Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The Ruinous Rover

Captain Karkan's ship, the Brass Mermaid, was a whaler out of Erengrad. A small, fast ship, it could keep up with the sleek blackwhales that bred in the nearby Sea of Claws, and turned a decent profit bringing their carcasses in to port to be stripped for fat, meat and tough hide. 

This changed on the day the first mate, Dorgsky, spotted a sinking vessel during a hunting trip. 

The vessel was unmarked. It foundered from a massive tear in the hull, either a collision with ice or the mark of some great beast. Karkan was all for leaving the sinking wreck be, but Dorgsky and the crew argued for a spot of plunder. After all, the hunting season wasn't their best, and free loot was free loot, they said. 

There wasn't much to be found on board. No crew, dead or living, and little in the way of cargo. Merely a statue made of brass-clad ivory, depicting a fish-tailed tribal god. Valuable, the crew decided, and worth selling. Reluctantly, Karkan let them bring it aboard and lash it down, although a superstitious part of his soul said no good would come of it. 

He was right. On their return journey, a ghastly storm blew up from nowhere and tore the ship from its course. The timbers shivered, the shrouds were ripped and the lines lashed free like whips, goading the ship further and further from port. When it finally passed, the ship was a battered wreck missing her prow, barely floating upright on a becalmed, frozen sea. Karkan himself was exhausted from the effort of keeping her and her crew alive. 

He slept for a while. When he awoke, he discovered the crew had got the ship functional again. They'd also rigged the statue to the stub of the prow by way of a makeshift figurehead. Unhappy with this, Karkan challenged the crew and demanded the strange figure be taken down, but they refused. In fact, they turned on him, brandishing whaling harpoons and belaying pins!

Only Dorgsky stayed loyal, the trusty hunting bow he used to mark whales for capture with providing the captain with vital cover as he defended himself. Between the two of them, they killed the crazed sailors, leaving the deck of the ship awash with blood. 

Whether the statue had caused the crew's madness or not, it certainly enjoyed their gore. Still dazed from the combat, Karkan watched in horror as the ship bulged and grew. Rippling iron plates inched out like fingernails along the gunwhales, and a massive, groping arm reached out of the hold. Grasping the broken timbers of the mast, it held them aloft in its misformed fist, and with a single shake, produced a new sail like a handkerchief in a cheap magic show. 

An ominous skull branded that sail, peeping up under a halo of twisting thorns. Sinister witchfire now burnt in the ship's lanterns, and leering faces peered out above the rudder. Most bizarre of all, the ship floated a metre or so above the waterline, bourne up on some invisible tide of power!

Since that fateful day, Karkan has roamed the Sea of Claws. Every time he encounters another vessel, he warns it away, but to no avail. The dark powers that drive the ship take him into combat again and again, where the terrible strength of the mast-arm smash decks to flinders and butcher crew alike. 

Over the years, Karkan has grown accustomed to this way of life, and now fights enthusiatically alongside his ship. Occasionally, Norscan reavers join him (keeping at a safe distance) and he leads them on coastal raids. Although whether it is truly the Captain or the Murderous Mermaid that leads the raids, none can truly say...

                              M  WS  BS  S  T  W  I  A        Ld  Save  Ward          Type
Captain Karkan       4    8     3    5  5   4   7  5         10    4+       -              Infantry
The Doomboat        6    3    3   4   5  5   2  d6+2    -      4+       4+           Chariot

Special Rules
Doomboat - Murdermaid, Fear, Skyship, Flailing Mainsail
Captain Karkan - Eye of the Gods, Cawr, Bilgewater, Skyship Captain, Thar's The Foe

Murdermaid - The Doomboat's figurehead was originally part of a warshrine. It grants the Doomboat the Giver of Glory and Favour of the Ruinous Powers abilities, exactly as a warshine would have.
Skyship - Floating as it does above the heads of the enemy, the Skyship is quite hard to get to grips with. All enemy units suffer -1 to hit it in close combat. It can sail over obstacles and dangerous ground fairly easily, and counts its unit type as infantry for the purposes of terrain. It is too risky to bring the boat close to the ground to ram enemies, however, so despite being a chariot it gets no impact hits.
Flailing Mainsail - The vast mutant arm that bears the sail aloft also uses it as a weapon. The Doomboat fights in hand-to-hand with d6+2 attacks.

Cawr - The captain's pet vulture is trained to swoop down and attack enemies, pecking at their eyes. Immediately before he attacks in close combat, roll a d3 and add this number of attacks to his profile.
Bilgewater - Toxic goo fouls the inner hull of the Doomboat, and Karkan has taken to venting it on enemies that get to close. At the beginning of the magic phase, enemy models in base contact with the Doomboat take an automatic S1 hit that ignores armour saves.
Skyship Captain - Safe up on the deck of his ship, Karkan knows enemies will struggle to get to him. Enemy models have -1 to hit in close combat against Karkan. His mastery of the boat allows him to land it and sail on bodies of water if he wants. Water-based terrain, even impassable areas, count as open terrain to the Doomboat so long as Karkan is alive and piloting it.
Thar's The Foe - Karkan and Dorgsky work as a team in combat, with Karkan waiting until enemies have been weakened by Dorgsky's poisoned hunting arrows before swinging down on the spiked anchor chain to finish them off. Karkan has always strikes last and +2 S in combat to represent this, as though he used a two-handed weapon.

Points Cost - 385
Counts towards Lords, total coincidence that it's the same as Gutrot Spume in a Nurgle-Marked Warshrine

The HMS Endtimes needs better rules, I decided. So I borrowed some, and hereby declare them as playtested, official and entirely legit!


  1. With cutlass and bow,
    O we fought for hours three;
    Blow high! Blow low! And so sailed we.
    The ship it was their coffin
    And their grave it was the sea.
    A sailing down all on
    The coasts of High Fantasy

  2. Come, cheer up brave lads! 'Tis to Kislev we go
    Except that it got written out, dontcha know?
    If it's tough where we are we shall find fairer climes!
    For it's not the end! (Just the End of these Times)

    Sides of Six have our Dice!
    Massive Beards have our men!
    You'll quail at our warcries!
    Snake Eyes, boys, Snake Eyes!
    We'll cascade our miscasts again and again!