12 days of Winter|The Astral Bears, a fan made lore series part 1, Origin

The Astral Bears are a relatively new Space marine chapter who were established during the early days of the Indomitus Crusade. Known for adopting similar tactics and aspects of their primogenitor Legion, the White Scars, who use hit and run tactics to weaken and exhaust the enemy with fast and precise groups of Skirmish engagements. However, the Astral Bears are known to be more aggressive and arrogant in their methods of engagement by charging into battle to bludgeon the foe with brute force, or by sheer rounds of fire power.

This tactic isn’t completely doomed to failure as the chapter have won many battles for their ferocious combat skirmishes. But it has led to the chapter suffering above average of losses.

Like many Ultima founding successor chapters, the Astral Bears are primarily built on Primaris Marines, creations made by the controversial Arch Magos Belesarius Cawl. The chapter is a Codex compliant force that follow the dictates of Guilliman’s Codex Astartes, although there are some changes that the chapter have made to infuse their culture into their chapters organisation, as well as meeting the requirements of the Codex guideline.

  • Command groups of each company have their own unique tribal marking to signify their role in the chapter, others in the company have tribal markings of the company they serve.
  • Names of the marines are similar to the ones the White Scars use, a cultural heritage that the Astral Bears carry on with pride.
  • Lieutenants have different tribal markings to not confuse their fellow marines and to identify who said individual is.
  • The chapters armoury uses unique cultural style of the White Scars and the home world of Khoros.
  • Primaris squads tend to be smaller than most chapter battleline squads, this is to spread squads out for wider tactics of hit and run engagements.
  • Librarians are called Stormseers, like the White Scars chapter.

The Great Rift

The chapter was founded during the time of the Indomitus Crusade and it’s mission to bring worlds, resources, isolated chapters and those still loyal to the Imperium back to the Emperors light. During this time, the successor chapter of the White Scars, the Dark Hunters, found the world of Khoros, a world that belonged to the chapter many centuries ago as a tithe resource for new recruits. Ruled by the Imperial order of Hive cities in a land of vast deserts and forests, this world had everything for the chapter to recruit warriors of the land and Hives.

The Astral Bears homeworld of Khoros [M.42].

But during the splitting of the Great Rift, Khoros suffered greatly during one of the Imperiums darkest days, as the entities of the warp spilled out across the galaxy to wreck carnage on a scale not seen since the Horus Heresy. The world of Khoros was defended by a company of Dark Hunters [company unknown by Imperial records] who originally came to collect fresh tithes for the chapter.

Brave were those of the sons and daughters of Khoros in the Hive cities as they gave their blood and souls to punish the invaders. But they were foolish to think that they could win and live to fight another day, for the Night Lords are born to hunt and kill without remorse. Led by Captain Elskri, Master of the Serotine Company, the Night Lords attacked Khoros to take the opportunity to collect new recruits, and bloody slaughter hunts they enjoy partaking in.

The Dark Hunters suffered greatly during the war as the Night Lords picked them off a bit at a time, a slow but effective method of dwindling the chapters strength. Because the chapter had come to collect new tithes to fill its company that was already below combat effectiveness, the Night Lords had an easy picking fighting off the Dark Hunters.

First the Hive city of Zhoto fell after four months of constant fighting in the shadow of eternal night caused by sickly dark unnatural clouds. Then two more fell a few months afterwards until nearly all of the Hive cities in the world died out, leaving the natives of the world on their own.

It was until the Crusade fleet finally arrived in system along with a company of Dark Hunters, did the Night Lords stop their invasion and flee from then fleet incoming to Khoros. What was left of the population of the Hive cities was carnival of a slaughter house, all around were skinless corpses of the defenders and the civilians.

As for the Dark Hunters who were stationed at Khoros, their remains were found in Zhoto, when a squad of Dark Hunters searched inside the underhive of the city. What they saw had shocked and disgusted them by the sight of a abomination shrine of flesh and bone. The long dead skinless faces still screaming in eternal pain as one mass of dead corpses, shapes into a throne of a corpse ruler.

All is not lost

All would be lost if not for two discoveries by the chapter and other successor chapters of the White Scars including the now forgiven Mantis Warriors, the Sun Hawks, the Dark Lunars and the Red Sons. They’ve found one of the last surviving Dark Hunter stationed on Khoros, trapped from fallen masonry and severely broken by the war both physically and mentally.

His name was Gobi, a marine who saw all the horror and devastation during the war, he was defending civilians fleeing from the fighting when suddenly part of a tower collapsed on him whilst he saved the last few survivors before they could be crushed. His memory after that went dark until he was finally found in a state of pain and failure. As for those he protected, it would be better to be left in mystery for the truth is grim and unpleasant to record.

As Gobi was checked over by the Apothecary who assessed his physical condition, his mind kept repeating his last memories of the battle before he was caved in. Like a nightmare repeating itself over and over as the horror he witnessed wouldn’t leave his mind, the screams of suffering and agony buzzed in his ear as if it were happening now.

After months of the invasion took its toll on the defenders of Khoros, the Dark Hunters were dwindling in numbers, squads of marines were losing men weeks or even days. With no reinforcements coming to bolster loses, they were on their own to defend Khoros.

Gobi was the last of his squad after months of hard fighting in the streets, conserving ammo and hiding in the shadows from groups of Night Lords until the way was clear. After the last Skirmish, his sergeant and squad brother were killed taking down a champion of Chaos.

As he traveled alone in the dark with the shadows as his cloak, he sees life signs of human survivors running away from something, a shadow with blazing red eyes darting after them.

A mother, child and father were seeking safety as they were stalked by a shadowy beast from the darkness. It’s eyes glowed with red passion for the hunt, claws glowing in blue arcs of lighting, as well as its darkest of blue armour cracking with lighting dancing around it’s surface.

Bolt pistol in hand and a prayer whispered under his breath, Gobi gazed into the darkness of the alleyway as the beast stared back. He knew this thing as a Night Lord, one of the traitor legions that turned their back from the Emperors light many millennia ago. Both he and the beast are sons of the night for they use the darkness to their advantage, although their ideologies are vastly different in the way they use darkness.

For Gobi it’s to conceal his form to surprise his foes in skirmish engagements, to catch the enemy unaware and take them out before returning to the darkness in a hit and run tactic.

For the Night Lords, the darkness is the weapon of fear as they blend into the shadows, moulding them as predators who stalk and hunt their prey. Tactics are simple, scare your enemies enough that they can’t fight back, then torture them slowly as they freeze their gaze at the monsters of the night.

The beast charged for the alleyway as the civilians ran down to seek safety, Gobi knew that they won’t make it alive unless he stopped the beasts hunt. He lets out a bolt round from his bolt pistol which traveled like a comet heading towards the beast. However, he misses his target as the beast dodged the bolt round. Rather than running down the ally the beast uses its jump pack to elevate above to reach safe perch on-top of a ruined city apartment, so it wouldn’t be confined by tight spaces.

It laughs at Gobi with vile amusement as he raises his bolt pistol at the beasts perch, it took Gobi a few seconds to realise why it was amused. Behind him, two more beasts creep out of the darkness with twin lightning claws, they laugh with vile amusement too at the cornering of the lone marine.

One tactical marine against three veterans of the long war is a fools end to engage combat in, but what choice does Gobi have when all of his brothers are dead? There’s no rescue party, no reinforcements, only faith and will can Gobi survive this battle.

He prays to the Emperor to give him strength and the will to smite his foes, then he charges towards the first Night Lord as he raises his bolt pistol head height. He fires but the shot only scratched the Night Lords armour, in turn the Nostraman charges towards Gobi with his dual lighting claws. He tried to shred Gobi but the Dark Hunter dodges the attack side ways, he takes out his chainsword and strikes the Night Lord from the left side. He nearly had the kill but the veteran Nostraman blocked the attack with his claws. Gobi could hear garbled wheezes from the traitors helm grill, as if laughing at Gobi’s amateur attempt.

Before Gobi could make his next move, the second Night Lord enters combat as he strikes his claws into Gobi’s back. Gobi tried to dodge the blow but got caught in the right arm by the lighting claw. A solid chunk of admantium fell to the ground, Gobi realised a second later that his chainsword fell to the floor along with his hand.

He carried on fighting with strength and conviction to fight until his last breath, “For the Khan!” He shouted as he lets loose another bolt round which hits the first Night Lord through the left eye lens. The traitor stumbles as he grips his helm but stumbles again as Gobi shoots again at the traitors face. The traitor falls to the ground with smoke spilling out of his helm, the body was still and spilling blood around the corpse.

The second Night Lord was unfazed by his brothers death as though he cared only for the kill. He slashed his claws towards Gobi and nearly sheers off Gobi’s other arm by a pin thread, he checks his pistol, no ammo left. He doesn’t have any ammo left on him.

“God Emperor, my gene father Jaghati Khan and my dead brothers who now serve the Emperors eternal service, I Gobi, son of the hunt and master of the dark will smite this traitor!!!

Seeing the futile position he was in, Gobi runs towards his foe but as soon as he accepts deaths embrace he suddenly gets pushed down by a force more heavier then he. Masonry fell on him caused by the unnoticed Night Lord who chased the family down the ally, he laughs with a strong accent of a dead long forgotten world.

“Now now little Dark Hunter, there’s no use in trying to pray to the Corpse Emperor. He’s nothing but a dead carcass like the ones we’ve skinned and decorated on your walls” a dry laugh escapes through the vox grill of the beasts helmet. He continues, “My father Curze hated me and my brothers because of who we are and what we have become. He wanted Order from the masses by any means, even subjugation to death, torture and suffering. What you see here is my fathers legacy that we carry on as our custom in war. I could kill you now, slowly and patiently like the rest……”.

The beast points up to the top of the city tops where dozens of corpses hang on nooses, all skinned like a butchery with screaming faces frozen in time.

“But…….I’d rather leave you here so you can witness the work we have created. What you see here will always be a part of you, your legacy, your failure, your future” the monsters laughs as he sees the futile look in Gobi’s eyes. “Before I leave, I think I might alter that face of yours……….”

Before his vision blurs the Dark Hunter could only vaguely hear the sound of claws being unleashed as the beast steps towards the family of pale frightened faces. They scream as the beast desecrated their mortal bodies with blades of lighting.

****

Gobi in his state of severe physical damage could only think about that last battle, he could only just barely turn his head to see the place where he saw the family screaming in his memory. No bodies were left behind just the smear of blood to mark their death.

A Space marine is built not only to sever the Imperium of mankind, to smite the Mutant, the Xenos and the Heretic. To march as an army of super soldiers with the physical power to cause destruction to the enemy wherever they are.

But Gobi failed the greatest test that an Astartes must take, to defend the people of the Imperium and to save mankind from harm. He failed in his duty, a broken warrior who’s glory and victory are nothing but ashes.

The second discovery was back at Zhoto where a Mantis Warrior found an infant child hidden in a secret storage space, its mother blocking the entrance with her cold corpse slumped to the ground. Why the mother was mostly intact and the child left unharmed was a mystery, for the Night Lords would never leave anyone alive even with such innocence as an infant.

These two individuals would be the soul and foundation of the beginning of a new Space marine chapter. Khoros would be rebuilt, repurposed and armed to fight back against the foes of Mankind.

The time for the sons of the Great Bear has just begun.

Extract to part 1 of the fan made Fly on the Wall Podcast Post Apocalyptic Saga

As part of my 12 days of Winter daily blog posts, I’ve included the first part of my non cannon fan fiction story based on the Fly on the Wall Podcast Post Apocalypse saga. After completing my prologue story, a pilot of sorts, I did some writing on the first part of the story.

Luke and Woz enjoyed the prologue, and read it on their podcast for their Post apocalyptic saga special. I have no idea if anyone liked it or what the viewers thought about this alternative story. For all I know, Dexton might be my only fan…….

I heard the extract and found a few issues with my writing, some parts work others not so much. Whilst focusing on the characters and backstory for most of the prologue was good, I did however notice that it relied on people listening to the podcast series to get a better understanding of where I’ve gone with my alternative timeline.

Why write a fan made story? I have two reasons for doing this, 1) I wanted to try my hand at writing stories on my blog to see wether people will like it and wether my work is substantial. Ive done plenty of fictional writing on the blog before, but only as lore background to my homebrew work. I wanted to try writing fictional stories to broaden my blog into different subjects. If it goes well I might try doing more story posts for other projects. 2) Because I really liked the post apocalyptic saga that Woz and Luke have created, it’s a fun audio story that takes some twist and turns you wouldn’t be expecting. I’m hoping my contribution to the fandom will get others to add their own work into the podcast.

Anyways, as an early treat for you guys I’ve decided to reveal an extract to my non cannon fan made story of the Post Apocalyptic Saga. Enjoy!

~~~~~

In the distant future of today, life had changed dramatically after the outbreak of the virus, a plague that had struck the modern day society with one fell swoop. The virus was believed to have been similar to the Ebola virus, based on the physical signs that matched medical research into the Ebola virus. Anyone in contact with the virus would surely die slow and painfully, as the virus takes hold of the innocent, the damned and the foolish.

At first it was believed that the virus was Ebola, which somehow infected the world uncontrolled, and free to kill anyone in contact to it’s sickening spread. Those that lived past the first stages of the virus soon realised that it wasn’t Ebola, for the virus wasn’t just a disease, it mutated. The infected started to mutate, growing new limbs, animalistic features and reformed into monstrous proportions, like an accelerated evolutionary change of nature’s doing. Birthing a new variety of races of mutants, these. Creatures would form their own clans, warbands or isolated lives away from the rest of it’s kin.

No longer did the virus kill the weak, for the weak were all dead, and the strong were rewarded with new changes as they became mutants. However, these enhancements came at the cost of their own freedom of individuality and expression, mindless to the whispers of its new master.

But the survivors of Australia had not been easily defeated into misery like other nations, for this is a land of fighters and survivalists. They started to form communities, organised law groups, traders and hunters in this new and disturbing world.

As the wasteland recovered from the apocalypse and started rebuilding itself for over six years, a new threat emerged from the shadow of a vast army of mutant soldiers. They call their master the Dark Mind, the one they followed and enacted it’s will to kill and eradicate the human population to make war for the new earth.

Who is the Dark mind? What are its goals and how did it came to be for it to have outsmarted the government, the military and the world. No one knows for sure, it’s a spoken blessing by the mutants to give praise to this foul leader. Like a hive mind in the shadows it has so far not been seen by human eyes, more than likely to be in a safe place to be able to wove its malicious plans.

It’s army marches on as they raid settlements for fresh meat, Slaves and vessels to absorb. Mankind is now on the brink of extinction.

They proclaim that this act of atrocity will be heralded as the Final apocalypse, and the new mankind will flourish and prosper. Wether populated by the mutant army or something far more disturbing is as of yet up for debate.

Now in the wasteland desert of Australia, four travellers set off to find an old water purification power plant facility in the wastes. There they believe that this is the source of the virus that caused the apocalypse in Australia. Still producing clouds of pollution into the atmosphere and the lake it’s sited on. Pumping the virus into inland Australia where it can mutate or kill those inland that survived the apocalypse.

Soon, our race will die and fade into the desert like a forgotten civilisation of old, our history, linage, hate, war, achievements and prosperity will die along with us.

The Final apocalypse begins………

~~~~

As a bonus treat for you guys, I have a digital artwork done as a cover for part 2 (WIP writing that). I can’t spoil what it means, but for those of you who know my blog will understand what this pays homage to.

Anyways, I hope you guys have enjoyed this post and looking forward to the full first part. Check out the Fly on the Wall Podcast hosted by Luke and Woz, they do all sorts of topical subjects and host their Post Apocalyptic Saga series.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

12 days of Winter is back for 2019!

A yearly tradition I do each year celebrating the hobby each day up till Christmas day, with posts ranging from hobby projects, art, stories and random stuff.

This year I’m going bolder with my plans for the 12 day challenge! I’ve got some big posts that I’m currently working on, which means November will be very quite from me.

So what to expect for the 12 days of Winter? Well, I can’t reveal all of what I’ve planned, but here’s what’s in store.

  • A three part post on the lore of the Astral Bears, including artwork!
  • My top ten books of 2019
  • Fan fiction of the Fly on the Wall podcast, Post Apocalypse story part 1 (unofficial and fan fiction)

There’s a lot more to come, but for now mark your calendars for December 13th!

Because I like treating you guys with sneak peaks, I’ve got this WIP artwork of a certain Chapter Master who will be featured in my Astral Bears lore series.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Update on my Ogor Mawtribe, the Bloodgullet Mawtribe

Last week I got my copy of the Ogor Mawtribes battletome, a fantastic book (for lore stuff in my opinion) that is probably one of GW’s best to date, and that’s a compliment I rarely give GW these days. It’s a shame that they decided to put the new plastic Ogor Tyrant as a box set exclusive (which sold out just like the Carrion Empire set with two exclusive models as well) rather than as a single pack release.

But let’s not get too deep into the ‘GW does another one’ rant post. It’s all about the Gorkamorkas biggest and meanest brutes that aren’t Greenskin, the Ogors.

Let’s recap my Ogor Mawtribe project and what’s changed since the army book came out.

After much reading I’ve decided to use the Bloodgullet tribe as a basis for my collection, as my models look exactly like a Bloodgullet. Since the faction is led by a Butcher (Tyrants rarely get overthrown by butchers, but for Bloodgullet Wargluts they are known to be replaced by the mystic chefs) I’ve nominated my Butcher as the leader of my army.

Originally I did have a Tyrant model to lead my army, but having read that Ironguts need at least 4x models, I instead made that model a champion of my Ironguts.

Other units have stayed the same including two units of three Gluttons, a unit of 15x Gnobblars and a unit of two Gorgers.

Now for the latest additions to the project, I have a ranged unit of a Gnobblar Scarplauncher, made using a Wizkid catapult kit and some spare models to follow the theme of ‘ghouls’ and ‘death’.

By the awesome might of the eternal hungry maw of Gorkamork do I love my medieval horror…………(°) W (°)

Next, my own kitbashed scenery version of the Great Mawpot. I didn’t want to spend £25 on the plastic kit so I went and created my own.

Thats pretty much everything I’ve done so far for my Ogor Mawtribe Collection. I have plans to push this project to 1,500pt list including a Giant as an ally unit, a unit of Leadbelchers which will let me unlock the Butchers warband battalion warscroll and possibly add some more Gnobblars this finish off my army.

That’s all for today!

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Butchers tea party

Now for some freaky **** art work I’ve done in celebration of the Fly on the Wall podcast (hosted by Luke and Woz, not the other political podcast one) with their Post Apocalypse special.

So what made me want to do this artwork? Well it was around the time when the series started to build up, after the first appearance of the Butcher I thought I’d do some art for how I’d imagine the series would look like. I left the sketch awhile ago as I had other stuff to do with College and my hobby projects.

It wasn’t until my fan fiction story was mentioned on the podcast that I thought I’d go back to the sketch and do something to celebrate the podcast.

Here’s my sketch which I used as a template for building up my colour layers on the Procreate app. I took a picture of my sketch and added filters to make it sharp in black and white. Then I used the photo in the app and filled any gaps in the artwork in black line brush, which will help me fill drop colours without crossing areas that aren’t supposed to be filled.

Here’s what the basic first layer looked like with a few details done in airbrush for basic details and lighting.

With the Butcher needing more colours and making Luke and Woz look more dirty with the wasteland make. Blisters, blood, scars, sweat and tears of old age and diseases are the marks of what the wasteland has to offer!

looking much more grim and horror now that the Butcher and the hero’s are fitting into the post apocalyptic theme. I decided at this point to add more shading to the Butcher as he looked too visible and less threatening, having him in shadow would really help make him have the mysterious killer visual. As for Luke and Woz I wanted to add more grime to them to have emphasis on the rough life and physical toil that the apocalypse can have on people.

I’ve included a black and white version of the final artwork for the old horror aesthetic.

The final outcome was the best that I felt I could do to my fullest after days of working on this artwork. It’s a long process of building up layers of detail and colour to illustrate a simple artwork. I could’ve gone crazy and added explosions, mutants, zombies and mad max style vehicles. But I wanted to illustrate a basic artwork of the major players of the first arc of the series.

So there you have it, an artwork that I’ve done to celebrate Luke and Woz’s podcast series! Well done chaps!

I would recommend listening to the Post Apocalypse special which is full of content, including interviews, ethical questions, the ongoing story of the post Apocalyptic story and Woz doing an excerpt of my fan fiction story I wrote on my blog. If your new to this whole thing and wondering who or what is this post apocalyptic nonsense, check out episode six or seven of the Fly on the Wall podcast (not the politics one, it’s the one with the cool graffiti artwork of a fly).

Now then, I wonder if I should do that other sketch where the gang gets spooked by a group of killer flesh eating mutated Clowns………

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Books, books and more Warhammer books

Today’s post is another treasure hunting find that may or may not be worth much, but the history and content of these books are worth a lot to people like me! After months of nothing, my usual car boot hunting of items gone dry and my luck running I thought that would be it for me. But……a couple of weeks ago I’ve found some interesting findings!

Inferno vol 6 and vol 27, these books have some rare material that I haven’t seen be reprinted for years (well apart from GW’s limited reprint of Inferno issue in celebration of the return of the new Inferno).

Up next two very very old books that were published during the Boxtree years (old publication before GW set up the Black Library as their fictional book publication), Deathwing and Konrad. I also found other Boxtree books like Harlequin and Chaos Child. I picked the other two as I didn’t want to read the Ian Watson books as I’ll need the first book in order to read Harlequin and Chaos Child.

I’m currently reading Konrad which is so far a good book, still need some time to read it all and see who or what Konrad himself is. Is he the same Konrad as Konrad Von Carstein?

That’s all for tod……… wait, just today I’ve found this…..

I got Gileads Blood a few weeks ago and got Gileads Curse today. It was on sale at my local library as stock is changed over, only months ago it was still on the shelf. I’ll be reading this once I’ve done Konrad.

That’s all for today!

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Bad Moons Tribe project: I missed Orktober….

Damn, I missed the opportunity to do Orktober stuff this month! But never fear, I always have a plan…….even though it’s the last day of the month. Today I present my weirdest kitbash and my new centrepiece for my Bad Moons project, a Warboss in Mega armour.

Using a neglected Warjack from Warmachine, I made a kustom Ork model using all manner of bitz to create my own Warboss. I like his assistant who’s perched on the Warboss’s shoulder, like a mutant human that looks like an small Ork.

Finally after a year of acquiring this lot of classic Gretchins, I’ve painted a batch of twenty little green Hitchers all today! Talk about motivation!

That’s it from me for today. Got loads of stuff to do with drafting more blog content, it never seems to end lately!

Until next time,

-Bjorn