Sunday 17 April 2011

Spirit of Dungeonpunk '86

Spikez: check. Skullz: check. Piercings: check. Crazy hair: check. Impossible weapon: check. Dungeon punk is go! It's 1986 and Kaleb Daark, thrice doomed Warrior ov Khaos and all round brooding poster-boy for the  new-romantic post-punk dungeon bash is ready to slaughter in the name of his outcast god.

Dungeon punk warrior | Kaleb Daark |  McCarthy (1986)
Kaleb Daark, servant of the Renegade God Malal and the last time Games Workshop let anyone else develop IP for them. Not that the writing team did more than take Micheal Moorcocks Elric and give him massive shoulder pad armour spikez and more skullz than he knew what to do with. Oh and an impractically huge spikey skull device for a shield, and some more skulls on his knees and perhaps a few more spikes on his elbows. Of course Kaleb isn't the first Citadel Chaos Warrior to have spiked armour. But he probably is the first follower of Chaos to instigate some punk (dramatic haircut and rebellious attitude) into the mix.

Citadel Journal 1986

The rules for Kaleb Dark [2nd edition WFB] read like a weird minigame involving keeping account of the slain and then using these to increase Kalebs to-Wound bonus or collect the to summon the renegade Chaos God Malal. Nice. It doesn't actually have the rules for summoning Malal once enough blood has been shed in his name, but if we treat the accumulated points as Constitution points then just use however many it takes for a Demonologist to summon a minor demon, job done, add a few extra points to his basic 669 points and make it a nice round 700.

Kaleb Daark | Phil Oakey of The Human League (1981ish)

Ear-rings, check. Asymetrical hair-cut: check. Weird warpstone eyeball. erm... nope.

Phil Oakey might well have been busy creating  avant garde synthpop before hitting the big-time with the chart hit Don't You Want Me (1981). But he was probably better known for that haircut. Ok so we're firmly in post-punk New Romantic territory and any ties between The Human League and anything remotely resembling punk are purely illusionary (roll to disbelieve). And Kaleb Daark doesn't  have exactly the same haircut as Phil Oakey, but I've Googled around the Crusty (from crust-punk to punk-folk) bands I suspected might have instigated the Kaleb Daark haircut, CrassExtreme Noise Terror (Phil Vane RIP), New Model Army, Chaos UK, Concrete Sox and come up nothing, although I swear I saw a dreadlock side cut like Kalebs wandering around Glastonbury in the early '90s. So the finger of blame is pointing at The Human League.

Yep, there's a definite trend in popular music influencing Games Workshop character design in the 1980's. It's a shame this doesn't seem to carry on to today, else we'd have Lady GaGa insired wargames toys, or perhaps that might just be the other way around....

Adepta Sororitas

Lady Gaga

Although it goes without saying, this is probably all Debbie Harrys fault.

Anyway, back in 1986, Kaleb Daark managed 3 comic strip appearances across the Citadel Journal / Citadel Compendium titles, a miniature set and then proptly vanished through a warpgate, never to be heard from again, leaving only a shadow of his massive spikey shoulderpads as he made his unplanned and abrupt exit. To be honest, it's obvious that y John Wagner and Alan Grant were just going though the motions with no real engagement in the character or the Warhammer setting, but I kind of liked it and bought and painted the miniature, though only Malal knows where that's gone now.

Fear the dungeon punk! The anti-paladin Kaleb Daark
Nontheless the figure of Kaleb inspired Kev at Hasslefree to sculpt a couple of female versions (one NSFW) of the character. Obviously unable to stomach the Phil Oakey hairdo Kev opted for a more sedate 2003 Kate Beckinsdale in Underworld chin-length bob, but with a bit of greenstuff stuck to the forehead could easily be turned into a Lady Gaga. Although why would anyone actually do that!?!

Kaylee | Kaleb Daark inspired female dungeon punkette | Hasslefree miniatures

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