[Archive] Something wicked this way comes

Thommy H:

The Storm of Chaos has passed, but the danger is not yet over. In the wake of Archaon’s devastating invasion of the Old World, famine, starvation and deprivation stalk the land. Hundreds of thousands have been left homeless, their farmsteads destroyed by marauding Chaos forces, many of whom are still at large in the countryside. Refugees wander the lands of the Empire and Kislev in throngs a thousand strong, accompanied by mad Flagellants, doomsayers and grim Priests of Morr. Though Middenheim did not fall, the ruin visited upon the lands of Men has been terrible indeed. Compounding this hell, the flux of magic from the Umbra Chaotica has wreaked havoc upon the natural cycle of life. The summer of war was followed by a bleak, impenetrable winter that choked the soil of life. After that came a summer of blistering, baking heat that further scourged the already ravaged soil of the Old World. Few crops grew and now, as autumn begins, the feeble grass has been bleached into a deathly, pallid yellow and only a few brown leaves cling to the weakened, skeletal trees. Millions lie dead in charnel pits across the continent, the victims of war, pestilence and famine. Truly, these are the End Times.

Even in fair Bretonnia, the effects of the last hellish year have been felt. The once fertile soil no longer bears fruit, and the deep forests are almost bare. Bretonnia starves, for its society is wholly dependent on the labour of the serfs on its farmland, and now fully a third of them lie dead, most unburied. Into this grim situation comes a strange ray of light. A month ago, a herald in yellow and black arrived at the gates of Couronne, demanding to see the king. He was admitted into the faded court of Louen Leoncouer and there made his announcement. In its hour of need, Bretonnia would be salvaged: a new flag has been raised around which the knights of the land could rally. A black fleur de lys on a yellow field: the banner of Mousillon, the Cursed City. Cursed no longer though! For its Duke, the mysterious Black Knight has hereby declared that he will lead a great crusade! Let all noble sons of fair Bretonnia take heed and take up arms, for the Black Knight and the lords of Mousillon shall ride across the realm and aim their lances for that blighted kingdom that lies in the very midst of Bretonnia: the foul witch-lair of Athel Loren! Too long have its borders gone uncontested! Now let it be destroyed once and for all!

King Louen was troubled. The flower of Bretonnian chivalry had been bled dry by the Errantry War in The Empire, and such a crusade, contained as it was within the borders of the kingdom, was just what was needed to re-establish the confidence of his forces. But Louen was a Knight of the Grail, and he knew too the dark secret of Mousillon. He knew the truth of its curse; of the dark wings that beat in the night and the whispered rumours of a nameless dread within its deepest crypts. He was in a quandary. To oppose this crusade would divide his Dukes and potentially plunge Bretonnia into civil war, when it could least afford an internal conflict. To support it would mean aligning Bretonnia with a force too dark and terrible to be openly spoken of and he would have no part in any effort to destroy Athel Loren. Though there had been more than a few wars between Bretonnia and the Wood Elves, the King knew all too well what stalwart allies the Fey Folk were against external threats. Both peoples were of this land, and they respected each other’s sovereignty. So do nothing? But Athel Loren had suffered this past year too �?" with almost no natural growth, their mighty Forest Spirits were dormant and vulnerable, to say nothing of their own sacrifices in the war against Archaon. King Louen worried that the Black Knight’s crusade would succeed, and this was the most dangerous possibility of all. The Fay Enchantress had told him long ago that, if Athel Loren fell, Bretonnia itself would soon follow.

He would trust then to the natural justice of his people. Louen Leoncouer, uncharacteristically, chose to stand by. Not pledging support for or opposing the Black Knight of Mousillon was his only option. Let him try to cross Bretonnia by moonslight alone, as the King knew he surely must, and see whether he attracted men to his banner. The King was confident that his fellow Grail Knights who, like him, could sense the nature of Mousillon’s curse, would rally the Knights of Bretonnia against this dark enemy.

Deep in his fortress within Mousillon, the Black Knight read the King’s neutral reply and donned his all-enclosing helm. No living man had seen his face, so none could say if he smiled or not.

Le Chevalier Noir

The Black Knight is an enduring myth in Bretonnia. Facing his facsimile forms the centrepiece of the Tableux de Battaile in tourneys across the nation, and he is seen as a dark counterpart to the protective Green Knight, who is known to manifest in places scared to the Lady. There is no physical Black Knight �?" he is a figure of folklore and superstition only �?" but, in recent years, many claim to have seen a warrior matching his description travelling the narrow bridleways of the cursed dukedom of Mousillon. It is said that he rides on a black destrier with glowing red eyes that snorts flame and, when challenged, intones only three words: “None shall pass.” When the flag of Mousillon was raised once more, the alleged Duke appeared in blackened armour and, wearing the drab colours of Mousillon, he presented an all too familiar figure. That he courted such suspicion and did nothing to discourage the people of Bretonnia calling him the Black Knight perhaps speaks volumes about his intent. No one has ever heard him speak, none have ever seen his face and he seems to move abroad only at night, shunning the light of the sun. In the air above him fly clouds of bloated bats from the twisted forests of Mousillon and around him hangs the charnel stench of death. His army seem to follow him with unerring loyalty, moving only by the light of the moon. His only companion is the mysterious Dark Lady of Mousillon, a pale woman of terrible beauty who appears to speak for the Black Knight.

The Cadaverous Levy

Lords of Bretonnia are always followed into battle by their commoner servants. Men at Arms and Peasant Bowmen, as well as levies of farm labourers armed with hoe and scythe, march to war in supported of the great regiments of gleaming knights. The Black Knight is no different, although his followers seem to be of a different kind. They move with lurching slowness, and smell bad even for peasants! Those who have observed them closely do not speak of what they saw, and the inhabitants of Mousillon never talk about the graves found unearthed in the morning, their occupants missing.

Spectral Knights

Long has Mousillon been the target of adventurous knights seeking fame and fortune by single-handedly cleansing the Cursed City. Kind Louen’s hopes also proved well founded when, as the host of Mousillon marched out, many Bretonnian retinues opposed him. However, no knight has yet managed to survive an encounter with the forces of the Black Knight. Fighting only at night, using the weapons of fear and darkness to his advantage, the Black Knight has vanquished all sent against him. Those who are unworthy of his attention �?" Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm who pose no threat to him �?" now seem to fight for him. Men who swear they saw their masters slain now also swear they see those same knights following the Black Knight. The light of the moons can play strange tricks on the eyes, but does it seem as if a ghostly glow hangs about these knights now? Perhaps they march under a banner that offers some strange enchantment, for they seem to pass straight through all obstacles, floating above the earth, charging on spectral wings…

Of those knights who the Black Knight did find worthy �?" usually mighty Questing Knights and blessed Grail Knights �?" there are rumours that a darker destiny awaits…


Priests of Morr are common, even in Bretonnia. They are generally resented by the nobility, for they provide the peasantry with a religion of their own, partially freeing them from the bonds of Bretonnian society. For this reason, knights often try to drive Priests of Morr out of their domains, inventing any excuse to move them along. In more backwater areas, away from the influence of the King or a Duke, there are other options. Unscrupulous Barons have been known to murder Priests (often blaming hunting accidents) or, worse, whip up their peasants into a frenzy of murderous rage by creating trumped up rumours of Necromancy. Many a Bretonnian Lord has looked the other way as a lynch mob of commoners physically tears apart a Priest of Morr with their bear hands, or subjects him to elaborate tortures and trials. In Mousillon, this behaviour is all too common. Priests of Morr gravitate there because they sense the Dark Magic that pools in the region and they often meet a grizzly end thanks to their inquisitiveness. It is said that in the army of the Black Knight, skeletal figures bearing the scythes and hourglasses of Morr’s priesthood march alongside the other soldiers. A fanciful notion, surely, but could these be the unquiet spirits of those murdered clergymen, come back to wreak revenge?


love the spectral knights,

might i ask what was your paint palate for them?

Thommy H:

First; mentally divide your figure into fifths from top to bottom. Undercoat black, then paint about four-fifths of the way down the model with Adeptus Battlegrey and drybrush the remaining fifth. Add white to taste, then paint about three-fifths down and drybrush the remaining Adeptus Battlegrey section. Then add more white and do two fifths plus a fifth of drybrushing and finally the top fifth in pure Skull White and the next fifth drybrushed. This gives you a lateral blend from dark to light. You then give the whole model a glaze of Enchanted Blue, followed by a glaze of Chaos Black when that’s dry. Much easier to do that it is to explain.


very nice and characteristic army…

i love the ravenants and the Le Chevalier Noir


Cool idea :cheers Always thought Bretonnia were a good one for Undead; my mate did an army along the same lines, with an evil monk as his Necrarch Vampire and a Wight King as the resurrected king.

Skeletons next? :slight_smile:


empire scout:

bretonnians! bretonnians!


dead bretonnians!

Thommy H:

Undead? Vampires? I don’t know what you’re talking about…


Very cool. I love the spectral knights as well… good stuff!


Cool stuff thommy. Always love well thought out armies with background and character.


More Heroquest love!

Thommy H:

Eventually, I will find a way to cannibalise the whole set…

Baggronor: there will be Skeletons down the line in the form of the Legion of Landuin. But before that, we shall see The Celebrants of the Dark Feast, the infamous Knights of the False Grail and the mysterious Dark Lady of Mousillon herself.

After that, well, I think there should be room for Outcast Court Wizards and that other figure of dread from Bretonnian folklore, The Rotten Man.

Yes, I have planned out a lot of this army.

Thommy H:

Celebrants of the Dark Feast

Millennia ago, when the carrion fleets of Settra plagued the coastline of Bretonnia, they left more than fire and death in their wake. The primitive tribes of the coastal regions were left deeply affected by their terrifying aggressors and those that survived developed dark death cults, centred around the veneration - and often the consumption - of their ancestors’ remains. When the Bretonni began carving out their kingdoms, they banished these foul creatures into the swamps and caves, and hunted them wherever they hid. Only in Mousillon, where the extensive marshlands meant the cultists could evade capture almost indefinitely did they thrive, despite Landuin’s attempts to exterminate them. Centuries later, when Mousillon fell from grace, the descendants of these carrion eaters returned, slinking into the tombs and necropoli that covered the hills around the blighted city. There they slunk in the darkness and multiplied, sometimes emerging into the half-light to capture a child or leper and thus snatch a rare taste of fresh meat.

For untold years, the King of Bretonnia has maintained a corps of men autonomous from the armies of Mousillon to keep these foul creatures at bay. The Night Watch of Mousillon as they are known are not usually nobly born, but they have a position of honour in Bretonnian society nonetheless. For condemned men, joining the Night Watch grants a pardon, and for disgraced or landless nobles it is one of the few ways to regain standing. Service is for life though, so it is a grim and desperate man who takes on the shadowy mantle and guards the graves of heroes.

Two years ago, reports came from the Captain of the Night Watch that attacks from the inhabitants of the crypts had grown more frequent and savage, and that their numbers had begun to increase - even children and the hag-like womenfolk of their kind had been spotted during the fighting. Eighteen months ago, the reports stopped abruptly. Now, as the armies of the Black Knight march, eye witness accounts report crawling, filthy creatures in their wake; corpse-feeders who strip battlefields clean with cracked claws and jagged fangs. Their leader is a foul, bloated thing who rejoices in the name of Baron Caliban, and they are most often seen as a kind of twisted honour guard for the Dark Lady, who seems to treat them like fawning pets.

If their kind has a name, none know it, or dare speak it, but amongst the wise, they have become known as the Celebrants of the Dark Feast, for they rejoice most in the foul fruits of the grave.

This unit was fraught with disaster… First, I literally had a nervous breakdown trying to assemble them. Multi-part metals are just no fun. Then, when I was halfway through painting them just before Christmas, my lamp with daylight bulb tipped over onto my painting table, splashing water everywhere and exploding the bulb. I and the figures were unharmed, but I had no bulb, so couldn’t paint except at the weekend when it was light enough. Then it was Christmas, and so I was too busy to paint, and then stuff kept happening at the weekends afterwards (New Year, seeing friends, seeing family, going out places, etc. etc.) until I finally got chance to finish them off about two weeks ago. Thank God they turned out all right in the end, because I was convinced they were cursed!

These are Heresy Miniatures ghouls in case anyone is unfamiliar with them. If you want ghouls in your army, you’d be crazy to use anything else, as they’re clearly the gold standard. Paul Muller sculpted them (the guy who did GW’s last metal ghouls) and they’re a natural continuation of those ideas - so much so that apparently GW completely changed its plans for how they were going to do their new ghouls after seeing them. A whole unit is expensive (even with gross unit fillers…), of course, but this is pretty much the biggest indulgence in the army so I think it’s allowed.

Sorry if you were eating when you saw these pictures.

And here’s the whole army so far. I got lots more stuff to paint at Christmas, so stay tuned for updates!

Da Crusha:

Very nice unit of ghouls, I always wanted to see a unit of Heresy minis.


Really cool idea man! I love the Empire general. “Wait, dead Bretonians, nothing to worry about ther… oh MY GOD!”


I love those ghouls!


Fantastic work, Thommy. And Paul sure did a great job for Andy Foster. These Ghouls and the Zombies are some of the best ones out there. And that Ghoul with the baby … wicked

Btw: any tips doing blood. Looks awesome.


I literally had a nervous breakdown trying to assemble them. Multi-part metals are just no fun.
Yeah, one or two parts max... Good thing the lamp didn't land on them when it tipped over ;)

Bring on the Dark Lady!

Also, any plans for a zombie Grail Reliquary? Always thought that could work for undead Brets. Or a plague cart perhaps?


Undead? Vampires? I don't know what you're talking about...

Thommy H
looking at the last update i guess you do now.:D


Great looking army and back storey looking forward to seeing more of these great models soon :slight_smile:

Thommy H:

Thanks, guys.

Btw: any tips doing blood. Looks awesome.

Very simple: I mixed up a sort of dark, reddy brown colour to act as a basecoat - I pretty much just mixed blood red, chaos black, calthan brown and enchanted blue to taste - and daubed it all over the place. Then I painted over that in mechrite red and, to make it look all sticky and horrible, I covered it in watered down PVA glue. Really easy, and looks a lot better than I thought it was going to.
Bring on the Dark Lady!

She’s next. Now I have a daylight bulb I can paint in the evenings, and she’s already undercoated. The figure I’m using is one I’ve painted before and enjoyed, so I’m hoping it’ll go really smoothly.
Also, any plans for a zombie Grail Reliquary? Always thought that could work for undead Brets. Or a plague cart perhaps?

Weirdly, my original plan was for the “dark feast” tableux (ie. the hag and the child eating from the grave) to be on the same base as a Reliquary and have the ghouls be a sort of parody of Battle Pilgrims, so the whole army could be counts-as Bretonnians if I really wanted them to be, but I abandoned that. However, I do have some Reliquary-related plans involving the model and its skeletal Grail Knight - let’s just say that my army standard bearer may end up being the ultimate blasphemy against Mousillon…

I’ve thought about a Corpse Cart too, and considered using a Mordheim Plague Cart to make a sort of “circus of death” to follow the army around, with a freaky circus-themed unit of Zombies to go with it. We’ll see.