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, July 22, 2011

Painting the Mythos: Deep Ones

I haven't been doing much painting, or posting, lately.  Like much of the continent, Winnipeg has been caught in the grip of a brutal heat-wave, and with record-breaking humidity to make it extra fun.  So I've spent the last week cowering in the basement of my non-air-conditioned house.  One of the best ways to survive the heat is a vacation to the beach - unless, that is, the local residents all have a certain 'Innsmouth look.'

Dagon has long been my favourite Great Old One, and his cults figure prominently in most of my campaigns.  And of course, what's a Dagon cult without Deep Ones?  As an aside, if there is anyone who hasn't read Lovecraft, but is looking to give him a try, I recommend The Shadow Over Innsmouth as an excellent jumping in point as it is a wonderful, creepy story that is a great introduction to the Cthulhu Mythos.

The body was base-coated with a mix of Reaper Forest Green and Mahogany Brown, then layered with successively lighter tones of green and turquoise.  The under-arms and belly were painted with a mix of Pale Green, and Pure White, with a wash of Sunlight Yellow around the margins.  The eyes were painted Deep Red, then blended up through orange to yellow at the center.

The base was sculpted using Epoxolite epoxy modelling putty.  I glued sand on the base behind the creature, and sculpted ripple marks in front, then filled these with Realistic Water to make it look like the Deep One is standing at the water's edge.

Deep Ones have long been present in D&D, represented by the Kuo-Toa, but several other sinister aquatic races have appeared in the game, such as Sahuagin and Aboleths, which like many of D&D's classic monsters, have some obvious Lovecraftian influences.

A few years ago, during a heavily Dagon-centric sea-faring D&D campaign, my players all chipped to buy me this awesome Dagon figure in hopes of eventually confronting him.  Sadly the party all wiped at mid-level, prematurely ending the campaign before the epic confrontation could occur.

The heat wave in Winnipeg has finally broken, and I'll be spending the rest of the day packing for my own trip to the sea shore.  Tomorrow I'm off for a week of field-work in Churchill, a remote community on the shore of Hudson Bay in Manitoba's subarctic, and assuming I don't have any fatal encounters with polar bears or Deep Ones, I'll post pictures when I get back.  For those of you still suffering the heat, try to keep cool, and if you are planning a trip to the beach, keep a wary eye out for wide-mouthed locals with bulging eyes - you never know...


Aaron E. Steele said...

Nice. Dagon is particularly creepy.

Matt Finch said...

OMG, that Dagon is a HUGE figure, judging by the deep one next to it. That's loads of awesome.

I love the way you did the eyes on the Deep One. Did you build that up with dry-brushing, or a different method?

Sean Robson said...

Thanks, guys. I didn't actually paint Dagon - that's a plastic action figure, from the Todd McFarlane line, I believe.

@Matt, I used wet-blending to do the eyes. I started by painting the eyes red, then while the paint was still wet, blended in orange, and then yellow, working towards the center.

Tim Shorts said...

Man those are cool. Both of them are fantastic.

Don said...

that Dagon is indeed all kinds of awesome. Have a good trip! Me, I'm enjoying the heat (and hoping it returns soon). I love summer and am distinctly not a "winter person..."

Sean Robson said...

Thanks, Don, I just wish I'd left last week and missed all the heat. I'm definitely a cool weather person.