Thursday, 29 October 2015

Frostgrave: A Rockstar Among Wizards

Husayn al-Tawoos
When I saw the Northstar Summoner I knew I wanted to have one and wanted to paint him up in a most ostentatious fashion.  Royal purples, golden brocade, and glittering baubles.  To contrast his loud ensemble I contrasted his flashy robes with plain off white garments.  I think that I had been planning to paint him as close as I could to their studio paint job but as I proceeded from the initial base coat I began to deviate slightly until I arrived at Husayn al-Tawoos.



A wizard of distinction; Hopefully :) .
al-Tawoos is, "The Peacock".  As I was moving toward duplicating the studio flower print I changed my mind as I determined his identity.  I had already changed his turban from the muted harmony to the robe that it had been to what I thought was a more lively turquoise.  I decided to try a peacock styled print as decoration and for better or worse there it is.
Serviceable, but the back doesn't look as nice.
The world of Frostgrave is undefined the creators.  When I discovered this initially I was disappointed.  I don't have a great appreciation for game rules and discovering my new book which had lured me away from more models for my pile was composed of game mechanics and charts in spite of having some beautiful and inspiring art and miniatures showcased I was sad.  On reflection and from visiting the Frostgrave boards on Lead Adventures I learned that this might have been a good thing.  The people who are playing the game are building their own narratives.

A walled city of Anshur.  I want some of those minarets in Ptolmea as the rich ape exotic culture.
Husayn and his war band have journeyed to Frostgrave from Anshur an oligarchy of desert states in the Far South.  In the,"horridverse" Anshur is a state that remained independent of the Ptolomea fighting a losing war to maintain their sovereignty until the cataclysm entombed the Imperial capital and plunged it's City States into civil war.  I named the empire Ptolomea for the 9th circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno.  Here the devil was entombed in a lake of ice so it felt right for the doomed city.  The other reason being I liked the Romanesque name the will be suitable for the feel of the terrain I plan to build.

The King in Hell.  Inspiration for the frozen city.
Anshur survived by geography (location and terrain and climate) as well as by the austerity it's people were willing to endure in order to direct their own destiny.  As largely nomadic desert dwellers the al-Anshur (people of Anshur) were accustomed to hardship and privation; Such is life in a desert environment.  As the war against the Empire continued greater sacrifices had to be made and many of the freedoms they believed they fought for were lost unto themselves.

The Summoner and his daughter approach their destination.
A millennia after the fall of Frostgrave the culture of Anshur is dictated by conditions of a long forgotton war that have become taboo of quasi-religious significance.  A caste system dictates the status and role of a person in the society.  There are slaves ,soldiers, scholars, commoners, and a officials.  Added into the mix are wizards who enjoy status comparable to the government officials.  The separate states are governed by prefects reporting to a central government council.

I hope to bring some of these vibrant colours to the war band.
al-Tawoo has been sent to Frostgrave under the Enlightened (council) orders.  He is directed to delve into the ruins, gather knowledge and crush the leavings of the Empire (any cultures that developed from Imperial stock or their former subjugated peoples) should they get in his way.  Should he succeed Husayn might earn hmself a seat among the Enlightened.

Inspiring image of an Arabian Wizard.  It could be Ziva.
Magical aptitude is believed to be inherited by blood in Anshur.  Wizards are part of breeding programs and may have multiple husbands and wives.  Husayn has brought his daughter, Ziva with him as his apprentice.  She is not the eldest nor most practiced of his get but he believes she has the most raw potential.  Because he felt such affection for the girl's mother, his third wife he has always doted on her. 

The summoner's greater demon.
I decided to include a Marilith as his greater demon.  I doubt he will be managing to achieve this in game for some time but it is a really nice model that felt consistent with the flavor I wanted for Husayn and his followers.  The Marilith is a reaper model I got in a bulk trade and was the first model I painted for the group.  I really liked the way the warm olive skin played with the blue greens of the scales and the gilded accents.  All that exposed skin suggests the otherworldly nature of the demon and presented a great opportunity to test the reaper olive skin triad I planned to use for the remaining figures in the force. 

A final view of the Marilith on closing.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent!
    Love the Summoner, and his Demon is superb!
    Frostgrave has to be one of the best games out atm, can't get enough of it.
    ;)

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    1. I'm still in the, "under construction" phase but once I get things together (c. 2025 :) ) I'm looking forward to getting some game in too. If I never managed to play I'd be somewhat poorer for it but between painting cool models and storybuilding it's been a nice diversion.

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  2. Wonderful work! I'm also a big fan of the Summoner model - I pre-ordered his pack and the Witch pack through the original Nickstarter with the rules :) Lovely colours and theme - I am normally all about the background also (Mordheim being my all-time favourite due to the background/art/miniatures), but I've realised that the freedom in Frostgrave is a good thing - I'm personally going a slightly different way on the background also and going for "Thorngrave" - a more temperate ruined landscape where the magical calamity was not ice, but an abundance of briar and thorn-bushes swamping the city. After the thousand years they've begun to die down - no one knows why as of yet, but adventurers are now venturing into the ruins to investigate :)

    Keep up the great work!

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    1. I gravitated toward the Summoner and Sigilist first from the Northstar range but the most of them are growing on me so I'd like to pick up some more. Thorngrave/Briargrove sounds really cool. I have this fairy tale vision of and evil Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. Or maybe that mirror queen from the Brother's Grimm. Vague setting has been a genesis of many ideas.

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