With the Masked King

Massive, hidden double doors, each a full height section of the bookshelf wall of the library gently recessed with a solid thud that reminded me of an airlock, and then opened slowly and majestically.

Believe me, we were freaked out by then, ready to lose our shit, and out of the darkness this lady sort of floated in. A shebale of similar freakish design as the butler, with a conical Princess hat and a skirt made of solid brass. I told the lads to lower their fetching guns, twice before it registered. We’d be dead by now if the King wanted us dead, I was sure of that, a lonely little island of certainty in this predicament. 

“Welcome”, we jumped, a cloaked figure standing in the doorway announced. Transfixed as we had been on the clockwork queen, we had completely missed the newcomer. He was a giant in a full cape of smoke and shadow, with a perfect mirror finish silver mask for face. I could feel my nervous system twitch, by reflex to kneel in front of him. The Cuirassiers twitched too. None brought up their weapons, these hardwired killers, bred and trained for war from birth. 

“Bothrops, pleased to meet you, I am Alpharius. We have a lot to discuss, so please let miss Victoria escort you to your quarters and offer you refreshments” or something like that is what I heard and was compelled to do. Then darkness. 

The next morning, or who knows how long I slept – there was no way to tell the time here, I woke with a sudden rush of panic, in a calm room of pastel greens, copper and oak furniture. My staff was neatly organized on a big oval desk, the plates stripped from my bionic legs, everything cleaned from the ridiculous march of death to this place. I swear it could have been a luxurious retreat on Raglan, or perhaps Lake Galad, if not for the art work. Still makes me fetching sick to think of it. 

We ate with the king. In a chamber that felt like it was carved out of solid brass, the entire history of Empire of Man inscribed to it’s walls and ceiling. We ate a real feast, my appetite ravenous despite the permanent sense of dire danger. There were others at the table. All masked individuals, all purposeful, yet casual – instantly impressive to be so relaxed in the presence of the King. The King outlined his offer to us. It was bold and brilliant, utterly outrageous had he been a normal man, but of course he was everything but normal. Needless to say, not accepting would turn us into installations of his ability to cause destruction. 

The King gave us gifts. Each of the Cuirassiers got a helmet made of ballistic plasteel, with intricate inner silver wiring. Each headpiece came with a different mask, a chiseled face of a warrior with a halo around it, wrought from metals unknown to me, but seemingly commonplace in the Masked King’s domain. I got a delicate set of medallions, clearly Eldritch in origin. They were made of the most beautiful bone like material, and felt warm and alive, I felt a sense of sorrow when I touched them, as if dabbing into age old sense of existential grief. Old Arnaud got scrolls made of ancient parchment, neatly rolled into bronze tubes. The Old man seemed at ease with the whole affair. Fittingly at odds with logic like his survival through the death marches. 

Alpharius referred to the gifts as sigils of his protection. Which I’m sure we’d need in the Hive Hell.  We’d be working for an Imperium of Fear, but at least our boss is the scariest feth I ever met.

+++

Work and fun continues on the Masked King’s agents.

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Migs

18 thoughts on “With the Masked King

  1. The lady is deliciously macabre. How on earth did you make that amazing skirt?

    As for stormcast eternal heads on genestealer cultist bodies, it’s one of those “I wish I’d thought of that” moments I have whenever I look at your new projects 😉

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    1. Thanks mate. The Skirt is from a Malifaux model with GS detailing. The Mercenaries, I’ve got a paint scheme in mind I’m really excited to try that should add an interesting sift to the “stormcast” mood ( make these more unique!) I’ve really really liked those heads and been waiting to use them.

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  2. Your vision for this project keeps growing and growing! I have really been enjoying how you are slowly revealing things and keeping us in the dark (much like many of your characters truth be told!). It builds a sense of mystery that really adds to the character of your models. Having said that, the models are great too. The stormcast heads work really well in this setting, a sort of masquerade mask, hiding the wearer’s identity from others (very Alpha Legion!). I like the small revolvers you created too, they seems more appropriate for these characters rather than bolt or plasma pistols. The little hydra servo skull is delightful too, a great use of that dark elf bit. Finally, excellent job incorporating that Malifaux model seamlessly into the group. There models are often scaled very differently, but this fits just right!

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  3. This group is really coming coming together, I’ve been wondering about using Malifaux kits but was sure the scale was off, but the lady looks perfect. I love the servo skull, makes me think of Medusa’s head, only one that can move with out the body.
    I can’t believe how well the storm cast heads work on the Genestealer cultists, such a great idea.
    I have long been planning my own Alpha Legion project (like 5 years in the planning), and you continue to be one of my biggest inspirations in what you can do with the non Astarte side of the Legion.

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    1. Thank you so much. Been really really enjoying building these. The scale thing, you just need to have the eye and taste to pick the parts from other ranges that are proportioned correctly to rest of your idea and wise versa. The rest of the Anna Lovelace model is completely wrong “scale” but the skirt was perfect. It helps that the butler too has a super lithe figure from the FW range. These end up reinforcing the skeletal, civilian nature of the servants. And I want to build more…

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  4. Wow,I love the cuirassers! And from the great background text it sounds like you will have fun with fancy metallics on their masks (which may also make them psychic nulls?). I think most of us are using gs cult hybrid models in our war bands, but in such different ways. Sort of how the Magus dominos model ended up in so many guises in the pilgrim game …

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    1. Thanks. They are such good models. Was so tough not to get use them for Pilgrym, but it was instantly clear I would for this. I primed everything yesterday and am dreaming to get a sunday Airbrush session in today 🙂

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  5. Excellent story unfolding. A real treat! The Clockwork Queen, The Masked King, the Cuirassiers, the weathered world of the death marshes – and Alpharius’ elaborate lair of masks. Love this to bits.

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