The County of Saros lies on the northern Hungarian border and, with the capital of Krummstein nestled deeply amongst the alpine forests and snow-topped mountains, it is unsurprising that outsiders are rarely seen. The Von Krumm family has ruled from the imposing walls of Castle Krummstein for over 10 generations and the current ruler, the Count Konrad Von Krumm, does his best to rule justly over a people who are more rugged than the lands they occupy.
Like most ruling houses of Europe, the Count and his advisors spend much of their time engaged in a myriad of administrative tasks - tax-collecting, overseeing the provision of civil services to the people, and dispensing justice to the primarily rural population of the County. However, there is one charge that the Count and his family hold above all other stately responsibilities.
Almost 80 years ago, Konrad's grandfather founded the Order of the Lion, a monster-fighting fellowship of like-minded noblemen from the northern part of the country. All of the Von Krumm men are initiated into the Order during their adolescent years. The lower dungeons of Castle Krummstein house an impressive collection of tomes, scrolls, and artifacts which are all used to prepare the Order's members for their ongoing battle against the supernatural.
Both of the Count's sons, Helmut and Hector, are active members in the Order. In the Autumn of the previous year, the youngest son, Hector, left the Castle to pursue rumours of a vampire near the vicinity of Dertflinghan. Now that six months have passed with no word, the Count has decided to personally lead an expedition into Transylvania in search of his missing son.
The eldest son, Helmut, is a hunter of some renown and many members of the Order feel that he is a more savage warrior than his father. The photo below shows Helmut and his faithful hound Zeus just a week before their departure for Dertflinghan.
It goes without saying that the Von Krumms will not be making such dangerous journey alone. The Count may be a little impetuous, but he is no fool.
Lazlo the Wanderer & Captain Hatteras
Lazlo is a true renaissance man. Some of his past titles have included soldier, trader, seaman, schoolmaster, mercenary, and gentleman adventurer. Some years ago while exploring the interior of Africa, the Count became violently ill and was left for dead by his guides. Lazlo, who was working as a self-employed smuggler at the time, found him, nursed him back to health, and made sure that the Count made it safely to the nearest port. The Count was impressed by the stranger's bravery and resourcefulness and, by the time a ship with a berth was available, Lazlo had accepted the Count's handsome offer of employment and accompanied him back to Hungary. He has been a trusted member of both the Count's household and the Order for almost 10 years now.
During his life in Africa, Lazlo found himself in a violent disagreement with a pirate captain over a serving wench one evening. The disgruntled men chose to settle their differences with a knife fight. Considering Lazlo's skill with a blade, this proved to be a mistake for the pirate captain who lost by receiving the first cut. After a closer look at the prize wench, Lazlo agreed to let the losing pirate keep the woman and chose to take the man's monkey instead. The mischievousness primate, or Captain Hatteras as Lazlo calls him, has been with him ever since.
Dr. Franz Grunberg
After striking out for Dertflinghan, the Count's first stop was Dr. Grunberg's lunatic asylum. Some years back Dr. Grunberg used his cutting edge methods to treat the Count's older sister to great effect. Ever since her recovery, the Doctor and the Count have been close friends. They exchange correspondence regularly and, although not a member, Dr. Grunberg is very familiar with the work of the Order.
After telling the doctor the tale of Hector's disappearance, the Count requested the Dr's assistance in discovering the whereabouts of his missing son. Dr. Grunberg's only response was to pack his things and to prepare to depart.
As the Doctor's trusted bodyguard and gamekeeper, Ernst goes where his master goes. Both his skills as a tracker and a marksman will certainly come in handy on this expedition.
Bjorn the Bold
Bjorn is a member of the elite Von Krumm Houseguard. He has distinguished himself in battle numerous times and, on one occassion, even saved the Countess's life by beating a would-be assassin to death with his bare hands. The Count has taken the man along as extra muscle.
Sister Basilla Benedicta
Although not a member of the expedition as such, Sister Benedicta is a member of the Order of the Lion's sister organization, the Sisters of Our Martyred Lady. The Count is aware that Sister Benedicta is somewhere in the area of Dertflinghan. He hopes to find her and to engage her assistance in case any of the restless dead are encountered during his mission.
Painted By: JET (aka Jason)
Thoughts & Commentary
Other than a few odds and ends, this installment of models marks the end of this phase of my Gothic Horror project. As per my calculations, I have completed 42 models, eight buildings, a set of dungeon tiles and furniture, forests, roads, hills, and numerous small terrain items to set the stage.
As to the warband list, here's how the model's shown above break down in game terms:
Count Konrad Von Krumm - Expedition Leader
Helmut Von Krumm - Slayer
Lazlo the Wanderer - Slayer
Dr. Franz Grunberg - Professor
Ernst Holdt - Expedition Member
Bjorn the Bold - Expedition Member
Dogs & Monkey - Hunting Hounds
Sister Benedicta - eventually an expedition member and sometimes a Female Victim
After painting Werewolves and Vampires, I knew that I just had to have a warband of Monster Hunters. Marc plays Dr. Frankenstein and His Creations, and I'm pretty sure that a couple of guys in the group will be painting up some Werewolves and Vampires in the future, so my hunters should have lots to keep them busy. Either way, they were fun to paint, so it's all good.
The one last substantial project I'm considering for my Gothic Horror collection is painting up a unit of henchmen representing the Von Krumm Houseguard. Time will tell.
Thanks for reading,