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If there's one thing I love painting, it's skeletons! I think these designs by Mantic Games are probably my favorite: they have a great deal of character, (for skeletons), the sculpted details are pretty crisp for the most part, and they offer a fair amount of customizability. These all came off of one sprue that I got in a sort of "undead sampler" pack. I know there's at least one other skeleton sprue out there...I may have to track it down at some point. I went for a very dark, desaturated look throughout the squad. I wanted them to look like they've just emerged from the muddy earth onto a rain-soaked battlefield (this also informed my decision to go heavy with the rust effects). Anyway, these guys really came to life as characters while I was painting them. I couldn't resist making up some little bios (to be honest, I got a little carried away). Enjoy! A formidable squad of mercenaries in life, the Damned Company's relentless love of carnage and war led them to develop many powerful enemies. One such enemy was a fiendish wizard skilled in the dark arts. This wizard placed a powerful curse on the Company...a curse which has condemned them to continue fighting other people's wars even centuries after the members of the Damned Company shuffled off this mortal coil. Now, the Company's skills can be purchased by any necromancer brave enough to call them forth. Anyone looking to "hire" the Damned Company should be aware that they still require payment for their services. But they no longer crave gold. The form of payment that the Damned Company now demands is truly enough to chill a man to his very soul... Captain Roderick: Commander Captain Roderick is the proud commander of the Damned Company. He possesses the three most important qualities of leadership: 1) a mind for military strategy, 2) the ability to inspire his troops, and 3) a helmet with a really fancy feather sticking out of it. Contessa: Contessa is the lone female member of the Damned Company. In life, she would often use her beauty to lure opponents into a false sense of security before she butchered them with her sickle. As a skeleton, she tends to skip right to the sickle violence. Marcus: Once a proud soldier serving a noble king, a series of misfortunes and bad decisions led Marcus to the less-illustrious life of fighting in a mercenary band. He resented his role in the Damned Company in life...being stuck with them for an eternity in death hasn't done much to improve his outlook. Louis: Easily the most blood-thirsty member of the Damned Company, Louis is always ready to enthusiastically skewer opponents with his spear. It's usually best to just point him toward the enemy and let him do what he does best. Christoph: Nicknamed "The Screaming Star" in life, Christoph is certainly a fearsome fighter who has earned his role as the Company's second-in-command. However, his fighting prowess is equalled by his ambition and tendency toward treachery. Christoph is always on the lookout for an opportunity to wrestle away command of the Damned Company for himself. Howard: Howard is the jokester of the group...always pushing the boundaries of humor. Unfortunately for him, his "axe in the head" routine was never as much of a hit with his fellow mercenaries as he thought it would be. George: George's preference for solitude led to many nights of guard duty in life. His alleged preference for sleeping while on guard duty probably led to many of the Damned Company becoming skeletons earlier than planned. Change is often slow to come, however. Even in death, George still pulls more than his fair share of guard duty. Stanley: Stanley is a capable soldier with the annoying habit of shouting "hammer time" after each vanquished opponent. In life, he also had an odd preference for wearing extremely oversized pants. No one understood it then, and no one understands it now. Karl: Karl is the lumbering powerhouse of the group - always willing to confidently wade head-first into battle. He was also the first member of the Company to actually be killed in battle. There's probably some sort of lesson to be learned from that... Horace: Despite being well-liked by the rest of the group, Horace is often regarded as the forgotten member of the Damned Company (on the rare occasions when anyone bothers to regard him at all). Sandoval: Sandoval is an accomplished soldier. However, he is also chronically late. Whenever the Damned Company is called forth from the depths of hell, it's not uncommon for Sandoval to be absent at first. No worries, though...he always shows up eventually (usually at the most opportune time). Lobo: In life, Lobo served as the team's scout and mascot. He has much the same role in death. But, for obvious reasons, he's now less-enthusiastic about chewing on bones.