PLOG: The Mercenary army of Balthasar Von Shrect, the black bastard of Boggenhoff
So, I’ve been working on a themed empire army for sometime now. I have the army built and ready to start painting, but I thought a PLOG would urge me along. So without further a do; I give you Balthasar- the Black Bastard of Boggenhoff.
Blood and Honour
Balthasar Von Shrect could not remember a hotter day in history. As the sun traveled slowly across the afternoon sky, the royal box afforded no protection from his rays. All about him sat dignitaries, merchants and a few Tilean nobles, but he was the only prince. The day had ground on at a tedious pace; he had no taste for this Tilean blood sport. All around him a crowd of thousands disagreed. They roared in adulation as one pit fighter ripped the throat from his rival. In honesty Balthasar found it tedious. These were good fighting men and they were being wasted for the amusement of a bunch of stinking peasants.
‘Salluhdhin you fat piece of shit, come here.’ Von Shrect was an old man, almost in his fifth decade of life, but he was a fearsome sight. His hair, the majority having long fled his skull, formed a regal widow’s peak. He dyed it black. Black to mirror the name his men whispered behind his back.
‘Yes my prince?’ The fat Tilean slaver groveled before him.
‘You brought me here to show me fighting men. All I see is pig-shit sons of whores and slaves.’ Salludhin bristled, but kept the offence from his voice.
‘My prince, your eyes have yet to behold the magnificence of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sands.’
‘Well they had better live up to what you promised, or I’ll pitch you into the pit with the rest of these mongrels.’
His captains roared with laughter at the jape. They were a rag tag assembly and had been content to dice amongst themselves during the proceedings. Jonas Salt looked every bit the pirate, a swarthy youth, but one that did not lack in experience of war and blood. Yron Blackwood was the only man in his host that Balthasar trusted. Yron was a huge slab of muscle and scares. He wore the stained doublet of Boggenhoff and had once been Balthasar’s father’s master of arms. Emile Rousseau was another matter entirely. Emile was a Brettonian, a coward, but deadly with a rapier. He had heard the man boast of knifing a priest of Sigmar to death outside a tavern in the old lands- a dangerous man and one to keep close. His captains and their companies were as loyal as any sell swords could be- but he needed more men. War was coming, and a mercenary prince without an army to sell was a poor thing indeed.
A fanfare of trumpets woke him from his reverie. Salludhin puffed out his chest and launched into a well practiced speech.
‘My noble guests, the day is drawing to a close. The gods will be pleased with such a fine offering of blood. Before you depart from us and return to your honourable callings, our fine city would offer you one more delight. Behold, the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sands.’
Into the centre of the arena strode thirty pit fighters, their arms and armour of an intricately worked quality. Each man stood as a titan, the roars of the crowd almost drowning out the fat Tilean’s words.
‘These are no common slaves. This Brotherhood is comprised of free men, men that have fought within these pits and gained their freedom through skill at arms. They fight for wealth and glory, but today my noble patrons, they fight for you.’
Balthasar licked his thin lips and smiled. This would be worth the wait. The Brotherhood took up a position in the centre of the arena. Their opponent, a beast with a hundred maws, dribbled corrosive slime from its mouth. The leader of the Brotherhood stood and raised his trident to the nobles about Balthasar and without issuing a command his men formed about him.
The beast was a thing of nightmare and the women and children of the crowd screamed as it shambled from foot to foot. Balthasar watched on enthralled. Their leader was first to strike, spinning a net in one hand he launched it at one of the beast’s heads and aimed his trident for its breasts. The aim was true, but the blow did not fell the beast. Instead it came on with renewed fury. The Brotherhood formed around their leader and met the savage attack with their own fury- hacking limbs and heads from the beast. Men were thrown in all directions by the savagery of the attack.
Balthasar could not help but be drawn into the bloody conflict- the other offerings had seemed pathetic, slaves fighting for peasants. This contest was for him alone. The beast roared triumphantly as it bit down on a pit fighter’s arm, severing it at the shoulder. The man lashed out with his axe and planted it in the chomping maw. The crowd had ceased to mew like frightened children and were now fully behind their champions. The leader of the Brotherhood stepped forward once again- his trident lost to him he had taken up a short-sword. He charged, bellowing incoherently. The beast met him face on and snapped left and right with its fanged heads. The pit fighter severed two on a down stroke and punched a third out of the way. The blade landed in the beasts heart and was driven home with all of the pit fighter’s weight.
The beast fell.
Balthasar Von Shrect beckoned over his Paymaster. The fat old man, waddled to him.
‘Yes my Prince?’
‘I will have them.’
‘Of course, I will make the necessary arrangements.’ Von Shrect licked his lips and smiled.
‘Bring me their leader and I will discuss terms with him now- whilst he is fresh and exultant with victory.’
The man that stood before Von Shrect was awash with gore, a titan of muscle and blood. His captains had stopped their dicing to marvel at the man and frightened merchants cowered back from his awesome presence.
‘Do you know who I am?’ Balthasar asked of the pit fighter.
‘You are the Black Bastard of Boggenhoff- a mercenary lord of the Border Princes.’
Von Shrect’s men drew their blades and the pit fighter dropped into a fighting stance.
‘Wait.’ Balthasar whispered. ‘I asked our guest if he knew me and he is correct- if impolite.’ His smile was paper thin as he approached the pit fighter and laid a hand on his immense shoulder.
‘If you know that name, you surely know how I earned it?’ The pit fighter shook his head.
‘I murdered my father, my brothers, my lord-father’s wife and the babe she carried in the womb. You are right, I am a bastard and I could not take the way they looked at me. I plucked their eyes from their skulls, stole what wealth I could carry and raised my standard in the Border Princes. I am now a prince of blood and coin. A plunderer, a sacker of cities, a raper and murderer; yes my friend I am the Black Bastard of Boggenhoff, but if you wish to leave this room with your head you will address me as Prince Von Shrect.’
The dignitaries in the room coughed and pretended to be occupied in conversation, the Prince’s captains were poised ready to draw blood and the towering brute of a pit fighter stared into his new master’s frail face.
‘The Brotherhood is yours to command my Prince.’
Balthasar smiled and beckoned his Paymaster,
‘Oberschloss, draw up a contract for my new captain and his men and ensure they are well fed, we leave the city tonight.’
Von Shrect could hear the call of battle, the clamour for blood and the soft clink of gold on gold as he stepped from the royal box- he licked his thin lips and smiled.
So there’s some fluff and here are some pictures:
The Captain of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sands
The Brotherhood of the Blessed Sands
Paymaster Jusef Oberschloss
So that’s it for today folks. I’ll hopefully be getting some pictures of the other captains up in the coming days and start applying some paint to these fellas.