Inquisitor 28mm: Profit before Prophet – the birth of Nils Ander
So, continuing our recent Inquisitor28 theme on Paint Water Diaries, it seems like its my turn to introduce my character and the ideas and themes behind him. Traditionally, my tastes for characters run to the more criminal element, albeit with a slight Ordo twist – Hereticus is my go-to Ordo, and my last warband consisted of two ex-guard, a data-rat hacker and a pariah career criminal and murderer – hardly the most shining example of the purity of the Ordo’s (although ironically they did turn out to be the Chronicle’s default ‘good’ guys, lacking as they were in corrupt clergy and radical daemon-obsessed interrogators). This time though, I wanted to do something a little different and explore a side of the Imperium that doesn’t usually get a look in – big business corporations.
It’s alluded to in various books that big inter-stellar corporations and companies exist, sometimes wholly within the bounds of the Administratum, sometimes a little outside – coupled with Rogue Trader fleets and families, I thought there was some potential here to look at how big corporations and businesses survive and thrive in the Imperium – I was also influenced a lot by the TV series Arrow, the film District-9 (which gifted the Afrikaans sounding name Nils Ander) and the books Market Forces and Broken Angels by Richard Morgan – as well as Embedded by Dan Abnett. With all that in mind, I came up with a character who worked as a ‘procurer’ for a big corporation that made its money from all kinds of things – legitimate trade, pharmaceuticals, weapons research – but one who wasn’t afraid to dabble with restricted things such as xeno-tech and trade, illegal drugs etc.
In the context of the campaign itself, once Martin set the scene of a Mechanicus transport full of refugees from the ‘Nid incursions, the final pieces fell into place. I had started with the idea of a Rogue Trade on the run from Dark Eldar after stealing a relic weapon, this swiftly changed into the following:
Nils Ander, Executive Procurator Level 3, representing the Kleinstark Concern
Gear: Pulse pistol, hallucinogen grenade, shock knuckles, the Ander Serum
Essentially Ander works for the Concern in a bounty-hunting capacity – however the bounty can be information, goods or simply funds as well as people. If the Concern expresses an interest in something, their Acquisitions department will hire a Procurator to obtain the item or individual and relay it to a Concern Representative in return for a substantial financial reward. This line of work is best suited to somewhat amoral individuals as the items may often be contraband or outright illegal in nature, as well as held by persons unwilling to release them. Procurators are also encouraged to offers items for Acquisition that they believe the Concern may be interested in. In return for this service, Procurators enjoy a reliable stream of income as well as a minor share in any profits made by the items they acquire – this income is usually more than enough to ensure loyalty to the Concern, as is the threat of liquidation at the hands of the Concerns internal security force, the Whisper Men.
Ander has spent the last 35 years working for the Concern as a Procrator and is well-regarded for his work and his loyalty. Dragged from crushing poverty from his homeworld of Joton-9 after attempting to scam a Procurator, Ander has been groomed and trained by the Concern and is seen as the perfect success story – smart, savvy, driven, vicious and undisturbed by notions of peity or loyalty to the Throne. Currently secreted aboard the Mechanicus Ark in the guise of an Administratum Planetary Governance Attache, Ander is smuggling something immensely dangerous to the Concern – a new combat drug hormone synthesised from Tyranid genetic samples. Utterly illegal and immoral by the standards of the Imperium and the Mechanicus, the serum shows promise, and once its provenance can be hidden behind layers of false information and test data by the Concern, it will be released on the Arms Market for public comsumption. All Ander has to do is deliver the sample…..
So that’s the basic idea behind Nils Ander – now in terms of gear and stats I didn’t want anything too over the top – the Rogue Trader statline is nicely balanced between combat and shooting without losing out in the smarts department – Nils is a business man after all, a Rogue Trader in the most literal sense. Rolling up his stats gave the results above – none too shabby. But it was in the gear section that we had the most fun.
I’d already mentioned to Martin that I fancied a few ‘exotic’ pieces of gear and with the Concern established as being happy to use xeno-tech, the first stop was a tau-origin pulse pistol, suitably adapted for human hands by the Concern’s Tech Department. The rules for a pulse pistol were given with the Tau Ambassador but were hugely underwhelming – a laspistol basically. A quick search later gave me the stats for Kal Jerico’s laspistols – much better. The other piece of interest was the Serum itself – stolen from the Trade character Yastobaal and renamed – increases to strength and toughness seemed fitting for ‘Nid combat hormones. A Hallucinogen grenade (always fun), shock-knuckles and a refractor field (less obtrusive than masses of armour) rounded off the gear. Nothing too over the top, but some nice little exotic pieces that tied in with the character of the Concern.
Skills were a hard thing to pin down – the ones in the Inqusitor book were very combat-character orientated, whereas Nils was more of a smooth operator – luckily the Tau Ambassador has a nifty little skill called Persuade that fit perfectly.
On to the model itself – one of my favourite mini’s from any range, Nils started life as Draegyn the Black Bastard from Privateer Press’s Iron Kingdoms RP range. I love this mini, its so simple yet so arrogant – I didn’t want to change it much as the clothing was already suitably 40k civilian – standard issue longcoat, boots and strapping. A simple handswap with a Heresy Miniatures blaster gave me the Tau-esque pulse pistol – I think it echoes both the Tau and the Imperium nicely, while a purity seal on the back of his coat was the token nod to the Imperium (I like to think that this was added by the Administratum Ship’s Priest as part of their standard embarkation procedures rather than due to any religious leanings on Nils’ part). The base is a cut up Land Raider door with various little bits of trash added to give the feel of a ship-bound flea-market – some smoked lho-tubes next to their empty packet, a lost coin and random paper.
Paintwise, things were very simple. I’ve been enjoying Defiance immensely and Datak Tar in particular. There are echoes of him in Nils, so I decided to ape his costume and colour scheme somewhat. The coat was worked up from a mix of Adeptus Battlegrey and black, highlighted up with Dheneb Stone and then given the blue tinge by several thin washes of Asurmen Blue and Badab Black. I went for an albino look to the skin and face, reasoning that Nils wasn’t born albino but has cosmetically changed his skin and hair colour as a part of his Procurator ‘costume’ – it unnerves the people he deals with. Both the skin and hair were Dheneb Stone highlighted with white, then washed with Gryphonne Sepia on the hair and thin Baal Red on the skin. A few other random colour mixes finished off the details, with pretty much every colour getting a blue tint to it to tie everything together. This cold finish to Nils contrasts nicely with the battered warmer reds and metallic of the bases, making him stand out nicely and giving the impression that he doesn’t quite fit on a Mechanicus ship…
Anyways, enough rambling from me – hopefully we will be able to get the first game sorted soon.