Sculpting Severa and Axiara

I like it when I’m asked to write an Insider on an upcoming release; I have always viewed it as a privilege to share my work and some of my insight and techniques on how I do my job with the community as a whole. And let’s be honest: who doesn’t love talking about making models for Privateer Press games? Who doesn’t love reading abou—

Wait…

I KNEW IT!

You don’t actually read my Insiders, do you? The truth is you just scroll down to see the pictures of what’s new. That’s it, isn’t it? Just tell me, my feelings won’t be hurt…badly. Am I right?

AM I?

SAY IT!

Fine, don’t admit it. But trust me, your test will follow.

So, in this Insider, I want to share additional previews of one of the projects I worked on for several months last year: more Cryx, more Satyxis. When the time came to start on the Satyxis Raider resculpts and Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet, I also noted there were still a couple of unfamiliar names on the schedule—and they were just listed as “Cryx Solo.”

Hmm. Interesting.

After some inquiry, I was able to confirm they were of the Satyxis variety, and this guy I’ve heard a little something about named Ron Kruzie agreed they would be good additions to my massive, overtaxed, unenviable, underappreciated workload. Still, one of the great things about working with Ron is blah blah blah because he blaa blah blah blah and that’s always cool.

So, who were these solos, Severa Blacktide and Axiara Wraithblade? By name alone, they already sounded badass. Once the concept art rolled in, I was even more thrilled that I had added them both to my list of projects. With Carlos Cabrera concepting Axiara and our very own Nate Feyma concepting Severa, I had a feeling these two were going to be pretty well received.

We were able to show a painted Severa Blacktide at the Las Vegas Open in January (I sadly could not smuggle the studio painted model out of the display case to take it home). Much like the Satyxis Gunslingers (and heavily inspired by them), Severa brings to the table her dual pistols and a bit of high seas fashion with the side of her head shaved and a stylish waterproof jacket! She also blah blah you’re not reading blah blah blah blah you’re only looking at the awesome pictures because blah blah blah.

The last solo, Axiara Wraithblade, has been mentioned in the past (she’s on the force org chart in the Cryx Command book), and she’s finally is getting representation with a sculpt. Not only will she make my Cryx list, but I think I may have my all Satyxis Company of Iron lists ready now because of her. Are you paying attention to me at all? Did you know that when you pair her with blah blah blah and use the spell blah blah with the feat blah blah blah you automatically win every single battle. Sweet, right?

I hope you enjoyed saving the images from my Insider. Thanks for only skimming and not really reading anything I wrote because you were in such a hurry to get to these links (here, and here) to add them to your armies… or, read on for a BONUS piece of awesome fiction by Douglas Seacat!

Wrong Place, Right Time

by Douglas Seacat

Severa Blacktide rested her horned head against the cold boards at the back corner of the ship’s orlop deck and sighed, momentarily savoring the cool air and darkness of this section of the ship. It was a space where crew stowed extra lengths of cables, rope, and rigging netting; it was one of the few places where one could secure some time alone aboard the otherwise crowded and noisy vessel. She could hear and feel the thumping of footsteps as well as periodic voices raised in shouted orders and curses, but they were offset by the more pleasant rhythmic sound of waves against the hull.

She had joined several officers’ mates the previous evening to indulge in a ridiculous quantity of rum and uiske and was paying the price. Her head pounded in a way that combined unpleasantly with the rocking motions of the ship. Let it not be said Satyxis could get seasick, she thought. No, she was badly hung over, a different kettle of fish, though the results were similar. Her stomach churned.

As blood vessels in her scalp throbbed in time to her heartbeat, Severa became aware of a number of whispering voices nearby, their tone scraping her nerves like sharp barnacles.

“Tonight’s the night, boys,” said the first raspy voice. “Sharpen your knives and stand ready. Get your people in line.”

“What about Itaxera?” another one asked, referring to the captain’s first mate, a Satyxis of fierce reputation.

“Let me handle her,” the first voice said. “She goes first. That’ll knock the wind out of their sails. Don’t give them time to think. Anyone hesitates to back our play, we cut off their arms and throw them to the sharks.”

A third voice said, “I’m not giving Golvech a chance to surrender. That sumbitch is having his throat cut, ear to ear. See how he likes that.”

Severa sighed in annoyance, realizing there was no chance they would settle down and shut up. As they talked, their voices became more animated, despite their initial efforts to speak in low tones. They began naming the officers they were most looking forward to murdering. She could tell there would be plenty of planning and scheming, none of which would do anything to help her headache.

Her sigh must have been louder than she had thought—their voices went quiet. She stood up unsteadily then stepped over several coils of rope before pushing past the six startled crewmen hunched near the bottom of the stairs leading up to the lower gun deck. They followed her with widened eyes and several had hands on the knives in their belts. Another gripped a rusted pistol.

She paid them little mind, her posture suggesting an utter lack of concern, a contrast to how they wore their tension openly. It was relatively easy for her to go past them without acknowledging their presence or showing any indication she had seen them reaching for weapons. The casual way she staggered past gave them pause, and she heard them muttering under their breath. She took hold of the edge of the stairs with one hand to steady herself.

“We can’t. She heard too much,” the first one hissed.

Severa did not need to look back to sense him jerking his head suggestively in her direction, signaling his co-conspirators. They were reasonably quiet as they stepped toward her. Their well-oiled blades came free of their sheaths with only the slightest sound.

She took another heavy breath and shook her head, just slightly. Idiots.

One of the floorboards creaked a few feet behind her, but she was already in motion, her hand now steady as she drew one of her witchlock pistols in a smooth and blindingly fast motion. With but a glance in the man’s direction, she gathered her power and fired. Necromantic energies raced down her arm like a wash of freshly spilled blood, flowing over her hand like a glove and entering the pistol. The runes inscribed around the musket ball and along the barrel of the pistol flared bright and green as the sound erupted in the once quiet space. The sound sent a spike of pain through her head.

The pirate at the fore grunted in disbelief and looked down at the gush of blood from his chest; the bullet had smashed through his ribcage to pulp his heart. He tried to take another step forward and lift the curved blade in his hand, but he succeeded only in falling onto his face.

The next nearest one gave a yell, perhaps to muster his courage, then lifted his own knife and lunged. Those behind him had begun to move as well. The one with the pistol raised it in her direction and fired. She didn’t even move as the bullet whizzed by her ear.

Severa closed her eyes against the unpleasantly bright flash of the first shot. She found her second pistol already in her left hand, though she had no memory of drawing it. She lifted it and squeezed the trigger after sending another liquid-like surge of power down through her arm and into the bullet within. The pistol was warm, and it thrummed then shrieked as the bullet fired. She did not need to open her eyes to see the blaze of unholy light that swirled and lashed her would-be assailants, pulling them together like a slaver’s chain before there was a deeper thump, lost amid the pistol’s report. The energy between the group of Scharde pirates exploded, rending them limb from limb. She heard a splintering of wood and felt a brief moment of regret, not having considered she might damage the ship in the exchange. Not too badly, she was sure. Nothing the carpenter couldn’t deal with. Besides, not her ship, anyhow.

Opening one eye to squint at the aftermath, she saw the largest of the pirates, the one with the raspy voice, was still breathing. He had been just far enough away from the blast to escape it. He had fallen onto his back and was scrambling away from her in terror. His face and arms were bleeding from splintered fragments. She stepped neatly around the gaping hole in the deck floor and approached him. The walls were soaked with blood and gore.

“What’s your name?”

He stuttered as he spoke. “T-Tuthor. I beg you, spare me! I’ll do whatever you ask!”

“Stand up,” she said. He obligingly got to his feet, trembling, holding his hands up before him. She holstered her pistols and said, “You’re the one who was going to take Itaxera?”

She couldn’t help but laugh.

His words came in a rush. “I can pay you everything I have. Let me go, and I’ll never be a problem on the ship again, I swear it. You can say whatever you like about the others.”

“You know what’s stupid? I wouldn’t have done anything to stop you,” she said. “I don’t give two shanks who runs this ship. Oh well. I think the end result would have been the same.”

She brought her brow crashing down upon his, feeling his soft skull yield against her horns with a satisfying crunch. As his limp corpse collapsed to the rotting wood, she winced and held a hand to her temple, considering her headache had gotten worse. Above her was the sound of pounding feet; sailors alarmed and rushing to investigate the disturbance. She took to the stairs and determined that she needed another drink.