Oh my, Eternal Hunt has turned three! I think we can actually call this blog settled now, can’t we? 😉
Seriously, though: I am very happy to have managed three years of constant blogging about my various hobby projects, and I am also quite proud of the numbers: There have been 256 posts overall (62 of those in during my third year of blogging). What’s more, this blog has managed to attract about 360,000 views in total — and more than 175,000 of those views during my third year of blogging — just to put things into perspective: That’s only slightly less than the overall number of views on this blog in its first and second years together! All of this is really pretty amazing, given the fact that it’s just little ol’ me and my shoddily painted little plastic men here 😉
I am also really proud of having managed to attract 177 followers and receive visitors from as many as 138 counties! You guys rock, and I want to assure you that every single comment is really important for keeping me on track and for bolstering my (often fleeting) hobby motivation! So please keep reading and please keep participating! You guys are the only proof that I am not just talking to myself here, in my little bubble within the warp!
But I don’t just want to bombard you with numbers today, I would also like to promise you that I will keep updating this blog with my latest conversions, paintjobs and my thoughts about new model releases. There will be quite a bit of red and bronze, seeing how my World Eaters continue to be my most important hobby project:
For now, by way of celebration, allow me to share two things that may not have been intended as birthday gifts for this blog in the first place, but that nevertheless please me very much. And either of these would not have come into existence without my venturing out into the wilds of the internet in order to chronicle my hobby endeavours 😉
I. A portrait of an angry man
First up, I believe I may have mentioned some time ago that I managed to win a small competition run by fellow hobbyist Greyall. For those who don’t know Greyall, he is known for producing extraordinarily detailed and awesome line artwork depicting (Chaos) Space Marines, so it won’t be a big surprise to you that I’ve craved such a piece of artwork showing one of my characters for quite a while.
So imagine my joy when Greyall liked my conversion for Lord Captain Lorimar well enough to render him in his trademark style! Allow me to share the result with you. Just to remind you, here’s my converted (but yet unpainted, alas) model for Lorimar:
And here’s Greyall’s take on the character, showing the Master of the Hunt during a duel with a warp-spawned monstrosity in service to Slaanesh:
What can I say? Finally having such an awesome piece of art depicting what may be the most important character from my favourite army project makes me so happy! A huge thank you to Greyall! And definitely make sure to head over to Greyall’s thread at The Bolter & Chainsword or to his DeviantArt page and check out his amazing work! Now the only thing left to do is to find someone to professionally colour this piece for me…
II. A hunter’s story
The second thing I would like to show you today is a bit of a cooperative project: Some time ago, Flint13 (also one of my hobbyists of the year 2014, in case you forgot) approached me with an idea for a fun hobby challenge: Flint wanted to build and paint a character from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt as a bit of a shout out to my army, and I was to compose an accompanying bit of fluff. Knowing that Flint usually doesn’t relish the prospect of doing 40k chaos, I was pretty honoured by this idea, and a short time later, she showed me this picture of the completed model:
Certainly a worthy addition to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, wouldn’t you say? But what about this guy’s background? Well, let me share the story I came up with. Enjoy!
Flames were already billowing from the ramshackle habs as the Hunter strode into the settlement. He turned his horned helm this way and that, surveying the destruction and slaughter surrounding him. What remained of the poor wretches who had eked out a meagre living here in the freezing wastelands of a backwater world at the fringes of Imperial space spoke of violent, careless slaughter, but there was something more underneath it: A frantic need the Hunter understood but found distasteful.
He paced around the main square of the settlement, his warrior’s mind piecing together the events: the desperate but eventually futile struggle. The bloodletting. And what seemed to be the pursuit of a few settlers that had somehow managed to escape the slaughter. The Hunter examined the tracks leading through the outer parts of the settlement and into the wilderness beyond, already being covered up by the falling snow, here where the heat of the flames was not as intense.
The Hunter cocked his head, listening and sniffing. Again, his head turned this way and that, as he tried to find a trace of his prey. Suddenly, he paused. And if someone had been very close by, they might have noticed a telltale glint of bared teeth behind his helmet’s mouth slit: a feral, hungry thing of a smile. But nobody was there to see. All that remained in the settlement was death. His ancient warplate thrumming, the Hunter set off towards the east. Towards his prey.
The thrill of the hunt started to recede, and already Iriralar Nightclaw was feeling a flutter of disappointment. He had spent hours artfully stalking his prey, slowly separating each of the Mon’Keigh’ from the group, then taking them down one by one. If he had just wanted to kill them, it would have been a quick task, but Iriralar had wanted to wring every possible drop of pleasure from this particular hunt, and he had succeeded in that. Nevertheless, with the game so very nearly over, he couldn’t help feeling a nagging sense of regret.
He looked at the poor wretch scrambling away from him now on hands and knees, leaving crimson traces in the snow. Still so desperate to get away. Iriralar almost had to smile in recognition of his prey’s perseverance. Alas, all good things must come to an end.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Iriralar drew his blades, the curved steel only giving the faintest whisper as it slid from its twin sheaths. The Mon’Keigh stared at him in utter horror and despair, but still kept crawling away from him. Iriralar bared sharp, pearly white teeth in a predator’s smile:
“So then, shall we dance?”
When it was over – and it was over far too soon – Iriralar stepped back from what remained of his prey. It was not much, and even that would soon be lost under a blanket of snow. Iriralar slowly breathed in the sweet scent of a dying soul. He would have to return to his raiding party soon.
Going after a pack of Mon’Keigh cattle on his own was an indulgence, surely, but nobody would dare reprimand the Lord Archon’s own son for such behavior. Iriralar smiled to himself…
There was something close by. Iriralar could smell it. Surely, none of his prey could have eluded him? He focused and inhaled. Indeed, it was a Mon’Keigh. But there was something more: The creature’s animal stink was compounded by the acrid tang of a metabolism retuned, a body crudely reshaped into something else…and there was something underneath all of that, something even more sublime… Iriralar smiled to himself. Maybe this hunt was not over after all…
The hunt had been going on for hours now, and Iriralar’s earlier exhilaration at the prospect of worthy prey had begun to turn into a nagging sense of irritation. It felt like his quarry was leading him around in circles, but there seemed to be little point in it: He kept his distance, yet always stayed in sight. There was something decidedly off about this situation, and Iriralar craved some kind of resolution
He had at first thought the Mon’Keigh to belong to one of the primitive warrior orders that had pledged themselves to the carrion god. But not this one – just a few short glances at his ancient power armour were proof that the Astartes served one of the lords of the warp: the Blood God. Which made this game of cat and mouse all the more irritating and strange.
Suddenly, the towering form came to a halt, standing at the center of a clearing Iriralar was sure they had passed before. With a hum of servo motors, the Mon’Keigh turned to face Iriralar.
The towering figure seemed like a heathen idol dreamt up by a madman: The bulky Astartes armour was jagged and baroque, with talismans and trophies dangling from its shoulder pads. Across the Mon’Keigh’s chest was a bandolier of skulls that clacked softly with every move. And though encrusted with hoarfrost, the arterial red and brass of the armour was clearly visible beneath.
Iriralar had learned the Mon’ Keigh language, not out of a fascination with their culture, but for a far more practical reason: He enjoyed being able to understand his prey’s last whimpered words. He had thus become very familiar with the intricacies of the Mon’Keigh’s blunt and primitive emotions, and it was for this reason that he was able to hear a smile in the Astartes’ voice when he called out to Iriralar: “Time to end this, don’t you think?”
As if to accompany his words, he slowly drew his weapons: a huge axe and an ancient, baroque chainblade. He gunned the chainblade’s trigger, as if to check its function, and the axe’s head flared up in a blue white power field. Iriralar thought he could make out the glint of a smile underneath the warrior’s horned helmet, but before he could be sure, the massive Astartes threw himself at Iriralar with astonishing speed. Iriralar’s blades hissed from their sheats, and the dance was on.
Fast though he might have been, the Mon’Keigh was too slow for Iriralar: It was almost too easy to avoid his swings and sidestep his towering form. At the same time, however, his thick warplate deflected most of Iriralar’s probing slashes, so he would need to wait for an opening, for an exposed joint or a bared throat. But he was patient enough – his earlier irritation had been replaced with a feeling of rapture that made his blood run hot.
On and on, the dance went, the snow underneath slowly turning into a slippery trap. Iriralar noticed the first telltale signs of fatigue in his enemy, the strain of having to keep up with a much faster opponent. His lips peeled back from his white teeth in an amused smile: Time to end this.
The huge Mon’Keigh attacked. Too slow. Always too slow. Iriralar almost laughed out loud as he ghosted out of the way and saw his enemy stumble forward due to his momentum, opening up an opportunity to strike. This was it. Iriralar saw his stumbling enemy as though in slow motion as he jumped forward. He would end the Mon’Keigh beast. So close now. Just a hearbeat until the kill.
The moment his feet touched the ground, there was a sharp, metallic sound. Then pain, unbearable pain. Iriralar’s eyes snapped to the ground, seeing the ugly, serrated metal jaws that had lain hidden underneath the thick blanket of snow. That had closed with a whip crack when he had disturbed the trap, punching through his legs, tearing flesh and breaking bone. With a cry of anguish, Iriralar crumpled to the floor in a graceless slump.
He felt the rush of the combat stims that took the white hot edge off the pain, and he tried to get up, to get away. But the jagged metal teeth would not let go, pinning him to the ground. Over his own panting breath, Iriralar could hear a low chuckle, as the towering form of the Mon’Keigh approached him:
“It is an old trick, I will give you that. But one that does not produce any heat or scanner readings. All it requires is a bit of preparation.”
Iriralar frantically tried to reach his fallen blades, but it was impossible. He could not get away either. The strain made the blood pump from his legs at an alarming rate, and he could feel the spike of pain even through the haze induced by the combat drugs. The Mon’Keigh slowly circled him, seeming amused by the situation. He pointed to the scrimshawed bone trinkets adorning Iriralar’s armour:
“I see you enjoy taking trophies”, he growled, “In that, we are not so different, you and I.”
Irialar spat a gob of bloody phlegm at the Astartes and bared his teeth in a rictus grin: “Do you expect me to be afraid, filthy Mon’Keigh? There is nothing you could possibly do to me that would scare me.”
Once more, Iriralar could hear the smile in the Mon’Keigh’s words: “Ah, but that is where you are wrong. You see, a good hunter learns all there is to learn about his prey, is that not right? And I have had a very long time to learn…”
With that he pulled something from a pouch at his belt and held it out. A glint of metal was visible as the small object fell from his hand, dangling by a fine silver thread. A jewel, it seemed. Iriralar focused on the gem, in spite of the pain, in spite of the danger. It seemed important somehow. He focused and felt his blood run cold:
Dangling from the Astartes’ fist was a spirit stone.
“So, then. Shall we begin?”
When it was over, the Hunter stepped away from his prey. He had learned much, more than he had anticipated. It had been a successful hunt.
He opened a vox channel and said but a single word:
“Acknowledged”, came the Huntmaster’s reply. His spireborn sneer of a voice managed to make a single word sound haughty, even over the temperamental vox. The arrogant high-rider bastard.
“Scouting complete. The Eldar pirates have moved on the main settlements. They do not suspect our presence and should be blind to anything but their current…entertainment.”
“Only a raiding party about a hundred strong. It seems they did not expect much resistance. In that, they were wrong.”
“And the Archon?”
“He is with them. He has led us a merry dance, but now the hunt is nearly at an end.”
“Maybe. Did you get visual confirmation?”
“Of course. What do you take me for?”
Hokar did not miss a beat: “What I take you for right now, hunter, is a soldier two hundred clicks off his mark, which I am certain you have a perfectly valid reason for. What, pray tell, have you been doing down there?”
“Tying up some loose ends. But fear not, I am on my way.” Again, anybody near enough to witness this exchange might have seen that telltale glint of teeth that gave away the Hunter’s smile as he terminated the vox link.
And maybe, just maybe, such a person would also have noticed a small gem now dangling from the Hunter’s belt. A strange touch of beauty on the legionary’s jagged and pitted armour, the stone was now imbued with a fire that rendered it even more beautiful. But nobody was there to witness this, so it went unnoticed.
The Hunter set out towards the west, where new prey waited.
Flint seemed to be happy enough with this little vignette — in fact, she even changed the model to incorporate an element of the story. Take a close look:
So thanks to Flint13 for building and painting such a worthy new recruit for the 4th assault company! And for making me get off my arse and write a suitable piece of background!
And, of course, thanks to you all! I am always happy to hear any feedback you might have — just drop me a comment! And stick around for year four, alright? 😉
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!