Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Call of Cthulhu: Painting the Mythos

Some time back in the mid 1980s (1985 if memory serves correctly), shortly after getting into the Call of Cthulhu role playing game, I bought this box of Grenadier miniatures.

For about the last twenty six years I've been meaning to get these painted, but since I suffer from chronic Painter's ADD there's always been some project or other that has been a higher priority.  Consequently, these long-neglected creatures have languished in my basement all but forgotten.

So, I've decided to set myself a challenge to 'Paint the Mythos,' and finally give these miniatures the respect they deserve.  While rooting around in the basement, ostensibly to prepare for the spring flood, I uncovered a cache of Grenadier boxed sets that I hadn't seen in many a year.  Blowing the dust of the box cover, fell in love all over again with these beautiful sculpts.  Grenadier was often hit and miss with its sculpt quality, particularly in their AD&D line, but their Call of Cthulhu miniatures are absolutely top notch by any standard.

For my first mythos creature, I'm going to cheat a little to buy some time, and show you one that I'd already painted back in December to accompany my Christmas poem, The Night of the Black Mass.

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

Resembling trees in silhouette, the Dark Young are writhing masses of black ropy tentacles covered with puckered mouths that drip green goo, and terminate in hooves that are used for walking.  They smell like an open grave and stand between 12 and 20 feet tall.

The Dark Young are found only in areas where Shub-Niggurath is worshiped, and they act as her proxies, accepting sacrifices on her behalf.

In Faedun, the druids of Llanvirnesse most often sacrifice to Shub-Niggurath, but this is more in the nature of appeasement than actual worship.  Yet, druids of the inner circle are taught the rituals of summoning required to call one of her Dark Young when the need arises.

Armour Class: 0                      Special: Strength Drain
Hit Dice: 8                               Move: 12
Attacks: Tentacles                   HDE/XP: 9/1,100 xp

Dark Young may attack with four tentacles per round.  It can attack four different targets or commit multiple tentacles to each target, in which case it gains a +1 bonus to hit for each tentacle after the first used to attack a  target.  The tentacles deal constricting damage (roll 2d6 and pick the highest roll).  Victims held by the tentacles must make a strength save to escape.  Additionally, a victim held by a tentacle loses 1d3 points of strength per turn unless they make a successful Constitution save.

New Spell:
Call Dark Young
Spell Level: M4
Range: 60 ft.
Duration: One turn per level

This spell summons one of the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, who will aid the caster if the appropriate sacrifice has been made.  This spell is normally only learned by druids and cultists of Shub-Niggurath.


Jeff Rients said...

Good use of highlighting on the tentacles there, man. At first glance it looked to me like it was lit that way rather than painted that way.

Trey said...

That does look good! And cool integration into the setting.

jasons said...

Nice ichor...foetid in the extreme, no doubt. Eldritch, too.

Sean Robson said...

Thanks Guys!

@Jeff: in retrospect, I should have glazed the tentacles to de-emphasize the harshness of the highlighting. The photograph shows flaws the eye doesn't see.
@Trey: as far as I'm concerned every setting needs a little Lovecraft!
@Jasons: the bright green ichor no only looks nauseating, it provides a nice contrast with the grey body!