Thursday, 6 October 2016

Background Backdoor: Asheaters

- Only the dead have seen the end of war -

   I paint models only after deciding who they are, where they come from, which battles they have won and how, and which ones they've lost and why. Sometimes I create traditions, history, words with particular meanings and more... I know that many of us do the same, making wonderful backgrounds for our battles and campaigns on the tabletop. Well, this is our corner!

   This time we talk about the Ghyran Asheaters Warclan, an Ironjawz tribe well known for its violence and determination.. and for the feared tradition to burn up the corpses of their dead enemies just to cover their armors with the remaining ashes; in this way they paint their plates in black.

Asheaters Warclan

   Ghyran, the fabled Realm of Life, is a land of many countries, kingdoms, and wide and savage landscapes. The Jade Kingdoms rose here, the Eternal Queen Alarielle woke up here to unite Sylvaneth and Stormcast Eternals in a victorious war against the host of Nurgle's demons that invaded the realm centuries before.
    In this place where life blooms both luxuriant and deadly our orruks live; and in these times of war, under the command of a new Megaboss, Marnaldur Gaze of Mork, they've launched a mighty assault to the Jade Kingdoms... let all the land tremble under their walk and their powerful WAAAGH! war-yells!

Black Blood and Thunder Yells Tribes

   The Asheaters Warclan has always been divided in two main tribes: Black Blood and Thunder Yells, both very important for the internal balance of the clan. Traditionally, Black Blood's bosses provide the best foot warriors, having proven themselves in the arenas and pits organized every week by the tribe's leaders; Thunder Yells are instead the best in hunting and riding the deadly Gruntas, forming the largest part of the clan's cavalry.

War Within the Tribes

   Under the leadership of Uto Bonecracker, who remained the Asheaters' megaboss for more than a decade, the warclan experienced one of its best times in plunder and war... they fought without any rest growing stronger each day. By the time of his death, Uto's Ironjawz were so many that he could split forces in two wide fronts, one against Alarielle and the force from Sylvaneth and Azyr and one against Nurgle's demons... Ironjawz don't care about the enemy, only fighting matters.
    Sadly the mighty warlord knew death by the hand of the Eternal Queen herself and in the wake of his fall the Asheaters begun a long time of civil war to choose an orruk fierce enough to command such a vast host of greenskinz.
    Uto's liutenants were two at that time, one from each main tribe: Uglug Headsmasher for the Thunder Yells and Marn Gaze of Mork for the Black Blood. Since the best warrior between them seemed to be Uglug, and since he shared common tribe with Uto, the majority of the clan thought he'd become the new Warlord. But Marn tought differently; aided by his loyal and powerful weirdnob shaman, Grannos the Blind, and his friends Drummash the Chanter and Krugga the Pig-arm he started moving from east to west to meet Uglug in war, pulling in his wake every greenskinz or beastclaw tribes he found, or destroying them if they dared show allegiance to Thunder Yells side.
     After one year of conflict, one year of bloodshed, Marn faced Uglug in a duel on the top of the Crag of Mork, and eventually killed him, becoming the new Warlord.

The Crag of Mork

   The political and religious heart of the Asheaters' Warclan is the Crag of Mork, an ancient piece of rock in a hidden wide vale on the Soot Peaks of Ghyran. No orruks, not even the shamans know exactly who sculpted that Gorkamorka face or how old it is but they know for sure one thing: each Warlord has to declare his right to command the clan right above it and the other bosses have to accept him under the Gorkamorka's eyes.
    Marn gained his right in killing, after a brutal duel, his opponent right on the rock. As a last act of conquering he used Uglug's blood to paint one tooth of Gorkamorka.

Being the "Aldur"

    Grannos the Blind deserved most of the merit in making Marn Warlord. His talking about the great Gordrakk, Fist of Gork, and his accosting Marn to Gorkamorka's chosen, capitalizing on the different color between the eyes of the boss, calling him "Gaze of Mork", and many other details helped a lot... weaving such a legend around Marn allowed him to aim for the throne, making his rights from litterally nothing.
     The last trick he pulled - whether if he actually knew it, or totally made it up, no one will ever know - was telling the ancient tradition of the "Aldur": a word that, actually, means "King of the Kings"; a word every Warlord should use in his name. In that way Marn became Marnaldur, King of the Kings.

Marnaldur Gaze of Mork, the Ghyran Iron Skull

   Marnaldur is the first Asheaters Warlord to ride a Maw-krusha, at least in recent times. He conquered his mount travelling in the north for weeks, right after his struggle against Uglug... for yes, he became warlord without Kartart, his huge blue lizard.

     He wields a mighty weapon, called Drokk-gor, "Bastion Smasher", forged by the night goblin's shaman Deghishnak from the Yellow Boots tribe, alongside Grannos. They used a mysterious kind of metal and Red Wood, the enchanted body of some unlucky Treelord.

    He is called Iron Skull because one of his legendary acts was to retrieve an ancient metallic skull counted in the Gorkamorka's legacy, lost by the God millennia ago in Ghyran; he is called Gaze of Mork just because he has one eye red and the other plain white.

Grannos the Blind

   Little is known about the enigmatic and brilliant (for orruk standards, of course) wierdnob shaman called Grannos. He is called "the Blind" because he lost his sight in the last battle against Thunder Yells tribe, channeling so much green energy that actually burned up his eyes, and his enemies as well.

    Orzhug is his bodyguard; an orruk tall and huge like a megaboss, that very rarely talks or shouts. A deadly warrior that follows Grannos' every step, watching over him, for reasons and from time unknown.

Krugga Pig-arm, the Spell Breaker
    Krugga is Marnaldur's Champion, his greatest warrior and actually one of the greatest fighters of the entire Ghyran. He should have been the Warlord instead of Marnaldur but few months before Uto's death Marnaldur gained his right to lead the Black Blood by defeating Krugga himself in duel. It was the first and the last time the Megaboss lost a fight, so he swore allegiance to the winner, until death.

    He's called Pig-arm just because of the weight of his punches... but gained the name "Spell Breaker" during an heroic battle against the Seraphon, achieving victory heavily wounded and alone.. in the last moments of the fight he killed 2 saurus knights, 4 saurus warriors, one powerful skink starpriest and wounded an oldblood on cold one... eventually he destroyed the artefact the lizardmen were defending and... Broke their Spell.

   During the civil war he won many battles on the vanguard, stopping Uglug's army alone with his brutes, the Krugga's Beasts. Remarkable was the death duel he won against Telcar, Uglug's Champion, during the epic battle for Crag's control.

Drummash the Chanter

   Drummash is the beating heart of the storm. He is the oldest and greatest friend of Marnaldur and acts as his voice, his messenger and his most trusted advisor in the same way.

    He was one of the fellows that followed Marnaldur in the Maw-krusha hunting; and his job as a diplomatic (in an orruk way, however) and spy is priceless for the Warlord.

Kartart's Flames

    The Kartart's Flames are the honour guards of the Warlord, and the regiment was created right after Uto's death... the only thing the Black Blood missed was cavalry, so Marnaldur searched for a powerful and skilled rider within his orruk and found Durna, called "One-eyed".

   Marnaldur tasked Durna with creating a very heavy unit, something that no one would resist during a well placed charge. Durna hunted down many gruntas, helped by the Icebrow Hunter Skadra, and started training the best foot warriors from the Black Blood to fight mounted.

    The Durna's Flames were the ones leading the charge in the last battle against Uglug and, after Marnaldur soothed his Maw-krusha, they changed their name in Kartart's Flames, starting a strange tradition: any aspirant rider would have to go deep in Sylvaneth, searching for a rare blue flower which he'd use to paint his wisp.

Krugga's Beasts

   They are the Black Blood Veterans, the Beasts of Krugga. They hold the center against everything. They'll crush everything their way. And they will fight forever.

The Morklings

   It is not a habit of Marnaldur to let lesser orruks fight alongside his brave warriors, but Rakka and his men from the Morklings deserved a place between those giants; they held flanks in some crucial battles in the ascension of the Warlord and hunted down a very rare kind of squig, a blue one, in honor of his mount. you know almost everything about my Asheaters. I invented everything since Games Workshop didn't explain much about them.

   The story will continue... currently they are fighting a brutal campaign against Seraphon!

   Thanks for reading!

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