venerdì 6 gennaio 2017

Lamshâr - Citadel Silvan Elf ME31 (1985)

I got on eBay this cool Jess Goodwin sculpt from 1985, which was sold by Citadel as Silvan Elf ME31. Interestingly, the same figure was later included in the 1989 Citadel Late Summer Catalogue (item 074213/2) as Wood Elf Champion. I bought it without a clear idea of what to do with it and then, on a whim, last month I decided to paint like one of the main NPCs, and by far one of the best villains, of my WFRP campaign.
The miniature was missing the original shield and I had to make do with a different one - full shield, to which I added a hole with a hot screw, and by sheer luck it fit perfectly.

So I give you Lamshâr, Dark Elf Assassin and Champion of Slaanesh.

The PCs met Lamshâr for the first time in Karak Azûl, a Dwarfish hold at that time overrun by Goblinoids. Driven by a dream to explore the Lower Depths, they discovered the Goblins were under the rule of a Greater Daemon, Urmarcht. He, in turn, had been appointed by the Dark Powers to recover the Melody of the Gates, a piece of Slann music that could be used to open or close portals on the Warp. Said Melody (or a part of it, but that was not known to the PCs yet) was in the possession of a Sea Elf, Gelmir of Lothern, currently lodging in the great city of Quezzhar on the coast of Lustria. And Urmarcht, having a Goblinoid kingdom to rule, appointed in turn his right-hand man, the Dark Elf Assassin Lamshâr.

Now, Lamshâr was not a standard Dark Elf: for one, he was really dark - a Gift of Slaanesh, which made his skin as smooth and dark as ebony. Graced with unnatural charm and grace, he had a signature mocking smile which made women faint from lust and men seeth from offence. And indeed that's what happened, with the Wood Elf Knight Errant girl falling almost immediately for him, and the Dwarf Judicial Champion vowing to heave his head with his axe. He got a scar in the attempt, and she got a night of unspeakable pleasures, while the other PCs were asleep and he broke into her room at a local inn.

But I am hasting too much - off sets Lamshâr from Karak Azûl to Barak Varr, where he boards a ship directed to Ulthuan first and Quezzhar later. The PCs follow as they can, but he is always a step ahead of them. That includes finding Gelmir of Lothern almost dead and deprived of the papers where he recorded the Melody. In Lustria, they almost catch up with Lamshâr - almost meaning getting a scar or a night of decadent lovemaking. But by sunrise the Assassin has already boarded a ship back to the Old World.

The PCs try again to follow, on the Grey Wave, Gelmir's ship. They are slower than other Elvish frigates, but they can cut the stopover in Ulthuan and head directly to Barak Varr, in the hope that they can set a trap for Lamshâr there. But he's smarter than them, as usual, and avoids it, so he can reach Karak Azûl days ahead of them. Always a step ahead, but never really taking action against them. It's as if he enjoyed toying with them, rather than eliminating their threat once and for all. Or is he?

It is in Karak Azûl that the PCs finally confronted the Daemon Urmarcht, now in possession of the Melody, and uncovered his plan to enlarge the Southern Gate of Chaos to absorb its energy and become a Prince of Chaos, with the blessing of the Ruinous Powers. And they stopped it - with the help of Kar Knuurg, the legendary War Axe of the Kings of Karak Azûl, they fell the monster after an epic battle in the Lower Depths.

 It was then that Lamshâr, suspiciously absent until that time, reappeared. Just as Urmarcht was uttering a final curse on the PCs, the Assassin pierced his neck with a blade.

"I must thank you" he bowed mockingly to the PCs "I would have never achieved that by myself. With your help, though... but let me show my gratitude by allowing you to witness my own rise as a Prince of Chaos. Please, follow me, if you can!"

With that the Dark Elf started to run and jumped into a portal, with the PCs following suit. They could only look, while the Assassin, faster than them, played with his flute the Melody and enlarged the titanic vortex suspended in the stormy sky, over a living wasteland of limbs, tentacles and screaming mouths: the Southern Gate of Chaos. As the Eye in the Sky expanded, Lamshâr was pulled into it by an invisible force. And, moments after disappearing in the maelstrom of impossible colours, something started coming out of the Gate.

A colossal monster, whose head was half skull and half Lamshâr, barbed with six convoluted horns, slowly emerged from the Hole, as if it was climbing out from a blasphemous womb. Triumphant, he screamed with a thousand voices his victory. But just then, Gelmir started playing with his harp the same Melody - only backwards.

The Gate started to recede, slowly but steadily, and the Beast screamed again, but this time with fear and frustration. The Gate shrunk, cutting off his body in half. Iridescent blood, or whatever it was, fell on the living plain which fed itself off the ichor. With a fearsome groan, the Chaos Spawn that was to be a Prince of Chaos died, and its gigantic body sank into the teeming ground, gnarled and gnawed by invisible teeth. The Melody was over, at least the bit which Gelmir knew. The Gate was not closed, but it has receded to the same size as before. It was time to go, before the portal closed itself.

That was the end of Lamshâr, Dark Elf Assassin, Champion of Slaanesh and would-be Prince of Chaos.

Lamshâr's main weapons were a whip and a repeating crossbow - alas, difficult to find in miniatures, except heavily armoured Dark Elves. But a bow and a long sword will do, along with a nice shield painted with the wheel of Chaos.

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