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Once, there was an artificer. A half-orc, a genius. He could make creatures of metal and wheels that seemed as alive as any man. His clockwork marvels were the talk of the province, and when an accident in his workshop took his arm off, he built a new arm of girders and cogs, stronger and more dexterous than before.
(More of this fellow if you click:)
His fame spread far and wide, and one day a wealthy man, a captain of industry, another half-orc, asked him to build a weapon. He had many enemies--competitors, bandits, robbers--and also many people he wished to treat as enemies--unionists, agitators, and the like.
"What kind of weapon," the artificer asked.
"The unanswerable kind" his patron replied. "Inexorable. Supreme."
The rich man had a vision, which the artificer was happy to share, and huge sacks of cash money, which the artificer was also happy to partake of, having very little of the same, and a strong if wildly degaussed moral compass, which the artificer did not have at all.
And so the artificer consulted with other specialists, gnomish engineering savants and goblin pyro-sages (who also partook of the fat sacks of cash) to design this Ultimate Countermeasure.
It took a year and a day (and, some say, more than one apprentice) but at length the work was done. A steam-belching, boiler-powered fire-breathing dreadnought, an apex predator in steel and brass.
The patron was pleased.
It is said that the Engine of Malice produced had the strength of a team of elephants, and a breath like a blast furnace. It is also said that its brazen talons broke the Bloodgutter Strike a generation ago, and that this is why your parents cut their sausage with knife and fork, because the Butchers' Guild doesn't waste anything and you really don't want to break your teeth on a brass button.
It is also said that the Emperor conscripted the Engine to fight the foreign enemy during the Cruel Wars, as it was impervious to the miasmas and poison gases, and could roast whole squadrons in their trenches.
It is, notably, NOT said what happened the day it slipped a gear and went berserk. There were very few surviving eyewitnesses and none of them want to talk about it. Questions on this topic remain unanswerable. The Weapon remains at large.
(I love the huge wings on this sculpt, but I'll never be able to compete with some of the canvasses other, better, painters have made of them. Also they are very rigid, so I removed them for future projects and took some pinewood derby exhaust pipes I found on clearance, some aluminium fencing wire, and a few eyelets. Gluing them on wasn't the easiest, and I used plenty of baking soda. This wound up looking like horrible overdone welds, but that's all right in context.)
Sartzanek, the mad archmage! Twisted like an iron pole struck by lightning. On another world, on another time, he says he was Blackcloack, the lord of an infinite dungeon. On sundays he is Zifnab and White Jenkins, the small aberration on his shoulder, secretly a dragon. For a while he liked to play games with adventurers and claimed his name was Penthos.
Who knows, really. He may just be an old lunatic. Or maybe a sorcerer like no other... you decide. At your own risk.
I felt like a slightly less involved project after Vlad, so I decided to paint Elliwyn Heatherlark.
I swapped her weapon with a gladius from the Agema Romans and also decided to give her a more interesting item than the small shield she originally carried.
As it happened it got again more involved, as I sculpted a Nure-onna, basically a snake with a human head, that she defeated in battle.
Worked out well with the pose and provided me with the opportunity to experiment with gore effects.
C&c very welcome. You also find the WIP thread here: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/89770-elliwyn-heatherlark-gnome-bard-77164/
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