Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Craftworld Iyanden 17 // Prince Yriel

Wow it is with shame that I have to say I haven't posted about a miniature since June 2018! It is crazy that a blog that was meant to showcase my wargaming has gone so long without a miniature post. Well let's fix that straight away and jump into the fray with Prince Yriel of Iyanden.

Prince Yriel is an Eldar Autarch of the Iyanden Craftworld, High Admiral of the Iyanden fleet, High Admiral of the Eldritch Raiders Corsair fleet, and is widely considered to be the greatest Eldar naval genius to have ever lived. When Iyanden was facing destruction at the hands of Hive Fleet Kraken, Yriel returned from self-imposed exile with his Eldritch Raiders to save the craftworld from becoming totally extinct. Yriel is unusual in that he holds the position of Autarch without any notable experience in any of the Eldar Paths of War (which requires individuals to select an aspect of Khaine to follow). It is rather his experience in the Path of the Mariner which qualifies him for the position.

Earliest Mention of Yriel. Top two banners
History

Yriel was born on Iyanden, but his bloodline is not purely Iyanden for he is also the bastard descendant of the House of Ulthanash. Other than his un-pure bloodline, Yriel is often considered to be greatly flawed for his sin of pride. In many tales it is hinted he may even be half Drukhari.

Hive Fleet Naga

Yriel demonstrated his tactical talent when Iyanden sent a fleet to eliminate Hive Fleet Naga in 810.M41. The commander of the fleet, Admiral Draech, was killed early in the battle when his flagship, the Auspicious Illumination of Eternity, was destroyed. A young Yriel, who was the fleet's second in command, quickly seized full control of the fleet and successfully lead Iyanden to victory. However at the same time, the defenders on the Exodite World of Halathel, the planet which the Eldar were trying to save from Naga, were slaughtered as their World Spirit shrine was overrun and destroyed by Tyranids. Yriel then became overwhelmed with rage and ordered his forces to scour all remaining life from Halathel.

Yurk

In 919.M41 Yriel and Iyanden warriors made planetfall on the backwater planet of Yurk and eliminated the Ork Warboss, who was mustering Ork forces on the planet, along with all of the Warboss's ruling caste. Yriel then withdrew without having lost a single Eldar life.

Exile

Over fifty years before Iyanden was attacked by Hive Fleet Kraken, Yriel was the High Admiral in charge of the Iyanden fleet and led Iyanden against the Chaos Lord Kallorax. Initially, Iyanden had been cautious to engage Kallorax despite Yriel's demands for action, but after the support of Chief Farseer Kelmon Firesight, Iyanden agreed to go to war. Yriel went on to use hit-and-run and subterfuge tactics to disrupt the larger Chaos fleet, and scored a decisive victory over Kallorax at the Battle of Agrion. However later during the Battle of the Burning Moon, Yriel had stripped all of Iyanden's ship and interceptor squadron in his pursuit of the enemy. Thus when Kallorax's last surviving warship launched a Cyclonic Torpedo attack against the near-defenseless Craftworld, Iyanden was devastated and hundreds of thousands of Eldar died. Nonetheless, Yriel had defeated the Chaos Fleet and personally slain Kallorax during the battle. Thus he assured himself that his actions were sound and the sacrifices a necessary price.

Upon returning Yriel expected to be honoured for his victory, but found himself instead stripped of rank for his recklessness in leaving the craftworld completely unprotected. Furious with indignation, Yriel took self-imposed exile from the craftworld and vowed he would never return. Many of his followers left with him and became Eldar Outcasts as Corsair pirates. Within a few decades, under his talented command, his Eldritch Raiders were the most feared Corsair fleet in the Galaxy. The Imperium fostered rivalries between Yriel and other pirate companies which resulted in factional fighting; his conquest and absorption of two of these rival groups (Xian's Black Raiders and the Scarlet Command) made him the single most powerful Eldar pirate.

Rogue Trader Era Wraithlords.

Hive Fleet Kraken
When Hive Fleet Kraken invaded the galaxy, Iyanden was directly in its path and was too slow to outrun its advance. The craftworld's Farseers found themselves regretting the disappearance of their fleet's greatest asset. Word of Iyanden's situation managed to reach Yriel despite the psychic blockade around the craftworld caused by the Tyranid's Shadow in the Warp. As Iyanden was on the verge of annihilation, Yriel tempered his anger towards his former home and returned to aid his people. The arrival of Yriel and his fleet tipped the balance of the space combat towards the battered Eldar, and the reinforced Eldar fleet managed to destroy all the proceeding Tyranid waves before they could board and unleash their cargo upon the craftworld. Eventually, no more Tyranid ships came; the Hive Fleet had been destroyed.

Yriel and his forces then landed on Iyanden itself to help clean up the invading creatures. Yriel set his eyes upon personally slaying the monstrous Hive Tyrant leading the Tyranid horde. But the creature was so powerful it could not be killed by mortal weaponry. Yriel, from a stasis field in the Shrine of Ulthanash, pulled the ancient Spear of Twilight and charged after the Hive Tyrant. As the Eldar lines were on the verge of being overrun, Yriel slaughtered his way through the Tyranid horde to the Tyrant and drove the spear into the monster's gaping maw and through the back of its skull. With the death of their Synapse leader, the Tyranid swarm was then easily defeated. But Yriel had doomed himself in the process, as the Spear of Twilight was cursed to eventually burn out the wielder's soul and once taken it could not be abandoned. Yriel had saved Iyanden, and was restored to Admiralship of Iyanden's fleet.
Yriel in his Iyanden Battle Plate.

Battle of Duriel

Following the Battle of Duriel, Yuriel felt that his time had come and the Spear of Twilight had sapped the last of his strength. As he intended to return the weapon to Iyanden's Shrine and die in the process, he was stopped by the mysterious Shadowseer Sylandri Veilwalker who he had not seen since first taking the relic. The Shadowseer told the prince that his job was not yet done and showed him violent visions of what may be to come: Daemons loose among the stars and Eldar Gods reborn in glory. Yriel felt his soul grow strong again for some unknown cause, and took up the Spear of Twilight once more to lead his people through these future trials.

Death and Rebirth

In the closing days of the 41st Millennium, Iyanden was again invaded. This time, Space Hulks carrying the Daemonic legions of Gara’gugul’gor threatened the Craftworld. Iyanden was only saved thanks to the effort of Yriel and the newly arrived Ynarri. In the final stages of the battle Yriel used the Spear of Twilight to destroy Gara’gugul’gor and his Space Hulk at the cost of his own life. However shortly after his corpse was recovered and resurrected by Yvraine, who revealed that the Spear of Twilight was one of the lost Crone Swords.

Wargear

The Spear of Twilight, which Yriel took to save Iyanden, is said to contain the energies of a dying sun. It is no normal weapon and is now eternally bound to Yriel as it slowly consumes his soul. Yriel constantly battles to stop the weapon from consuming him. He is also armed with the Eye of Wrath, a monocular device covering his left eye (which was consumed by the Spear after killing the Swarmlord) capable of unleashing a tempest of lightning upon unfortunate foes.


Yriel's flagship is the Flame of Asuryan, a Dragon Ship that has been with Yriel since he was the head of the Iyanden fleet. When he took exile from Iyanden, Yriel kept the Flame of Asuryan with him, and years later when Yriel returned to save Iyanden he brought the flagship back with him again.

And there we have it. My first miniature of 2019. Hopefully it doesn't take another 8 months to get more up. Would love some feedback on the miniature or some tips on how to best use him in game. As always thanks for reading!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Book Review 42 // The Daemon's Curse by Dan Anett and Mike Lee



Welcome back to the bookshelf, here we are at book five of 2019. If you have been a follower of mine over my blogging attempts either on here, Instagram or Facebook, you would know I love Sci-fi, but especially 40k Sci-fi. Most of my readings have been in this dark, grim future so I have a treat for you all. This time we get to hangout in the World that was, Warhammer fantasy.

But were to start? The answer for me seemed quite simple in the end. I love Dan Abnett, I love Elves and I love an anti-hero. Here proudly steps in Malus Darkblade - the most infamous of the Dark Elves of the World that was. With about six titles to his name this will definitely become a series of reviews. I managed to pick the main books and so we will begin with Book 1- The Daemon's Curse.

Book Details

Title: The Daemon's Curse
Author: Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 414
Commercial Fluff: Ambitious dark elf warrior Malus Darkblade learns the location of a powerful relic and decides he wants it for himself. Malus leads an expedition into the dangerous Chaos Wastes in search of it but finds far more than he had bargained for. Possessed by a powerful daemon, he must undertake an epic quest to save his very soul.

Review

First up I remember the tale from my teenage years reading the short lived comic series. I remember an anti hero, processed by a Daemon and having to collect artifacts to free himself. I remember loving the artwork and having an evil character to enjoy in my comic reading. With such fond memories it is quite shocking it has took me this long to adventure into this series.

Let's cut to the chase this book involves the Druchii (aka Dark Elves), it is also set in the Warhammer Fantasy era. These are going to be dark, very dark books. This darkness is portrayed perfectly in this opening title as we follow the ruling highborns of the Hag through ambitious political plots, treacherous ploys and just plain torture!

The opening scene shows how yearly all the Highborns of the Hag must present the Lord of the Hag some form of gift. If they ultimately fail to prove loyalty or are lacking in the right gift, the Lord is allowed to torture them or in some cases kill them. Unlucky for Malus he has neither loyalty or gifts and is tortured to the extreme. The only thing saving him is the fact that he is a bastard son of the lord.

The character of Malus is a fun one to follow and is extremely easy to like, which is weird as he is an evil villain. Born as a bastard into the ruling household Malus got the nickname Darkblade as he is seen as a flaw. Barely viewed as a Highborn, Malus has struggled throughout life. Everytime something seems to be going well one of his older siblings betray him and take the glory for themselves or revel in Malus' failures.

Soon Malus is left with very few options socially and has to team up with one of his older siblings to raid one of his other siblings (Family intrigue). After a daring raid on one of his brothers towers, Malus is on the run and being chased by warriors filled with mystical powers. His goal lays in the Chaos Wastes, here Malus will search for treasure and unknown power. From here on it becomes a book of betrayal, brutal warfare, challenges and ultimately failure and the loss of his soul to a deamon.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of Elves in general and haven't really explored Dark Elves or Wood Elves or any Elves outside of the 40k setting (something I will try to fix). A highlight of this book is feeling the conflict within Malus. His need to take big risks in attempt to gain bigger rewards and his pure stubbornness born for the hatred for his siblings. You can't help but wish Malus would succeed for once and when he does it still seems to go wrong for him. This makes Malus a very likeable character and you end up forgiving his faults as you end up hating those around him more.

I highly recommend reading this tale. As you read this I am now starting the second book so come and check back in a week or two for an update.


Monday, 11 February 2019

Beer Review 64 // Noire Majestueuse Truculente by Simple Malt

Time for a beer review. This time I cross the border into Quebec and visit the great IGA on Greber for a saturday beer tasting and buying session. During this beer tasting I sampled the following beer and knew straight away I needed a bottle. So let us crack the cap and get drinking.

Details

Name: Noire Majestueuse Truculente
Style: Imperial Stout
Brewery: Simple Malt or Brasseurs Illimites
Country: Quebec, Canada.
ABV: 11.75%
Commercial Fluff: Enhanced version of our majestic Black with a maturing period of a few months in oak barrels used for the production of bourbon. A Stout Reserve, indeed, that will put you full ... the senses!

Own Opinion

Label: Pretty standard design from this brewery. They change the colour based on the beer inside. It is neither exciting nor inviting.
Pour: Deep, deep brown with a solid brown head very tasty looking.
Aroma: Lots of booze coming through on the nose. Glad I am sharing this. As it starts to warm up aromas of chocolate start arriving to the party.
Taste: Damn that is a booze cruise. The alcohol heat hits the throat with a strong punch, but when combined with the roasty taste and the chocolate it becomes a nice sipper. Overall maybe a bit too much bourbon for me.
Would I buy it again: Yes. Definitely a brew I would enjoy again but I truly believe this is a sharing beer and not one to be braved solo. This was a beer I sipped over a long slow evening. I found the bourbon to powerful and lingering which meant I was able to slowly drink this and enjoy fully without rushing it. As the beer warmed over the hours I was glad to find more chocolate and roasty notes join in. I also discovered a slight sour note hanging around in the background that I originally put down to the bourbon hit. Maybe this was a newer barrel, but personally would have loved some wood notes to this brew.

Have you tried it? Let me know below and please hit follow to support the blog.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Book Review 41 // False Gods by Graham McNeill


Welcome to February and the first blog post of the month and I am happy to announce the first post is a book review. I have managed to complete this book in ten days. This is amazing for me and I know I am constantly saying how impressed I am at my speed of reading but I am truly surprising myself these days. So pray tell what novel could I have read so quickly:

False Gods by Graham McNeill

Book Details

Title: False Gods (Horus Heresy #2)
Author: Graham McNeill
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 416
Commercial Fluff: The human Imperium stands at its height of glory - thousands of worlds have been brought to heel by the conquering armies of mankind. At the peak of his powers, Warmaster Horus wields absolute control - but can even he resist the corrupting whispers of Chaos?

Review

I was there the day that Horus fell...

What an opening. If you haven't read my review of book #1 please do me a solid and read that one first (Link). Now that's done let us get into this book. This review does contain spoilers so please be aware, I am only going to go into detail on the first third of the book after that I will just make some hints, leaving it you to discover it for yourself. This is the second book of the opening trilogy and so far this series is just building at a rapid rate. It opens at the end of book One (no surprise lol), and the Sons of Horus are still reeling from their dealings with the Annex. From here they are diverted back to one of their earlier conquests by Erebus of the Word Bearers. Upon arriving back at Davin a backward feral world they discover the garrison left behind has gone rogue and claimed the Moon as their sovereign territory. Feeling this as a personal failure Horus decides to lead the attack personally. From this point on the scene is set, we have an epic horror themed fight as a misty swamp is suddenly filled by hordes of shambling Zombies and you fear for some characters lives. The fighting is fast paced and actioned filled as Horus battles his way through a crashed starship to strike down the traitor (a dark reflection of what is to come above Terra). It is also at this time we discover Erebus is up to something traitorous and the stolen Annex weapon (from book One) reappears in the traitor Commanders hand. An epic duel full of gross descriptive terms are used to help you imagine the rotting form of the traitor general. Though ultimately successful Horus is mortally wounded and alongside a battered Mournival return to the flagship were they accidentally unleash their wrath on the human crew. Now feared by the human crew and with Horus in a death state the Mournival allow Erebus to convince them the only chance to save the Primarch is with the aid of the Serpent Lodge (A feral mystic order from Davin).

From here on in there are just way to many spoilers that it would just ruin the book if I wrote more, all you need to know is that Horus' pride gets the better of him and once returned to his Sons he is a changed being. The book ends with a brutal, unnessercery battle were Horus starts to clean house and remove troublesome personal from his forces, he also declares his intend to move against the Emperor and that their next destination is the Istvan system.


Overall a great read. The characters are starting to grow into the roles we expect them to play (Especially Abaddon) and we even get a small camo from Angron and the World Eaters. I really enjoyed this book which is proven by how quick I read it.

I hope you have enjoyed my review, please become a follower and drop me a comment below. Thanks.

Book Review 76 // Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter

Following on from Legion  comes Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter. I'm pretty excited for this book as it has the Word Bearers prop...