painted. I need for the outside temperature to get into the 50s before I can heat up my workshop sufficiently to prime these figs (and Dull-Cote the dozens of figures I’ve painted over the winter).
But when I do, I’ll be putting Athena to the test in a scenario designed by the follower who helped create this character.
But that’s just another example of how a narrative campaign is full of surprises. Who would have thought that, when I came up with the Corvus Cluster six years ago,that I’d create characters inspired by others? Or that I’d actually build miniatures to represent them? Or that these miniatures would be part of a story playing out on a planet 38,000 years in the future?
I love this hobby. And I appreciate the feedback of those who helped inspire these newest miniatures in my collection.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.