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MOAB 2017 - Judgement's 1st Official Tournament!

MOAB 2017 - Judgement's 1st Official Tournament!

Time is racing by and the Kickstarter shipping date is looming large on the horizon, exciting news for both our backers and the Judgement team. This also means the MOAB convention is rapidly approaching, home of the 1st ever official Judgement tournament! The MOAB convention organisers recently made tournament registrations available on their web site, so to coincide with that, we have put together a tournament pack for those backers that would like to attend.

MOAB 2017 Tournament Pack Cover

Download the tournament pack here

The tournament pack has everything you need to take part in this historical event. For more information about the MOAB convention you can visit their web site here.

To keep abreast of the latest information about Judgement @ MOAB you can follow the Facebook event page.

Remember that every player that plays either of the 2 Judgement tournaments at MOAB will receive a complimentary set of commemorative dice.

MOAB commemorative dice

Looking forward to seeing you all in Sydney on the October long weekend at MOAB!

The Judgement Team

 

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Judgement Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

Judgement Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

The Judgement Kickstarter was a resounding success, the $45,000 goal reached with 3 days to go in the campaign. A late surge saw both the free Shadow Hound (Gloom) neutral monster, and Piper, the Elf Illusionist/Thief become unlocked with a final funding total of $57,123!

Included in our backers were 6 retailers, 4 in Australia, 1 in the USA and another in Wales. We are very excited and honoured that Judgement will be stores, on the shelves at the same time the Kickstarter ships! So cool.

Here is the retailer honour roll:

Firestorm Games (Cardiff, Wales)
Good Games (Newcastle, Australia)
Little Wars (Louisiana, USA)
Irresistible Force (Brisbane, Australia)
Jolt Games (Canberra, Australia)
Hall of Heroes (Sydney, Australia)

Huge shoutout to all the retailers for their tremendous support of Judgement.

Gloom, the Shadow Hound Unlocked!

The highlight of the campaign, besides reaching our funding goal of course, was the unlocking of Gloom! Every backer of the Warband pledge or higher will receive a free Gloom model as part of their rewards package. A beautiful sculpt by James Cain. 

 Gloom, the Shadow HoundGloom is one of Judgement's neutral monsters and appears on many of the 1st wave maps. A natural denizen of In-Between, the Shadow Plane where the battles of Judgement are fought. Gloom has an interest set of rules including Invisibility which makes it particularly difficult to take her down without putting yourself in harms way.

Gloom, the Shadow Hound

Very excited to get the first run of Gloom models, with the 3d render already complete she will be one of the first to hit the Judgement studios. So look out for some Gloom pics and feature videos soon!

Piper, the Elf Illusionist/Thief Unlocked!

The other cool story to emerge from the Kickstarter campaign was the unlocking of Piper. Originally the elusive elf was way down the pecking order, slated to be one of the last to be unlocked. However with the campaign in its last hours we decided to throw it out to the floor and let the backers decide which hero would be unlocked. Piper absolutely won the vote on a landslide, out scoring his nearest opponent (Haksa the Orc Shaman) by almost 2 to 1. So Piper it is!

Piper, Elf Illusionist/Thief

Piper has a very interesting illustration, done by Sarah Bates. And his in-game kit is one of the most diverse and fun in the game. It is a great combination which was reflected in the voting. It looks at this early stage that Piper will be the first hero sculpted and we have a lot of ideas that will push the boundaries of miniature sculpting so definitely can't wait for him to hit the desk... :)

It is such an amazing journey, writing a game from scratch, ploughing through months of trials and tribulations and then rolling the dice on Kickstarter. We have come out the other side in fantastic shape, a remit to create the game we love and the faith of over 170 backers, however in reality the hard work has really just begun. At least it is hard work knowing that Judgement is going to be a thing, a real game being played by gamers around the world. Amazing. :)

The Judgement Team

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Bastian Oriel, Lore Keeper

Bastian Oriel, Lore Keeper

Bastian Oriel, Lore Keeper

The first record of Bastian comes from the time immediately after the appearance of Edarr on Onathien, during the period known as the dance of death. During this period he assisted the heads of the four churches, ultimately playing a critical role in the fall of Edarr.

The people of Onathien generally believe Bastian to be a title rather than a name, inherited through the generations. Since that first historical appearance a man bearing the name Bastian has wandered in and out of the politics of the races seemingly at random until the present day. The name brings with it a reputation for access to knowledge and lore that is unrivalled across Onathien. Common belief holds that Bastian is the custodian of a tower that contains an extensive library of religious, scientific and historical texts, though the tower has rarely been sighted by a credible witness. What sightings have been recorded, if they are to be believed, indicate that either it is able to change location, or there are several around Onathien, presumably well concealed.

The tower is most commonly recalled, by those who claim to have seen it as a spire of jade crystal, sparkling and alien in aspect. For those who have met Bastian in person this is perhaps the most convincing aspect of the sightings since the right hand side of his chest, shoulder and arm, are peculiarly afflicted with crystalline growths of jade, the flesh discoloured with an unpleasant mottled grey. In addition he habitually wears an eye-patch, to conceal the fact that his left eye appears to also have been replaced with a similar jade crystal. Bastian’s explanation has varied but most commonly involves a deal with a Djinn, which he insists was still in his favour, hinting that perhaps his knowledge and power has its roots in that deal.

The truth is far stranger than any of the fictions the races have compiled to account for his existence and seeming longevity. The creature that came to be called Bastian traces its origins to the In-Between. After the ascension of Edarr to join the four Elder Gods, the In-Between was nearly drained completely by the demands of the other realms. Edarr’s plan to directly invade the Mortal realm and harvest all life there directly would not allow any of the life force to return to the In-Between and would have spelled the end of all those that remained there. Bastian foresaw that immediately following her transition to Onathien Edarr would be weak, mortal and vulnerable. The denizens of the In-Between pooled their remaining resources to send Bastian as their last hope, someone to allow the mortals to triumph over Edarr and hopefully bring back life to the In-Between. Bastian knew he would likely not return, in fact he expected to die attempting to bring down Edarr. He spent vast amounts of his energy in the transition between planes and then much of the remainder in the assault on Edarr. Following the Fall he found himself unable to take advantage of the energy that flooded the realms and missed his opportunity to join the Everlasting and get back to the In-Between. Once that temporary glut of energy had subsided he found himself diminished, with nowhere near the power required to make the journey back to his home.

As time passed he found that even now, in the mortal realm, he was still not completely subject to the edict of time. His lack of aging led immediately to questions he was not prepared to answer, so he withdrew from society, working to establish a mystique that would discourage further questioning. His goals remained to return to the In-Between and to spend his time on Onathien limiting the impact of the Old Gods as best he could, since religion acted to syphon portions of the souls of believers back to the Old Gods instead of the In-Between. To that end he promoted rumours of his knowledge and power, ensuring that he remained a valuable confidant and advisor for the political and religious leaders across Onathien throughout the ages.

The knowledge that Bastian is thought to possess has led to many seeking his tutelage over the centuries. Still, little is known about him since those who have found him on Onathien have returned changed by that knowledge and unwilling to speak.

It was no surprise to the summoned that Bastian soon joined their ranks. While In-Between his formidable will manifests as a strengthening of his allies, reinforcing their weapons and shoring up their faltering will. His ability to shift within that plane, teleporting at will, lends credence to the suggestions of his tower’s mobility on Onathien. He shows an unusual affinity for souls, a casual familiarity that the other summoned, particularly those who themselves have studied souls extensively, find peculiar.

- Colin "BoBliness" Hill -

Bastian Oriel, Lore Keeper

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Gloom the Shadow Hound

Gloom the Shadow Hound
Gloom the Shadow Hound

The summoned often encounter creatures that appear to be native to the In-Between. Of those creatures, none is encountered so often as the one they have named Gloom. 

The In-Between is a plane shaped by will and as such the native denizens are able to shift their appearance to forms that most reflect their intent. When hunting, Gloom takes on the appearance of a fierce wolf-like creature. Whether this is due to the origins of Gloom herself, or a mere case of her reflecting the fears of others back upon them is unclear. 

Gloom finds the voracious consumption of souls by the Everlasting and through their proxies, the summoned, to be a despicable act of greed and so she challenges their presence at every opportunity. 

The summoned have never seen her in any form other than her lupine form, so they assume that there are many such wolves; “shadow hounds”, common to the plane. In reality the In-Between owes its nature to time itself and as such the beings that dwell there can often be in two places almost simultaneously, since they do not treat time and distance in the manner those of Onathien are familiar with. 

Due to her personal crusade, Gloom appears in more contests around shrines than any other creature of the In-Between. She has clashed hundreds of times, driven the outsiders back hundreds of times, been defeated hundreds of times. 

Death in the In-Between is, if not impossible, at least extremely rare. Gloom is often defeated and driven off by the summoned. In their mind Gloom is destroyed and another wolf often appears, and they assume some sort of unseen pack structure. In truth the damage done to her form simply drives her back, it takes time for her to reconsolidate her form, recover her will and return to the fray.

She is a vicious fighter, without fear of death and she attacks in a whirl of claws and teeth, rending the summoned apart as she seeks to deny them souls for their summoner. She has even been known to strike at the Effigys used to summon, though rarely is she able to disrupt such a powerful artefact. 

Although her true origins are unknown, it is clear that Gloom has some reference points for her hunting form; forests materialise around her to conceal her movements in shadow and it is this darkness that she always lurks in which led to her name among the summoned.

Gloom the Shadow Hound

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Rakkir, The Blood Shadow

Rakkir, The Blood Shadow

Rakkir, The Blood Shadow

The moon hung heavily upon the horizon, a witching lantern softly casting her light upon the sleeping world. A lone figure, masked and heavily cowled, defied the solemnity of the hour. Moving with dread purpose, the figure softly swept between the buildings, gliding through shadows; a nightmare made manifest.

Rakkir took a deep and calming breath. Stooping low, his eyes narrowed to yellow slits taking in the courtyard before him. He could hear the guards lazily prattle through their watch, smell the stench of cooked meat as they fed upon a carcass and he smirked to himself at the irony. Pushing off he sprinted low, darting across the courtyard in a blur, hitting the gated wall with a soft thud. Pressed against the cool stone Rakkir moved silently towards the guard house. He took a moment to adjust against the warm glow spilling into the night. The voices inside were deep in conversation, there was a pause followed by raucous laughter – and then he sprung.

The first guard was dead before he hit the ground, and a second in mid guffaw felt the dreadful conclusion of Rakkir’s dagger. Of the two remaining, one fell back over the barrel he’d been sitting on as the shock hit, and the last turned to run. Rakkir flipped his dagger deftly in his hand and flung it towards the runaway. The blade struck with a slick squelch as the young man crumpled head first into the far wall, a broken heap.

Rakkir pounced upon the last guard pinning his knee to the man’s throat. In a voice that was deep, gravelly and heavily accented the Blood Shadow spoke.

"Where is your lord...?"

The guard spluttered as he tried to gain breath, both arms working furiously to displace the knee upon his throat. Rolling back ever so slightly Rakkir gave the man just enough room to breathe.

The man drew a quick breath and started to blather. Rakkir had no patience for it, not tonight. Dropping his knee again the guard began a futile fight for air. As he began to panic his arms thrust upwards and tore at the cowl Rakkir had been wearing. His eyes widened in fear, he spluttered profanities, seeing for the first time the deeply scarred and heavily set green face of the Orc who had slaughtered his kin.

Rakkir knew he would get nothing now; he slid his dagger with cruel and practiced efficiency through the man’s ribs giving the hilt a savage twist as the blade entered a lung. Cursing to himself, knowing he would have to do this the hard way now. Still, waste not want not Rakkir thought to himself as he cut out the dead man’s heart. Zaron, his master, would make good use of it.

Rakkir is a deadly killer specialising in the various toxins and poisons of Onathien. Exceptionally agile and stealthy for an Orc, Rakkir quickly rose through the ranks of his local thieves guild before striking out on his own as a hired assassin. His reputation stretches the length and breadth of the land and anyone rumoured as being a target of the Blood Shadow is considered a dead man walking.

A veteran of many battles on the shadow plane of InBetween Rakkir has worked with the necromancer Zaron Bogdan to create shadow orbs. The orbs contain the essence of the shadow plane itself enabling Rakkir to travel short distances in a heartbeat by slipping in and out of the plane at will. The shadow orbs have elevated an already deadly assassin to supernatural heights that make him a terror to behold on the battlefield.

Rakkir, The Blood Shadow

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Loribela Runeflask, Dwarf Alchemist

Loribela Runeflask, Dwarf Alchemist

Loribela Runeflask

With the rhythm of a pendulum the hammer cracked against the hot metal, each with precisely the same force as the one before. Thubror’s forearms bulged, muscles straining from the effort. It was late in the day, he had been at it since dawn, however he knew better than anyone how important this stage in the armour working process was. At the 20th strike he paused briefly to let the metal cool, affording himself a few seconds to glance over at his daughter who worked alongside him with just as much precision and skill. Whilst she was quite adept at metal working herself, Lori's prowess with chemical compounds and metallurgy was legendary. 

Thubror had always enjoyed a deep love for his child, like any father would, however his admiration for Loribela had grown over time. A deep respect reserved for someone who possessed complete mastery over their work. Unperturbed by the setback of losing one of her limbs to an experiment gone wrong at a young age, Lori persevered with her quest for knowledge of alchemy until she was the foremost expert on the subject throughout all of Onathien. Another trait that made her father swell with pride.

Thubror turned back to his work. The stage where he would imbue the armour with the magical element created by Lori drew near and he had to be at his best to ensure both of their work was not wasted. Minotaur breast plates consumed a lot of their resources amplifying the cost of failure ten fold, not to mention the complication of upsetting an 8' hulking half-beast who wanted his armour. He smiled to himself. Lori had done wonders for relations between the minotaurs and dwarfs. A fact that was not lost on the king, yes, his daughter was a special one indeed.

Apparently the breast plate they currently worked on was for a leader of a great herd that roamed the plains east of Bhurnborrihm. Doenrakkar was his name, a mighty shaman of his people, one who seemed keen to strengthen ties between the minotaurs and dwarfs. To be fair the two races had always enjoyed good relations however it had definitely strengthened in recent times. The growing sense of trouble brewing had spread across the lands, talk of warring gods, fierce storms and shadow beasts coming out of the north.  Stuff of which Thubror knew little and cared even less about. Nevertheless he took some comfort in the knowledge the roaming herds of minotaurs were friends of his kin as well as the small part he played in that strengthening bond.

A sudden smash of glass broke Thubror from his reverie. Turning he saw his daughter on all fours breathing heavily gasping in pain. She rolled onto her side as he rushed to her loosening her tunic to make it easier to breath. "Father, I am fine and will be back shortly", she spoke through gritted teeth. His attention was drawn to the left side of her chest where he noticed a symbol of some sort glowing through her flesh. Lori clutched his hand tight and smiled. Then before his very eyes she began to fade until all that was left were wisps of black smoke, shadow like, where Lori lay only moments before.

Thubror was left alone with his thoughts. Now this would explain the recent absences. He returned to his work safe in the knowledge Lori would return and with it the answers to a myriad of questions formulating in his mind. 

Loribela is a hero with a difference, one of several in the Judgement range that breaks the traditional hero mould. She has a lot of character, an interesting back story and will be a 54mm miniature that will be a challenging and extremely rewarding experience for the hobbyists out there. In game she packs quite a punch sitting nicely within the Supporter class with a few interesting race specific synergies.

Loribela Runeflask

Lori possesses the base Movement 3, Agility 3 and Resilience 1 statistics typical for all dwarfs although beyond that she enjoys a powerful and diverse kit that makes her extremely useful in any Warband. Head-butt, her signature basic attack, contains a 1S Combat Manoeuvre that applies the useful Stun effect and Fiery Flask, her secondary basic attack, provides amazing utility being able to set opponents on fire.

Both of Loribela's Fate cost Special Actions alter the movement and placement of enemy models which is considered one of the most influential effects in the game. Combined with her dwarf/minotaur synergy she opens up several interesting Warband builds involving those two races.

 Loribela Runeflask

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Sir Marcus, The Winter Knight

Sir Marcus, The Winter Knight

Sir Marcus, the Winter Knight

Sir Marcus is a towering man, proud, stern and righteous. Age has not diminished his strength nor his fierce visage and he remains as unbending and determined as he was 30 years ago. Once the head of a militant order of knights dedicated to the Church of Eldir, Sir Marcus became disillusioned about what he perceived to be the church's softening stance towards non-believers. His fiery rhetoric saw him clash with the church's ruling clergy until he became alienated from those he swore to protect. Eventually his post became untenable so Marcus gathered his most loyal knights and lead them north from their base in Grimstrand.

Through high mountain passes and snowy peaks his knights soldiered on, driven by their desire to set up a new church order where Eldir's true doctrine would be strictly adhered to. Four weeks into their journey they were set upon by a viscous tribe of mountain trolls who were far more accustomed to a battlefield covered in 3 feet of snow. Marcus' knights fought valiantly performing a fighting withdrawal to the defendable position of a small cavern where they had time to regroup whilst their attackers feasted on their dead brothers.

Trapped, decimated in numbers and far from home Marcus petitioned Eldir to save his men and lead them to salvation. He cried out with a fierce roar, challenging his god to deliver the last of his true believers so that they could further his cause in the realm of mortal men. In his time of great need, when all hope seemed lost, Eldir answered Marcus' call. He appeared to him and spoke at length, primarily about the growing threat of the chosen 5 and their ascension to demigod status. Eldir had found a way to have Marcus summoned by the demigods instead of another they called allowing him to learn more about them in the hope that Eldir could bring them down.

Eldir presented Marcus with "Ice", a mighty broadsword forged over 300 years ago by his ancestors, a long lost family heirloom. With it Marcus would have the power to withstand the harshest winter storm and gain power over the elements to manipulate the ice and snow that had tormented him on his journey north. He was the Winter Knight, a vassal of Eldir, the bringer of cold, hard justice. At that moment the trolls breached the cave entrance and began slaughtering his last remaining knights. Sir Marcus strode purposefully towards them, Ice in hand and the fury of Eldir by his side. He exacted revenge for his fallen kin slaying every troll in the cave before continuing to destroy their entire tribe. Justice, cold fury.

Sir Marcus patiently waited for his first summons to the Shadow Plane, it came shortly after. Marcus relished the opportunity to do his god's bidding and hoped he would have the chance to personally slay the usurpers that dared threaten his lord and maker. 

Sir Ma

Sir Marcus is a defender in every sense of the word. He is one of two heroes with a base Resilience of 2 and combined with a hefty 18 health at level 1 he certainly takes some shifting! Marcus' bread and butter play is his Shield Bash which comes with a 1S Combat Manoeuvre that knocks down his opponent, and his Wall of Ice Fate ability can scupper your enemy's best laid plans. 

Once he reaches level 2 or 3 the Winter Knight will cause havoc in your opponent's back line, knocking them down, slowing their movement and reducing their Ranged and Magic attacks. Equipping Marcus with the Vorpal Blade (+1 Melee) greatly increases his chances of getting the Shield Bash knockdown. Alternatively you can go beast tank mode by giving him the Glyph of Warding (+1 Resilience). Another good artefact choice are the Boots of Speed making it very easy for him to reach your opponent's squishy characters at the back.

Sir Marcus is a rock solid choice in any Warband, highly dependable and quite flexible once you learn the intricacies of his kit.

Sir Marcus, The Winter Knight

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Full Game Commentary Video

Full Game Commentary Video

As we get closer to the Kickstarter launch we will be releasing more of the rules, game play and tactics of Judgement. Today we published a full length video of a play test battle using all the features of the game. In this particular battle both Jeff and I thought we would have some fun and play test race flavoured Warbands, him Elves and myself Orcs. 

One of the things I love about Judgement is the depth of tactical options available. Beyond choosing the 5 heroes for your Warband, you have to also consider your in-game magical artefact strategy and the levelling up priority of your heroes. And of course the last 2 plans can and will change and adapt to what your opponent does. The in-game strategies are so rich and really sets Judgement apart from other table-top miniature games on the market.

The Full Game Commentary video demonstrates a lot of the challenges that can be thrown up during the course of a game. Alternate activations result in a constantly swirling battlefield forcing each player to consistently refresh their strategy. Coupled with heroes unlocking new abilities and enhancing their powers with magical artefacts the ruleset makes for very dynamic gameplay.

An area of the game that will really allow us to stretch our wings is the creation of more interesting and challenging maps including a diverse range of monsters. Neutral monsters are another a unique aspect of Judgement and one area we are very excited about expanding upon once we successfully launch the Kickstarter. The rewards for killing them are great however they do soak up a lot of your Warband's resources to bring them down. Simply ignoring them will work for a time however their movement towards the nearest model each turn makes them a ticking time bomb that must be dealt with at some stage.

Despite the Judgement development team and early play testers having played hundreds of games so far we are yet to see any dominant tactic or Warband. We are still at that exciting stage of trying out combinations and in-games strategies. I can't wait to unleash the game onto the masses to see what amazing things the community comes up with, particularly once we launch the tournament packs for competitive play.

Over the coming weeks we will be publishing more battle reports using lots of different heroes and combinations for you guys to get your teeth into. So stay tuned! :)

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Istariel - Mistress of the Flame

Istariel - Mistress of the Flame

Istariel - Mistress of the Flame

Elmo lay motionless beneath the undergrowth, lungs burning from his recent efforts, struggling to keep his breathing under control for fear of alerting his assailant to his location. His sources ensured him she was not meant to be home, he took a mental note to extract greater payment from them, should he get out of this one alive. Onathien contained only a few living souls that could survive a pursuit by Istariel, Mistress of the Flame. He cursed for allowing himself to be caught in this position, he was better than this. He had become too blase and it looked like it would cost him his life.

Istariel closed her eyes and calmed her senses, listening for the slightest sound of her quarry. The audacity, a human no less, trying to steal from her. Her rising fury made it difficult for her to focus. The mere touch of her feet on the forest floor charred leaves and produced trails of smoke, smoldering from the heat of her soles. Despite this she moved silently, at one with the woods, as was habitual for her kin. Istariel was well known across the realm for her mastery of fire, however at her core, she was still an elf.

Elmo knew it was only a matter of time before she would find him, hiding like a frightened child would not get him out of this predicament. In a heartbeat his mind was made up and he was once again scurrying through the forest. All sense of caution thrown to the wind, he ducked, weaved and tumbled to make himself as difficult a target as possible. The heat of a searing bolt of fire passed over his right shoulder before cannoning into the trunk of a huge oak. It seemed that she was prepared to burn the entire forest down to get him. Perhaps these jewels were worth more than he first thought...yes, he would extract a greater payment than was agreed…

The adrenaline coursed through Istariel’s body, as did the searing hot flame. It was pure ecstasy. Her prey would not get away, none ever did. The elf’s thought pattern suddenly shimmered, strayed and then broke. A searing pain burned her chest. Could it be she underestimated the one she chased? Was he more than a mere rogue? The pain intensified until she doubled over on all fours, unable to do anything else. Thoughts of pursuit left her as her basic survival instincts kicked in.

Istariel looked at her hands, they were translucent. This was magic she had never seen or heard of. Who was this thief? Consciousness threatened to abandon her, the dark deep beckoning. Cold enveloped her body, an unusual sensation for the Mistress of the Flame. She had a feeling of weightlessness, a lack of knowing which was up or down. Not an altogether uncomfortable experience, albeit an alien one.

With a thud she hit the soft earth, her consciousness returned. Instincts kicked in and she sprang to her feet, expecting some kind of threat. Her surroundings were familiar although somehow not so, grey, drab, lacking in colour and life. Four others stood near her. 2 humans, an orc and a hulking minotaur with manacles around his wrists, broken chains hanging loosely. Before them stood a 12 foot tall stone structure, some kind of obelisk, crackling with energy and lightning. A searing blue arcane symbol burning brightly near its top. As her eyes gazed into the symbol she felt a slight tingling in her chest. Looking down she saw the same symbol glowing upon her skin. Istariel was snapped out of her reverie when the human barked something about protecting him, so he could gather souls for his master. Soon after the sounds of battle echoed. The four others immediately darted towards the noise, weapons drawn, she followed. Eager to learn more of this mysterious grey place and hopefully make sense of the madness she had witnessed in the last few minutes of her life...

Istariel - Mistress of the Flame

Istariel is a potent aggressor, dealing her damage from range. Her use and manipulation of fire, coupled with her Heat Conductor innate ability, means she is the bane of high armoured tanks and a welcome addition to any Warband.

Istariel is the only hero with no melee weapon and has the lowest starting health in the game. This means she requires  protection, particularly if your opponent is fielding the melee assassins such as Rakkir or Zhonyja. Her biggest defense is her high agility. Augmenting that with the Boots of Agility magical artefact will ensure even those two will have a tough time bringing her down. Another valid tactic is positioning her next to Doenrakkar or Thrommel, who will both take the edge of any would be killers, largely nullifying their initial attack.

Another built in defensive mechanism is Blaze, an interesting ability, effectively making her immune to Parting Blows. It also lets her traverse difficult terrain, walls, and even impassable terrain. However Istariel really starts to shine when she can pull off the Incendiary Combat Manoeuvre. Once her enemy is on fire she is able to dish out extra damage with Conflagration, and at both levels 2 & 3 the enemy will be in a world of hurt.  

Istariel is set to be the 3rd miniature we get sculpted after Rakkir and Bastian and I personally can't wait to see what Tom can do with her. There is a lot of cool details in the illustration and the surrounding flames are going to be a modeller's dream. :)

Istariel, Mistress of the Flame

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About Orcs - An Introduction to the Orcs of Onathien

About Orcs - An Introduction to the Orcs of Onathien

Orcs are the 2nd most populous race of Onathien, after humans. They are one of the original 5 races, have their own pantheon of gods and for many years were the most powerful and dominant race in the world.

Orcs are steeped in tradition and reverence of their ancestors. Their reluctance to change their ways and embrace advances in technology (such as metal work) has seen them secede the mantle of power to the more ambitious humans. The size and power of orcs results in humans, elves and dwarfs being wary when in their presence, however orcs are no more likely to cause harm to a stranger than any other race.

Appearance

Rakkir, Orc Rogue

Orcs are on average slightly taller than humans, around 6’ 2” being the norm for a healthy male. They are broad of shoulder, possess a slightly stooped gait and have a thicker and more dense bone structure, which often leads to powerful physiques. Their skin colour ranges from a grey/green to a very light grey, that under certain light conditions looks almost pure white.


Two of their lower jaw teeth are quite large and grow to fangs in their adolescent. They grow facial hair similar to humans, however baldness is more common amongst orcs. Hair colour generally ranges from black to red/browns, however on occasion, an orc cub will be born with pure white hair. More often than not this indicates the cub is marked with the gift of commune and they grow into Shamans.

Society

Orcs tend to be divided into clans. Immediate family is not a concept orcs hold dear, they will much sooner identify themselves with their clans than their family. Orc cubs are grouped together from a very young age and the raising of young ones is a shared responsibility amongst the clan. This ensures orcs from the same clan are taught the same values and beliefs and also means the loss of a parent or sibling is no where near as keenly felt as those of other races.


A clan will have a single chieftain that is normally the most powerful male warrior. In more recent times there have been occasions where an orc with guile and cunning can lead a clan, one who is able to negotiate with other races and manipulate other more powerful warriors into his servitude however he is often running a fine line and must always be on his guard. Shamans very seldom lead clans. They prefer to be advisors and provide spiritual guidance to clan chieftains.


There is often good will between clans and usually an orc will side with an orc of another clan against someone from a different race unless the two clans have diametrically opposing views. Wars between clans are not uncommon however such conflicts are normally short lived and once the initial dispute is resolved the clans normally become friendly once again. Shamans as a rule are not warlike and during times of conflict between clans they are often working behind the scenes to come to a diplomatic solution.

Ancestral Scrolls

Orcs record their history on large parchments that are referred to as ancestral scrolls. The scrolls detail the rich history of the clan, its triumphs, defeats, achievements and disasters. Orcs, more than any other race learn from their past. Ancestral scrolls are passed on from generation to generation and are the most valuable possession of any orc clan.


On the occasion of major wars between clans the victor has been known to destroy the scrolls of a vanquished foe. However this only occurs in the most extreme circumstances where the hatred between the clans is beyond reproach. The destruction of ancestral scrolls is utterly devastating for any surviving clan members, many of whom will take their own lives rather than live on without that sense of identity.

Shamans

Hausa, Orc Shaman

Haksa - Orc Shaman

Shamans hold a special place in orc society as they provide direct commune to the orc gods. Their counsel is often sort and normally followed, even by the most powerful orc chieftains. Even though the Shamans hold such a elevated position they are very rarely leaders, that position is normally reserved for the most powerful warrior of the clan.


A clan’s shamans are entrusted with the protection and upkeep of its ancestral scrolls, a task they are given immediately upon their identification as having the gift from an early age. The gift can reveal itself in many ways, pure white hair or skin, a pupil less eye or even a physical mark upon the skin. Regardless of the manifestation the gift is always the same, the ability to commune with the orc gods.

Witchdoctors

Kruul, Orc Witchdoctor

Kruul - Orc Witchdoctor

Witchdoctors are relatively new to orc society, the first ever was Krognar, one of the 5  champions sent to the Shadow Plane at The Gathering, some 300 years ago. Since Krognar, many young orcs with the gift have turned their back on their ability to commune with the old gods to gain favour from Krognar, who they believe is the one true orc god.


Whereas shamans provide wise counsel and promote peace, witchdoctors denounce the orc gods and promote war and conflict. Witchdoctors believe orcs were destined to rule the world only to lose their way and sucede power to the other races.


The rivalry between witchdoctors and shamans is the biggest threat to the orc race in his history. It is based on a similar dilemma all the races of Onathien face, the struggle between the old gods and the new upstart demigods.

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