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Lots of pics here, a story's worth. Turnaround pics in spoiler areas.
You should imagine Ennio Morricone playing the soundtrack, slow-paced to start with. Diegetic horse noises, hooves plodding. Scraping, dragging sound.
A glow of a cigarillo and a long inhale as we slowly zoom in on the horse's master.
The smoke exhales out of his nostrils, and the camera pans down to show it jetting from multiple holes in the Revenant's torso as well.
The rendezvous at hand, the Revenant knocks on the coffin once or twice. It is the only sound besides the horse breathing.
Panning the camera around to the other side of the tree we see a couple boys from the Red Hand posse.
"Two against one, fella. You might be too stubborn to die, but you ain't gotten any better at counting."
He retreats. Hoofbeats recede behind the mesa.
(music gets tenser, speeds up)
"Boss! Good to have you back."
"Thought we'd lost you! Now let's get back to San Cascarion and drain those vatos dry!"
Other, different hoofbeats make the Red Hand thugs stop celebrating. They look around,
This, they did not expect.
(Morricone music just goes bananas here)
[fight choreography ensues, guns shot and whipped out of undead hands, etc,]
Camera zooms in on the Revenant again holding a cigarillo to withered lips. He holds up first one cracked and flaking finger, then another, then a third and finally a fourth. The barest hint of a smile crinkles his mummified cheek. Counts just fine. Roll credits.
Ooowee these were fun to do! The Revenant, an undead Man with No Name, is from Artizan, as are Brothers Thomas and Martin and Fra Benedict, the Holy Inquisitors 3-pack. I used a pin vise to drill a few extra holes in the Revenant.
The bad hombres in red and the Nosferatu are from Dracula's America, the Red Hand coven 3-pack.
Horses are from Nolzur's Adventurer's Campsite. They've been on my Shelf of Shame for too long.
The Coffin and Skeleton are Reaper, 77633. The Tree of Despair and the signpost from Western Sophie make an appearance as well.
Here's Part 1, from a WHILE back.
Hope you enjoy!
The parson from this four-figure set showed up in my recent post on the Salem Sisters. Let's ratchet several notches up the social scale for the other three. First, some Ladies at Court:
Or courtiers, or courtesans, it's not easy to draw the line in King Charles II's time. Lots of flounces and furbelows, lots of gossip.
"Of course the Barsteads have wealth piled upon wealth. It is said that the family were blaggards and privateers who got rich off of Spanish gold in Queen Bess's time"
"Well, *I* heard that the Barstead fortune came from a devil's bargain! The coffers will never run empty as long as the Good Folk take the firstborn to pay the tithe to Hell!"
"Hm! The way the family carries on, it seems Old Scratch got the worse end of the deal, paying up for what would rightfully come his way in due time with no effort on his part."
And here is Lord Barstead himself. Rouged cheeks and mad eyes, definitely drunk and dissolute. The sort of person who would horsewhip the servants and call people "cack-handed slatterns." The kind who will squander the family inheritance on cards and drink. Maybe enclose the Commons later, on a whim, or start a tobacco plantation in the New World, or just sentence a peasant to hang for poaching.
"...Very old family, the Barsteads. In the War of the Roses Sir Ranulf Barstead invented the Barstead sword. Why, back in the Conqueror's day half the nobility in this part of the realm were Barsteads. Demned upstart vagabonds these days, jumped-up weavers and tradesmen get a little money and start thinking of themselves as Peers? Why, it makes a Barstead's blood boil!"
"You DARE? Insolent whelp, I'll see you dead and damned at dawn! Pistols, or swords?"
In which we meet the third of my Brides of the Vampyre, and a very unpleasant Nosferatu.
"Dracula's America" once again tempted me to get the Red Hand Coven 3-pack solely on the strength of the Broodsire, Max Orlok here. This spindly, long-clawed bloodsucker with the face of a naked mole rat is a particularly perfect horror. Very simple paint job too, mostly Vampiric Flesh and GW Snakebite Leather. What an expression! what body language!
this is a bad shot, but a good nod to the Murnau film.
You will notice I got the column from 01350, Siobhana, painted up in greenish marble, with a couple of bats attached.
Here is 01643, the Ghost of Christmas Present, playing the role of a Bride of the Vampyre. More work with sheer effects on this lady, whose dress is very form-fitting indeed in places.
Here are the three Brides, each neatly color-coded. We have seen Jahenna (02632) and Siobhana (01350) before. I gave them a bit of a touch-up using the advice given on Siobhana's post. The difference is minor but definitely in the direction of improvement.
And the whole horrible crew!
More agricultural laborers, these ones more suited to the early modern and modern era.
Here is a Midlam Halfling Farmer in a cider orchard, accompanied by a faithful pig (from 77567, Pig and Cart).
"Aye, that do be true what they say, one bad apple WILL spoil the whole barrel, right enough. You soon get an eye for the bad ones, and a nose too. But that's what the pig's for."
"Spoil the whole barrel. aye, but a bad apple do nowt to a pig save make 'em better eating. Apple's a good food for pork, and the apple wood's good for the bacon in the smokehouse."
"Apples within and apple without, as you might say, and then a glass of cider to wash the pork down. That's a good meal of a cold night."
Another Midlam farmer, this one human. (This fellow is 28mm scale or so, not heroic scale). Those farming togs could fit in anywhere across three centuries or so.
"Been working this land, man and boy, like my father and his father and his father before 'im, as long back as folks these parts can remember. And there's one thing I can tell you..."
"...One thing, aye, that'll keep the crops bearing and the well full, and that's keeping on good terms with the Gentry. Nay, not Lord Bastard as lives up in the manor, I mean the Gentry.
Them as live under the hill."
"Oh, a sharp sickle and manure on the fields, and driving the furrows right, can't do without those, but that's just work as needs doing. No, there's no amount of work will make good if the Old Ways aren't held up. That's why I've called on Brigit here. She'll walk the rows, sing to the soil and the water and the seeds. That's how the Gentry like it."
"And then, o' course, stand up Mister Mangel to oversee the work and keep away the crow. New clothes now and then, and new stuffing or a pole now and then, but old Mangel has been here as long as we have. I fancy the Gentry have come to see him as part o'the family, like. They wouldn't be pleased if he weren't out in the field. Not pleased at all."
"Aye, Mangel will see to it no harm come to the rows nor the field nor the fences. Always looking out, he."
Bridgit here is one of the May Queens from Crooked Dice. I tried to give her a sheer shift but could probably push it a little more. Tips and advice welcome.
Mister Mangel is also from Crooked Dice, and there's a wonderfully sinister aspect to him. Now, I'm a fan of scarecrows, but this here, without bone claws or a face, just has such latent menace. You know that while that sickle is rusted, the edge is still shiny-sharp. And I tell a lie there; you can make out a face pushing out of those rags and tatters, or in the gauze of that veil. And you can imagine the squeak of old twine-bound timber and the soft thudding hopping sounds tap-tapping behind you on a windy night, tap, tap, tap, the sound of rags flapping, the breeze whistling off that sickle's edge, closer and closer, now almost upon you, TAP-TAP-TAP as wheeling crows in impossible numbers fill the air with dark wings and blot out the moonlight, cawing and flapping so no one will hear your screaming if you dare harm the wheat in the fields before harvest time.
Which you wouldn't do, of course. But not because you believe such things.
"VVhen I grew in the VV O O D / I vvas vvater'd with B L O O D."
Such would be the witness of this ancient tree, could it speak. It has been the site of rural justice and rural "justice" for generations. Tales of such are told to the youth by grey-haired elders, tales they learned as children from their own aged grandsires and grandmothers.
A tree like that...well, after a while it develops a taste for it. Don't burn the fallen branches, don't take an axe to it, and have a care how you use the lumber when it finally falls.
As happens from time to time in small communities of "good, law-abiding people," an angry mob has formed.
These citizens are Concerned about their community. Many of the worst atrocities in history have gotten started when someone brings Concerned Citizens together.
The mob makes way for the accused.
Duly constituted authority is present, to ensure this is "properly done."
"Order! Order! Hear ye, that VVarden Knochengard and I, Sheriff of thif countee, are affembled in the prefence of divers VVitneffes, to try Goodman Ezra Jacobs againft allegations brought againft him, the same beeing VVITCHCRAFT, CIVIL DISORDER, and POISONING of LIVESTOCK, and to pronounce sentenfe thereupon, to be carried out forthwith."
"Let hif accusers speak and make their case againft him!"
(here follow reports from Farmers Wentworth and Hogbein of livestock falling sick, crops failing, etc., the same saying they saw Ezra walking to and fro with a book some days before, shaking his head back and forth while muttering and laughing; Deacon Abraham dilates on the fact that the accused pleads no contest to finding a book hidden in a secret place, the same book being one of DARK MAGICKS and BLASPHEMOUS RITES)
"Hath the Accufed, Ezra, anything to say on his own behalf, or be there any member of the Communitee willing to fpeak in his defense?"
(here Goodman Carter, his sometime employer, appears as a character witness to the effect that Ezra is a kindly soul and a good farmhand, also that it has been a wet year and Farmer Wentworth built his privy uphill from his well; Brother Hammond notes that the accused is almost a simpleton and never learned his letters nor the use of them for reading and writing; Mother Hildegard attests that the book found in Ezra's possession is illustrated with disturbing woodcuts that could upset an unstable soul.)
"Having weighed the Evidence thus provided, it is the Judgment of this Affembly that the Accused, Goodman JACOBS, is GUILTY of dabbling in DIVELLISH ARTS, yet the Severitee of the offense be Lessened by his Lack of Wit, and we find no evidence of Malice directed againft his Neighbor; nonetheleff, harm being done, he muft suffer punishment, and learn better thereby. He shall HANG FROM THE TREE for a period of two days, to be cut down thereafter; let no man provide Succour or Comfort in the meantime, neither let any man harm him further for the Duration."
The record does not state what exactly became of the book the unfortunate Goodman Jacobs happened upon, or whose possession it was remanded to.
It does, however, record a very similar trial less than a year later. The tree does not like to be kept waiting.
(Guest appearances from the Dwarf Butcher 77460, Calbach Greatclub 03231, Village Rioter 77140, a Peasant 77655, the Gravedigger, Abram Duskwalker, Brother Hammond, Sheriff Drumfasser, and Jakob Knochengard, among others.)
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