Monday, 4 July 2016

A Tale of Barkspite & Hilsod

It was past Midsummer, the cloying grey blanket of sky still hung too close to the valley floor, a grey Spring ebbed and flowed into a long, dull half-Autumn. A bank of ancient trees stood guard against the tilled earth.  Two shapes, roughly man-like clambered towards each other through the tanlged roots of hedgegrowth. One small, silent and skurrying quickly, the other maybe twice the size of a full grown man, noisly breaking branches as it lumbered along.

"Ow do Barkspite" A deep gravelly deliberate drawl issued from the mouth of the greater creature. It spoke slowly, as if each word took immense effort and its face would slightly contort, like resulting sound was somehow a slight surprise,  the meaning unknown to its speaker.
"Oi Good. Yep. Hilsod. Ow be yan?" The diminutive figure spat out a high pitched, sharp, scratched throaty response, one might imagine the sound had magpies had been trained to speak the language of rats. The two figures eyed each other warily.
"Abrawd in the valley this morn." Hilsod droned, somewhere between a statement and a question.
"We be. Yep. We..."  the pointed little head nodding vigorously as it spoke and suddenly stopped.

The two figures paused, their eyes glancing skyward. A red kite drew a broad circle overhead in the thick silvery air. Below, the odd pair stood perfectly still, watching as the bird lazily changed course and curved away across the fields. As soon as it was out of sight, Hilsod gave a slight shudder and both returned to their conversation.

"Av yoo 'eard the crows"
"Yep. Yep. War comes. We be ready." The tiny creature held up the spear and shield as if to demonstrate.
A broken grin lurched uncertainly across Hilsods broad face  tilting his spear one way then another, as if testing its weight. "Aye" he said, followed by a low, heavy sigh before continuing.
"The rocks." The Ogryns large head nodding backwards up the hillside from where he had came. "Them say Yimir dreams of blood again."
The small head noded quickly. "Crows say The Great Table at Urucksfjord is broken" the small eyes widening in fear and wonder. If the words meant anything to Hilsod, he didn't react, but continued as if speaking to himself.
"The land wants red carrion flesh and burning. The soil wants 'is blood." A gnarled huge dirty hand tried to wipe the involuntary drool away from the solid, square chin, but leaving only a smeary mess.  "No. No rest for Hilsod. No rest for Barkspite."
"A! No roots. No berries. No worms." A grin of broken teeth, eyes sharp as flint, an excited greedy hiss "Dead Bones and Flesh!" Barkspites long, black tongue furtively licking dry lips, long thin fingers involuntarily stretching and clawing as it spoke.
"Oose blood? Oose awld bawnes? Yaws, hedge-crawler? Moin? All be dust." The great misshapen head shook slowly. "Yimir stirs. The earth turns. The crown is lost. The table is broken." A meaningful finger stabbed at his own broad mail-covered chest "Oor Oath stands. We eat no thing that speaks. Not rock. Nor flesh neither."

The tiny hard eyes in cruel face did not soften, but the goeblyns long nose lowered to the ground and sounded only a small squeaking acquiescence, or perhaps a brittle laugh. Then suddenly Barkspite snapped upright.
"We tell news?" raised forehead an pointing spear to a rough white cottage across the wheatfield.
"Aye. Tell we mus'".
"Dvergr no loike us. They no lissen. No rock. No crow. No goeblyn. No lissen."
"Moin cloak an kilt. An' your'un too. Wove by their great-clan-mother long ago. They 'member the auld tales woven afore toim. They listen now. Or we make 'em listen."

Stats for WRP85 / Otherhammer / Warhammer. Use Ogre and Goblin profiles for D&D.


Hilsod the Ogryn


Weapons: Spear
Armour: Shield & Chainmail
Skills: Consume Alcohol, Auguries & Omens.

Hilsod is an Ogryn general labourer.


Barkspite the Goeblyn


Weapons: Spear
Armour: Shield
Skills: Concealment: Rural, Poacher, Set Trap, Silent Move: Rural, Spot Traps, Secret Language: Woodsfolk.

Barkspite is a Goeblyn Warden from the Hardthorne warren.

Part of an art exchange, I drew a banner for and in return painted some minatures for me by Jean Baptiste Gadriel, read and see some much better photos of the project. I am of course, very happy with the results. Cheers JB!

Barkspite the Goeblin was sculpted by our good friend Tre' Manor at Red Box Games.
Hilsod the Ogryn was sculpted by Bob Olley for the Fantasy Warlord range and is available from the fine folks at SHQ miniatures
Backgrounds painted by Arthur Rackham.
Photographs (apologies for the focus) text and Da Roolz by [ZHU].


  1. Wonderful little tale that outline just enough to make us want to follow more !
    Thanks !

    1. Ah, no, thank you! Your superb paintwork more than added a little myth to the Scyre.

  2. Gorgeous. Both the tale and figures.

  3. Awesome stuff...both of you. ;)

  4. Oldhammer Power Team :)

    Love this story. The dialogue is so characterful.

    1. Hey! Thanks Stuntcat. Maybe I should just sit down and get the rest written.