Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Alchemist of Old Dertflinghan

Alexandrei Movila was born in 1412 to a noble house less than 50 miles south of Dertflinghan. As the son of a local boyar he was trained as a knight and it was his father's intention to offer his son's service to the Lord of Derflinghan. However, before the young man had the chance to take the journey, his entire family was slain by a pack of hunting vampires and, for some reason, the vampire lord gave Alexandrei the dark gift. In almost 500 years, he has himself only passed the dark gift to one other, his manservant Draga who, before dying of old age, begged his master to make him immortal.

Both creatures now live deep within a network of catacombs underneath the overgrown rubble of Old Dertflinghan. Movila's dealings with men are simple - he hunts them for food but otherwise avoids their affairs. However, the rural folk of the Carpathians know him by many names, in spite of his seclusion.

The Alchemist of Old Dertflinghan
In local folklore, Movila is often referred to as the Alchemist of Old Dertflinghan. True alchemists, however, would call Movila's experimentations reverse alchemy for, in essence, he has already achieved the immortality they seek. Instead, he has spent nearly two centuries trying to find a way to revert to his mortal self. If that day ever comes, he hopes to escape his undead curse and to die naturally as a man.

The Waker of the Dead

For purely practical reasons, Movila turns many of his victims into ghouls by feeding them a small amount of his immortal blood. Although their company is nothing to be desired, ghouls make the perfect foot soldiers and guards of his domain. They skulk around the catacombs and the surrounding forests where they often stumble upon potential intruders.

The Night Hunter

Although Movila often depends on the loyal Draga to bring victims to him, he sometimes gets the urge hunt for himself. He is, after all, a vampire lord and the beasts of the Carpathian woods come at his beckoning.

The Man-Bat

On rare occasions, Movila is confronted by men who are made of sterner stuff than their fellows. When his opponent fails to cower before him and, moreover, stands firm to challenge him, the mighty vampire morphs his body into the shape of a bat-like beast. This form also makes it easy for him to traverse great distances in short periods of time, particularly when he wants to hunt far afield.

Painted By: JET (aka Jason)

Thoughts & Commentary

Although I've already painted a band of Romanian Vampires, I really wanted to field a Nosferatu warband as well. The expanded lists allow one to take a master and three lesser nosferatu for a total of four vampires. However, I wanted to keep the number of vampires low (at least initially) since I imagined a lone figure, skulking through the ages without companionship. Realistically, I'll likely paint up another couple of vampires just to give me the option of fielding more down the road.

These Westwind Gothic Horror models are just great in my opinion. I think it takes a real artistic skill as a sculptor to create a model so devoid of detail and yet busting at the seams with personality. The miniature I used for Movila has no bells or whistles but I find the simple sculpt and the menacing face so effective, not to mention fun and easy to paint.

This Gothic Horror project has really become my opus. I love it more and more every time I add to it and I still have ideas for the future. The irony is, one of the reasons I got into this genre was that only a handful of models were needed to play. I now have over 50 miniatures on my Horror shelf, not to mention a sizable collection of prefab and homemade terrain. Oh well, so much for constraint.

Thanks for reading,


Dr. Willett's Workshop said...

Brilliant story telling and miniatures all around. Lots of character as you point out, I specially like your scenery settings.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Well, I foe one am very glad you did not restrain yourself and let the project grow and grow as I've enjoyed watching and reading it immensely.
Unlike you my Chaos in Cairo project has remained largely in statis as both of us have other projects ahead of it.
Like your new Vampire warband btw.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Fantastic figures

Great narrative :)

JET (aka Jason) said...

Thanks guys. The Gothic Horror project has been very entertaining for all of the participants. Can't wait to play more games.

abdul666 said...

Hope & wish for more!
Btw, no vampire lord should be without at least one bride: Zenit Miniatures have a kind of succubic vampirella.

A fellow of the 'Emperor vs Elector' informal community recently used 'Chaos in Carpathia' for a 18th C. 'Pulp' campaign.

The 'seminal' novels, Carmilla and Dracula, agree on several points: that vampires may dislike full sunlight, but are not harmed by it; and, chiefly, that they can walk among humans totally unnoticed. Thus, figurines manufacturers notwithstanding, one should have no need of special 'vampires' in human form. If nonetheless you want minis of vampires in a 'distinctive' quasi-human form (the 'Summerdale vampires syndrome'?), Zenit Minis also have one, and Foundry Revenant Elves would be specially fitting for the 18th C., specially the female. For a male, Reaper Skinsaw Man looks good.