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The Warhammer Fantasy novel Plague Demon by "Brian Craig" (an early pseudonym of Brian Stableford) is the second of the Orfeo books (after Zaragoz). The corresponding article in this month's White Dwarf gives WFRP stats for the key characters. The story itself is set in the year 2470 of the Warhammer Old World.
WFRP characters by Andy Warwick, Border Princes background taken from the novel Plague Daemon by Brian Craig
This article takes the major characters from Games Workshop's latest novel, Plague Daemon by Brian Craig, and presents them as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay characters to use in your games.
The statistics given here are for the characters as they appear at the start of the novel, before any of the events described take place. This is because not all of the characters survive. To find out who survives and who doesn't you'll have to read the novel!
The Minstrel Orfeo, guest of Alkadi Nasreen, Caliph of Arjijil, begins the tale of Harmis Detz and his battle against Chaos with an introduction to the Border Princes and Harmis' home, the city of Khypris. (An extract from Brian Craig's new Warhammer novel, Plague Daemon.)
"You will have heard, my lord, of a region to the east of the Tilean city-states, divided from them by the Apuccini mountains, which is sometimes known as the land of the Border Princes. It has the Black Mountains to the north, the mountains of the World's Edge to the east, and the Black Gulf to the south, so that it forms a wide rectangle which is virtually cut off from what we would reckon the civilized world.
"Nowhere is the land of the Border Princes very fertile; much of it is wilderness, and even in the valleys where its life-giving rivers run the soil is often very poor. Its woodlands, such as they are, consist in the main of short and thorny trees which usually form a thick and impenetrable undergrowth. The eastern princedoms are perennially plagued by unruly goblins, and in many of the hilly regions there are bands of creatures called mutants, which some people believe - wrongly, I am certain - to be half-castes birthed by human women who have been impregnated by daemons. The presence of such quarrelsome and nasty creatures makes order very difficult to maintain, and it must often be dearly bought by the ruthlessness of princes and their men-at-arms.
The monster roared like thunder, and its foul breath caught Harmis in the face like a wind from the grave
"Know, Harmis, that every nation on earth is but appearance and illusion... What can it matter to the masters of Chaos, if a world such as yours were here, or gone, or never here at all?"
Ystareth was once a human being, who had entered voluntarily into the service of Nurgle, the Lord of Decay, to become a champion of plague and pestilence. The motive behind this obscene act was revenge - Prince Faramond had been indirectly responsible for Ystareth's brother's death, and in a fit of anger the estranged sibling had made a pact with the Powers of Chaos for the power to exact terrible and bloody revenge.
Warped by bitter and angry feelings more than any effects of worship, what was once a human form became twisted and disease-ridden. The newly-initiated champion's body became bloated in the image of Nurgle himself, and the stench of decay and foetid odour of death smothered the last remnants of normality.
Ystareth is the true name - given by Nurgle himself - of this Champion of Chaos, who by sheer force of will has risen to the heady ranks of Daemon almost immediately, rather than suffer the ritual gathering of a warband in an attempt to gain favour with the Chaos Power of pestilence and plague.
Ystareth has conceived a plan of such proportions, a plan that will bring the decaying realm of Nurgle to the Border Princes in all its putrefying glory, that everything Ystareth needs to exact revenge on the claret-and-gold livery of Faramond has been provided.
Ystareth appears exactly as a Greater Daemon of Nurgle. However, Ystareth has none of a Greater Daemon's abilities other than those given here. Although eventually destined to become a Greater Daemon, Ystareth still has some way to go to reach such a level of power.
The obvious way to use Ystareth is as an enemy for the characters. If you plan to do so, then reading the novel is the first step - it explains the way that the Daemon plans to carry out its attack on Faramond's realm, and how it can move amongst the unsuspecting populace clothed in the magic of illusion. Ystareth is not always so recognisable...
Ystareth has 2 APs on all locations. Ystareth can make 4 claw, 1 bite or gore, and 1 stamp attack - successful bite and claw attacks cause infected wounds.
Every time a non-magical weapon hits Ystareth its damage modifier value is reduced by -1 as the weapon rots away.
Any living creature in combat with Ystareth runs the risk of catching Nurgle's Rot.
Spells: Ystareth has a spell pool of 5 randomly determined spells - the first spell of each level will be a Spell of Nurgle. For ease of play, Ystareth starts with the following spells:
In addition, Ystareth can assume an illusionary appearance at will. It may be maintained under all circumstances except spellcasting and will mask both Ystareth's appearance and stench. A character must make a successful Intelligence test at -25 to realise something is wrong and see through Ystareth's disguise.
This issue includes a preview of content from Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned: in this case the section on Minotaurs.
There are a few 'Eavy Metal highlights:
Pestigors, the Beastmen of Nurgle, are painted with unhealthy or even rotting fur colours such as browny-green or yellow. A good effect can be achieved by starting with a base of Bestial Brown and then highlighting with drybrushes of Orc Brown and Skull White. Between each drybrush, a thin wash of Green and Brown Ink is added for a suitably ghastly appearance. A light dappling of Worm Purple and Blood Red over parts of the fur gives a good bruised look.
Ivan worked on this mammoth project over a period of about five months, slaving during his weekends and evenings to produce this amazing conversion.
The first stage was to build the basic skeleton or armature for the rib cage and the trees. The armature was made from thick brass wire soldered together to make a really strong frame to work over. Florist's wire was wrapped around this frame to provide a rough surface for the next stage, which was to bulk out the frame with epoxy modelling putty. A length of brass tube was embedded right through the bottom of the frame to provide location points for the wheel axles, and a skeletal head was attached to the neck.
When the putty was completely dry, Ivan filled and carved it into shape. The vertebrae were individually sculpted out of modelling putty - Ivan got the basic shape right first and then added the fine detail. Florist's wire was soldered and twisted into place to form the branches of the trees, and a pair of wings from a Spined Dragon were securely pinned and glued onto the model just above the wheels.
The next stage was to put some texture on the trees. This was done by painting on a coat of varnish and covering it in sand. When this was dry, Ivan put another coat of varnish on to hold the sand in place and slightly round it off. The remnants of skin on the wings and the tattered hides on the rib cage were made from modelling putty. The putty was rolled out thin and then left until it was half-dry - it was then draped over the wing and rib-cage supports and smoothed into place with a wet modelling tool.
The birds were cut off Gothic Horror gravestones; the feet were filed flat and then the birds were pinned and glued into place. Ivan made the candles from a small piece of florist's wire which was padded out with a thin roll of putty.
The rope that supports the hanging corpse and provides the reins was made from twisted strands of florist's wire. The best way to do this is to hold one end in a pin vice and then twist the wire with a pair of pliers.
When all the pieces were thoroughly dry, the War Altar was painted. It was given a base coat of Ghoul Grey, Bestial Brown and Spearstaff Brown mixed together. This was highlighted with Spearstaff Brown, Sunburst Yellow and Skull White. The attendant miniatures were all painted separately and then pinned and glued into place. The base was made from 40mm square slotta-bases sandwiched between two sheets of 1mm thick plastic card - this was glued together with epoxy glue and the sides were filed smooth.
Ivan's War Altar makes an impressive centrepiece for any Nurgle army, I'm sure you'll agree.
Steve Blunt's Nurglesque Chariot is an extremely ambitious piece of modelling on the scale of Ivan's War Altar. With large parts scratch-built, a conversion like this can take weeks or months in the planning and execution. As you can see, they're well worth all the effort in the end.
The Mail Order section at the back features all four sets of Greater Daemons, as well as the Minotaur Lords. Appropriately enough, page 77 covers Aly Morrison's first release Great Unclean Ones, listed as three separate models: 073214/10, 073214/11, 073214/12.
|Warhammer Fantasy||Third Citadel Compendium; WFRP (1st ed); RoC: Slaves to Darkness; RoC: The Lost and the Damned; Beasts of Chaos|
|Man O' War||Plague Fleet|
|Mordheim||Empire in Flames|
|Warhammer 40,000||Warhammer 40,000 (1993); Codex: Chaos (1996); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999); Chapter Approved 2001; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2002); Codex: Eye of Terror; Chapter Approved 2004; Imperial Armour 5; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2007); Imperial Armour: Apocalypse (2007); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008); Imperial Armour 6; Imperial Armour 7; Imperial Armour: Aeronautica; Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2012); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013); Stronghold Assault; Codex: Imperial Knights (2014); Imperial Armour 13; Codex: Imperial Knights (2015); Codex: Chaos Daemons (2016); Codex: Traitor Legions; Dark Imperium; Index: Chaos; First Strike; Codex: Space Marines (2017); Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2017); Codex: Grey Knights (2017); Plague Brethren; Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (2017)|
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|White Dwarf||Oct 1988 (#106); Dec 1988 (#108); Jan 1989 (#109); May 1989 (#113); Jun 1989 (#114); Nov 1989 (#119); Jan 1990 (#121); Feb 1990 (#122); Apr 1990 (#124); May 1990 (#125); Dec 1990 (#132); Jan 2002 (#265)|
|Citadel Journal||Jul 1994 (#4); Mar 1995 (#8); May 1995 (#9); Dec 1995 (#12); Sep 1996 (#17); Nov 1996 (#18); Aug 1997 (#21); Apr 1998 (#25); Jun 1998 (#26); Aug 1998 (#27); Oct 1998 (#28); May 1999 (#32); Jan 2002 (#48)|
|Battlefleet Gothic Magazine||Nov 2002 (#12); Aug 2003 (#16)|
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|Fantasy Flight Games|
|Dark Heresy||Shattered Hope; Dark Heresy (1st ed); Disciples of the Dark Gods; Creatures Anathema; Radical's Handbook; Daemon Hunter; Dark Heresy (2nd ed); Game Master's Kit (2nd ed); Forgotten Gods; Enemies Within; Enemies Beyond|
|Rogue Trader||Rogue Trader; Citadel of Skulls; Battlefleet Koronus; Koronus Bestiary; Navis Primer; Stars of Inequity|
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|Only War||Enemies of the Imperium|