Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Grey Hunters: Hjorkyr Stormblade's Pack

Finally, I managed to post another showcase! Sorry for the delay; I've just not got round to posting lately but rest assured that I have been busy and there's another couple of squads after this one all finished, photographed, and waiting for me to write their mini-sagas. In fact; I now have a 1,500 point army ready to roll.

So with no further ado, let me introduce you to Hjorkyr Stormblade's Grey Hunters.

Hjorkyr Stormblade

"The last one to spill blood is a milk-drinker!"
-- Hjorkyr Stormblade when leading the charge of the forty on Falsreach

Hjorkyr was ever the leader of his pack. The first of his cohort of aspirants to be selected by the Wolf Priests, the first to volunteer for duties, and always the first into battle. He is first in duelling ability too, such is his skill with a sword. It is for his furious and unrelentingly rapid blows with his sword that he bears the name "Stormblade". Anyone who has experienced a storm on Fenris will appreciate what a terrifying prospect Hjorkyr is in battle.

Hjorkyr's venerable sword, Farbjodr, has ended the lives of countless foes. Kings or serfs, tyrants or traitors; no one is above or beneath feeling the sharp edge of Farbjodr. Indeed it was Farbjodr that took the head of the Great Beast of Falsreach.

Hjorkyr's reputation is not due just to his mighty sword, as finely wrought as it is. No, Hjorkyr is a true warrior-born. Never is he more alive than in the thick of a fight, fallen enemies all about him. Always does he desire to be first to the fray. In fact, Hjorkyr considers it a great failing if he is not the first of his pack to slay a foe in an engagement. He usually succeeds, though it is testament to Hjorkyr's warrior prowess that his success is not though his pack's lack of effort to trump him.

Gunn the Sullen

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Gunn the Sullen is an unusually withdrawn warrior who has never revealed what troubles his soul. Nevertheless, his calmness and efficiency in battle is valued by his pack, even though he never seeks acclaim or renown. In battle, Gunn mutters unheard words under his breath as he kills rather than bellowing with the exuberance of his fellows.

Gunn has kept a meticulous tally of his kills and it is said that he will only allow himself to feel the joy of the murder-make when a particular number is reached. What that number is remains a mystery.

Dreyrugr the Blood-Stained

"Sorry about the mess."
-- Words spoken by Dreyrugr the Bloodstained, taken from the final moments of the security
recorder in the bunker of the traitorous General Kolsk of the Cadian 71st Regiment

War is a messy business, especially so for the Sons of Russ. None make particular effort to be neat and tidy about the murder-make, but some appear to revel in the wash of blood. Dreyrugr is the exemplar of that particular inclination; he has never left a battle without his armour caked in the blood of is enemies.

Dreyrugr's packmates joke that he really wishes he were a Blood Angel since he seemingly tries to paint his armour red whenever he gets the opportunity. "I may have the golden locks, but I'm far too ugly to pass as one of Sanguinius' sons," Dreyrugr usually quips.

Naturally for a warrior who revels in the spilling of blood, a chainsword is Dreyrugr's weapon of choice. There are few messier tools of war. With each swing of his chainsword in battle Dreyrugr paints his armour and his vicious laugh strikes terror into the hearts of those confronted by this red horror.

Fastmar the Steadfast

"Duty is all."
-- A saying of Fastmar the Steadfast

Some warriors are like boulders: hard and immoveable. Fastmar is one such warrior; steadfast and utterly reliable is he. If a position needs to be held, a firelane needs to be covered, or an objective must be achieved, Fastmar is the warrior Hjorkyr turns to. When Fyf's Rune Priest Olaf Wyrdweaver noticed Hjorkyr constantly ordering Fastmar to cover the pack's rear during a long advance, Olaf, ever a curious soul, enquired about it. Hjorkyr simply responded "because even is Fastmar is slain, I know he'll still be covering our rear".

Fastmar is not vain. He is content to do the unglamorous jobs and do them well. Failure is simply not a word in his vocabulary.

Hitihaedr Flamehaired

"I smell fear on you. You're wiser than you look."
-- Hitihaedr Flamehaired addressing his pack's armourer on his first day of service

Loud, exuberant, and wild are words that could describe Hitihaedr's hair just as well as Hitihaedr himself. His fiery mane frames a face containing piercing blue eyes, wide and unblinking, and a mouth constantly contorted in a sharp-fanged smile, ice-cold as Fenris in wintertime.

In battle Hitihaedr can be seen with his head thrown back, laughing and howling at the sky as his enemies fall to his vicious axe blows. His packmates have never been sure whether Hitihaedr is ecstatic in the heart of battle, or just insane.

Hitihaedr hails from a tribe where red hair is a rarity and seen as a sign of greatness. Indeed when the young Hitihaedr was taken by the Sky Warriors it seemed that the portents had held true. However if his kinsmen were able to see him now, they might instead see the red hair as a sign of something else entirely. After all, Hitihaedr is a terrifying and deeply unsettling individual, even when he isn't trying to kill you.

Olkr Mjodblood

"Cold? It's not cold."
-- Olkr Mjodblood after eighteen days on the highest slopes of the Fang 

Astartes physiology is incredibly resistant to the effects of toxins, but even the legendarily strong Fenrisian Ale, or "Mjod", can overcome it given the right quantity – and the Sons of Russ are not known to hold back. Olkr, however, seems to be totally unaffected by this potent brew. None are quite sure why, though many jest that instead of blood running through his veins, he has mjod instead. The fact that Olkr can venture out onto the ice-blasted slopes of the Fang for hours on end with barely anything covering his flesh and not freeze solid does add some credence to this idea.

Whatever the reason behind his unusual physiological characteristics, on the field of battle Olkr is like any other warrior of Fenris – fierce, honourable, and absolutely deadly. This is why the jests about mjod running through Olkr's veins are that that: jests. Given the way he brings the murder-make to the Allfather's enemies, the blood running his veins can only be that of Russ.

Gudvr Stoneskull

"Now let me tell you a real tale ..."
-- Gudvr Stoneskull's typical introduction to his legendary tale

If you can manage to down a few flagons of mjod with him, Gudvr will tell you a tale. He will tell of a duel fought between himself and a champion of Chaos. A fallen Space Marine, no less. An Alpha Legionnaire, though his name remains unknown.

This Alpha Legionnaire thought he could get the best of Gudvr. "How wrong he was," Gudvr says, "he was good, but not that good". Gudvr fended off all the attacks rained upon him, but alas could not seem to land a clean blow himself. Then Gudvr locked his blade with the Alpha Legionnaire's maul and tried to wrestle it aside. "He was strong, that one, I'll give him that," Gudvr says as he recalls how his blade was twisted out of his grip and he looked up to see a maul being raised to strike his head.

"'Should've worn my helm' I thought," Gudvr jokes as he goes on to tell how he could do nothing but brace himself for the deathblow.

Which never came.

Well, the blow came, but death did not. You see, the most extraordinary thing happened. The Alpha Legionnaire's maul struck Gudvr's crown hard and true with the full force of 10,000 years of hate, but the maul simply shattered leaving the traitor holding nothing but a useless broken haft.

Gudvr will always try to end the tale there but inevitably he is asked what happened to the Alpha Legionnaire. "Oh, he was killed just after," Gudvr will say with a dismissive wave of his hand. Because, you see, the part of the story Gudvr never tells is that although the maul that struck him shattered like glass, his head was a bloody ruin and he was so dazed he could not even recall his own name. Fortunately, Fastmar was there (for who else is always there when needed?) to end the stunned traitor before he could finish the job of slaying Gudvr.

Still, the story is famous in the Fang, and Gudvr is forever known as "Stoneskull" as surely no normal cranium, even an genhanced one, could have withstood such a mortal blow.

Lodin Half-Blind

"In Groln's name. For the glory I stole."
-- Words spoken by Lodin Half-Blind before every battle

It is not uncommon for a warrior of Fenris to lose an eye in the Allfather's service; especially given their preference for taking to battle without a helm. Most will readily accept a bionic replacement from the Iron Priests – after all, two eyes are better than one and a bionic eye can see things even the keenest natural eye cannot. However, Lodin is different. He has always refused a replacement for his missing left eye, for in his mind he is unworthy of it.

The story of the loss of Lodin's eye is also the story of his greatest shame. For you see, it was the loss of the eye that led to the death of his packmate, Groln. Lodin and Groln were holding a position during the Eldar raids on Clorrdin Secundus when they were assailed by a small band of their shrieking war-dancers. The two warriors' bolters were enough to slay all but one of the elegant banshees and as Groln was re-loading, Lodin took aim at the final foe. It was then that a shot from the banshee's pistol glanced off of Lodin's pauldron and buried itself into his left eye. Instead of taking his shot, Lodin lowered his weapon and clasped at his ruined eye. It was during this momentary distraction, when he should have been protecting his brother, that Groln was slain with a single, elegantly precise, blow.

Lodin bellowed in agony. Not just from the pain of his injury, but from the more terrible pain of seeing his brother's head roll along the ground and knowing that he was to blame. Lodin's rage was vented on Groln's slayer, before he vented it on himself, tearing the remains of his eye from it's socket and vowing that never again would he be so weak.

From that day forth, Lodin has carried an empty eye socket as penance and a reminder that he must never again allow his courage to fail. He is named 'Half-Blind' for the missing eye, but in Lodin's mind the name also is an accusation, reminding him of his laxity.

Lodin has lived up to his vow to never allow his courage to falter and in fact now bears the honour of carrying the Banner of the Evil-Slayer (or the 'Merki Banillr' in the Fenrisian tongue) into battle. The banner, made from the pelt of a wolf, depicts a great wolf of Fenris crushing an icon of Chaos under it's paw. The banner is ancient, venerable, and serves as a promise to those who it is shown to.

Lodin will never let this banner fall. He will not fail. Not again.

Knutr the Bone-Caster

"The bones don't lie."
-- A saying of Knutr the Bone-Caster

There is an ancient tradition on Fenris, one frowned upon by outsiders since the Great Crusade, of casting knuckle bones and reading them to gain some kind of insight. Usually this is the preserve of the Rune Priests, but it is not unknown for regular men of the Fang to indulge in bone-casting, though only Rune Priests seem to be able to glean any reliable knowledge from doing so.

Knutr is the exception to the rule, being as he is an uncannily skilled caster of knuckle bones. He has been assessed by the Rune Priests and Knutr does not share their gifts so the reason for his talent is unknown. It may just be luck, but whatever it is, many warriors ask Knutr to cast the bones for them.

Some say that perhaps he takes the knuckle bones a but too seriously and Knutr is just crazy. It is acknowledged that he does rely on them too much when making decisions, which is why Knutr will never be granted a position of command.

In battle Knutr bears a meltagun which he uses sparingly, but highly effectively. Knutr will always cast the bones before a battle, though he never shares the readings with his brothers. He feels some things are best left unknown and will not be changed by knowing them. "Wyrd is wyrd," as Knutr would say.

Asgyr the Seafarer

"The sea is both my ally and my enemy."
-- A saying of Asgyr the Seafarer

Few things change more than the seas on Fenris. One moment they can be calm, the next turbulent with storms. Sometimes they are ice-cold, other times they boil and steam. Fenris's ever-changing geography means that seas are not even the same year-on-year. None of this phases Asgyr, who is quite possibly the most gifted sailor living within the Fang.

Unusually for a warrior with a love of the ocean, Asgyr hails from a landlocked tribe of nomadic farmers. He discovered his fondness for seamanship during his Blooding when he realised that in order to return to the Aett he would either have to cross a sea or trek around it. Asgyr opted for the more direct route, improvising a makeshift raft from what little materials he could find on the shore-side and setting out upon the waves with nothing except determination.

It was on this sea, now swallowed up and long gone, that Asgyr found a kind of peace that soothed the troubled soul that all aspirants fight with during the Blooding. Even the storms he had to endure didn't trouble him. Now whenever Fyf resides in the Fang, while most of his brothers hunt or feast, Asgyr can be found somewhere on the raging seas of his homeworld with salt on his lips, and joy in his heart.


Well thanks very for looking at these photos, and reading the tales if you did that too. Any and all comments welcome, as always.


  1. Beautiful work Pingo. Especially the banner - really stunning. But my favourite aspect of the squad are the bases. They really complement your squad. Congrats.

  2. Excelent as always. Lodin's story is surprisingly emotional for a space marine story, but it fits and is very well written. Keep it up!

  3. Lovely work pingo. I'm really impressed with all the work that you have done so far. The sagas are particularly good!

  4. @Night Runner:
    Thanks; my Wolves are the first time I've really tried to make bases part of the model rather than the base being an afterthought.

    Glad you like it! I've always been of the opinion that Space Marines do have emotions but they're just different to normal humans. And I like characters with flaws.

    I appreciate that. I can be hard going coming up with all these little sagas, but knowing that they are enjoyed makes it worth the effort!

    Thanks; you do some excellent work yourself.

  5. I have followed your blog over the past few weeks and I have been so impressed with what you have achieved I'm going to try and emulate what you have done. Is there ever a chance you might show us how to paint those faces?

    1. Thanks very much! A tutorial on painting the faces would be quite tricky as it is more complex than the other tutorials I've done. However, I will definitely consider it.