My first full squad is now completed; a 10 man pack of Grey Hunters I have named after their leader, Harald Bayneye.
I think my favourite part of the hobby is when I've just finished a unit and can sit back, look at it, and enjoy the fruits of my labours.
Read on for individual photos and backstories for each pack member.
"Look upon me, heretic, if you dare, for you look upon your doom!"
– Harald Bayneye to the Thousand Sons sorcerer Koepec the Seer
Harald quickly established himself as the leader of his pack soon after he and his fellow warriors were selected by the Wolf Priests for elevation to the Sky Warriors. With his mighty axe, Ice, and his trusty bolter, Fire, he wreaks a fearsome toll on the enemy and has made much red snow.
Harald actually earned the name Bayneye before he was fitted with the bionic right eye that (eventually) replaced the one lost in a duel with a cunning Eldar Wych. The name derives from his formidable and intimidating gaze which rarely leaves him, even when at peace in the Aett. His brothers boast that Bayneye has won more duels with his gaze than he has with his blade.
|"I've hunted bigger game than these green brutes, but none I could smell from orbit."|
– Fynn Icestrider on the Ork invasion of Tarlia IV
Fynn earns his name from the incredibly long treks he makes across the ice plains of Fenris in order to track down rare and dangerous prey animals. Eschewing more conventional means of transport to the choicest hunting areas, all Fynn's journeys begin and end on foot, taking with him nothing but his trusty axe, hunting knife, and thick, self-made, cloaks of fur. "A true hunter needs nothing but his wits and a sharp blade" he commonly boasts. Indeed, Fynn takes nothing with him to sustain him on his journey, relying only on his skills as a hunter and survivalist to keep his hearts beating.
To Fynn, the fires of battle are just another kind of hunt and he is as comfortable and capable there as he is alone on the ice plains he so loves.
|"You can end a thousand foes with your blade, but with one bolt round I can end a war!"|
– Torst Longshot
Deadly at range, Torst revels in his skill with a bolter as his brothers relish their skill with a blade. Although no stranger to the bloody maelstrom of close combat, Torst prefers a more clinical approach to the murder-make.
Longshot will often hang back and support his brothers' charges with lethally placed bolter rounds. On occasion, although he claims it is entirely accidental, Torst mischievously snipes enemy warriors just as one of his brothers is about to make a kill. His pack-mates exact revenge, however, by constantly devising new ways to misalign his slights or otherwise spoil his scores on the practice ranges. They know he needs no practice, however, and in the heat of battle know he can be counted on to make a shot count.
Olrun the Vociferous
|"Come brothers, give voice to your wrath! Let the foe hear who comes to slay them this day!"|
– Olrun the Vociferous before the final assault on the Demagogue of Hersa's Palace
If anyone can be heard over the din of battle, it is Olrun. It is not just through his deafening battle cries he has earned his name; even away from battle it is hard to keep him quiet – and Olrun is not one to speak softly either. He can always be expected to chime in with a comment, joke, or tall tale no matter the circumstances.
With his striking mane of blonde hair lacquered and plaited in extravagant style, head thrown back bellowing to the sky, Olrun is a terrifying sight to behold on the field of battle.
|"A child's toy? Before you've finished your first swing of that crude and cumbersome blade, this 'toy' will have opened your throat!"|
– Gunnulfr Redknife before slitting the throat of a traitor Black Legionnaire
While most of his Wolf Brothers dedicate themselves to perfecting the art of wielding an axe or a sword, Gunnulfr instead prefers the humble combat knife. Many a foe wielding some large and elaborate weapon has underestimated Gunnulfr only to find their inelegant swing striking air and a wickedly sharp blade piercing a weak point in their armour.
This is typical of Gunnulfr's skill. He is no butcher, requiring only one accurate and lethal strike to end an enemy. He has extensively studied the anatomy of many zenos species to learn precisely where to place his deadly attacks. His knowledge, speed, skill, and dedication to his art ensures that after a fight no one could have any doubts as to how he earned the name "Redknife".
|"We are warriors of the Rout. We need fear no enemy save one – malificarum. Now that is a foe you cannot fight. That is a foe to fear."|
– Norri Wulftooth
Many of the Vlka Fenryka adorn their armour and wargear with wolves' teeth. Some see them as purely decorative, others as talismans. Norri is of the latter mindset, but has taken it to something of an extreme.
As a newly-initiated Blood Claw, Norri and his pack were tasked to clear out heretics from a vile network of caves that had become a twisted temple to the dark gods. Misfortune caused Norri to be separated from his pack after part of the cave network collapsed and although he escaped the rock fall with his life, he was without his weapons. All that remained in his possession was a single giant tooth from a venerable old Wolf he had hunted and killed before this ill-fortuned first deployment. Incredibly, Norri managed to fight his way to freedom using nothing but this tooth as a weapon. From that day on, Norri was never seen without the chipped and battered old tooth, believing it saved him from the malificarum of the caves.
Unfortunately for Norri, this talismanic tooth was lost in a Thunderhawk crash and while his surviving brothers laughed off the event and praised their wyrd, Norri became deeply worried that through the loss of his token, he was now cursed. Thus began his proclivity to so attain so many wolf teeth as he tried to rebuild the protection he lost.
|"My brothers – fight as if Russ himself were watching,"|
– Sigrun Tranquil-Sea
The nick-name "Tranquil-Sea" refers to the unusual calmness that Sigrun displays, and like tranquil seas, such things are a rarity on Fenris. It is this level-headed approach that meant Sigrun was entrusted to bear the ancient Banner of Russ' Wrath. This banner bears the symbol of The Wolf That Stalks Between the Stars, the badge of Leman Russ himself. The material is ancient, miraculously resilient, and of unknown origin. It is believed that each of the tiny stitches in the weave represents one foe slain by the Primarch in battle. Mysteriously, there is one stitch on the banner that remains incomplete.
Sigrun bears this banner with great honour and will go to any lengths to preserve it, as do his brothers. If a foe so much as touches it, Sigrun's wrath is extreme and immediate.
|"Luck? Not at all my brothers. I am just incredibly skilled!"|
– Brynhyldr Wyrdspite after narrowly avoiding a falling Warhound Titan
Most Grey Hunters rely on their boltguns in battle but some, like Brynhyldr, never quite manage to move away from the bolt pistol and chainsword that they used as a Blood Claw. They are more measured than their headstrong younger brothers though.
By rights, Brynhyldr should have met his end long ago, but he displays the most extraordinary luck. He has been caught in violent explosions and walked away virtually unscratched, had snipers' bullets miss his head by mere millimetres, blades fall just short of piercing vital organs, and myriad other extraordinary occurrences.
His bizarre luck caught the attention of the Rune Priests, who thought he may have the gift of foresight, and the Wolf Priests, who feared he may be tainted, but their studies revealed nothing apart from an ordinary warrior of the Rout.
When boarding spacecraft, drop pods, and boarding torpedoes, Brynhyldr's packmates jostle to have a place next to him. "If this boat sinks, I want to be able to cling onto Brynhyldr. Either I'll be saved or I'll drag him down with the rest of us!" Olrun once quipped.
|"It seems I forgot to unsheathe my blade again."|
– Herja Skullbreaker after slaying the bridge crew of the traitor frigate Scream in the Night
Most members of the Rout prefer blades, but Herja takes something of a thrill from the application of blunt force, pounding his foes into submission with fists, feet, and gun stock alike. Some might say that using such a delicate and temperamental weapon as a plasma gun as a club is irresponsible. But then again, those folks would quickly find themselves nursing a broken nose.
Herja's brutal fighting style no doubt stems from his origins as part of the Gananki tribe; a particularly barbaric tribe of Fenris from which a fair number of Wolf Brothers can trace their origin.
|"I will take this weapon, my brother, and restore it's glory. I will reap such numbers. This I swear."|
– Karl Redloc after the fall of Balt the Steadfast
Karl has always sported his red hair proudly, believing that those of the Rout with red hair are favoured by Russ. For someone with such fiery hair, it is fitting that they carry a fiery weapon, and Karl certainly wields his plasma gun, Starbringer, with skill.
Karl has not always carried a plasma gun to battle. The previous bearer of Starbringer was a warrior named Balt the Steadfast, with whom Karl had always shared a friendship. One fateful day, the two warriors found themselves cornered while battling Orks. The dead piled up around the two friends and such was the intensity of the fight that in Balt's hands Starbringer was on the verge of a dangerous overheat. Balt, seeing his friend struggling against a gargantuan Ork Nob took aim and fired, fully aware of the risk he was taking. The Nob fell, his chest a melted ruin, but Balt took the full force of a plasma discharge and his thread was cut before his body hit the ground. Karl flew into a berserk rage and mercilessly slew the remaining enemy with his bare hands.
Karl took up his friend's damaged weapon and vowed to repair it and use it to honour Balt's memory and repay his debt in blood. Karl has done so twice over.
And there we have it! Hope you enjoyed this post. All comments welcome and wanted.