Thanks guys! Really glad you like them
I'm with you on the whole AoS front Cav. While the whole He-Man/Conan stuff gives opportunity for some really out-there modelling (good for my bitsbox so I'm not complaining!), it does feel like there's opportunity to do something novel with a fantasy setting.
Thinking about it, you could do some really interesting stuff with the idea of a sort of shattered realm type thing. The gods of the Old world had a plan to send mortals through to create a new world when Chaos ripped this one to pieces. A plan which failed. So you've got regular mortals like Sigmar who suddenly found themselves ascended to godhood tasked with creating a new world with zero experience or guidance.
You should end up with a sort of broken world, all frayed and torn at the edges, and bits and pieces intermittently not working right. The sort of place you can take the wrong fork in a deep-forest path and walk out a decade later, or a hundred miles away. A place where half-formed and ill-conceived monsters flit into existence. A place where mortal man and elf and dwarf are cast adrift in scattered bands in this broken and schizophrenic realm.
There is actually a bit of a movement in the Fantasy world called 'Dark Age of Sigmar' that goes down that direction a little. Some utterly, utterly stunning stuff from there too. Check these out if you've got a moment Age of Sigmar Horror - Black Sloth HellSlaves to Darkness - Chaos Warriors of Malal - Ex ProfundisThe Eclipse - Competition Gallery - Ex ProfundisGardens of Hecate: CXLIX. Shadespire: Steelheart's Champions
It's not just waffle from me though! Update too See that one over there? That's a Bray. Close as they get to cultural leaders these days. Elders who preserve their histories, administer what passes for justice amongst their kind, and lead the bacchanal rites to appease their vengeful gods.It's curious, really. At first I believed the herdstones to be malefic structures, with little purpose but to provide a focal point to tear the veil of the materium. However, from my time with them I believe their actual function is to bleed off power from the immaterium in manageable doses. The constant weeping of blood, the bacchanal orgies of violence, the blood-sacrifices. All serve to prevent the anger within from bubbling over.More than most, my time among the elk-folk has given me an insight into their psyche. I believe they view themselves as exiles, cast apart from their forebears who lived side-by-side with their Gods. Forced to wander through this icy plane and scratch a meagre existence. They remember the times where their kind swept through these systems as a great conquering tide. They remember the great armies of the Emperor arrayed to stop them, the mighty Wolves of Fenris at the fore. They remember the days their Gods forsook them, and left them upon these frozen worlds. For them, their rapture has come and passed.
So there we go! That's the last of the planned Elk-Folk (although I do have a few more ideas to revisit if the bits-box contents align)
Hopefully the fluff snippets have given a decent insight into their history, but if not here's a little explainer. These elk-folk were a bunch of feral-worlders picked up as chaff for a Chaos Warlord's army which swept through the sector before being stopped by the Space Wolves. Their armies crushed, the PBI (Poor Bloody Infantry) were abandoned planetside and over the centuries since have carved out a society alongside the other abandoned inhabitants of this world (we'll get onto those next!).
The idea about the herdstone was a thought I had about human cultures living under the gaze of the Ruinous Powers. In order to have survived for this long, even primitive cultures that find themselves close enough to warp-rifts must have some sort of mechanism to deal with the machinations of the Gods. The herdstones are in actuality arcane monoliths designed to relieve the pressure of the warp in places where there's danger of a breach, quite literally bleeding off the power as a constant trickle of magically generated blood, augmented and maintained by bacchanal rituals and sacrifices to appease the War God.
The fact they can also be used to rip holes in the materium is just a secondary function, put to ruinous use during the times of the great warherd.