The birth of an(other) army ...
You'll note the gap.
That's because these are the first ten cannibals in what will, eventually, be a horde of fifty. Those two spots represent the place where their leader, the Ghoul King, and their 'witch doctor,' the Necromancer, will stand.
However, because the way these models line up, they need to be rather precisely placed. So, this is where they are.
( More pictures and background on the origin of this army after the jump ... )
(Also, I've cleaned up the photos to eliminate some shadows and keep the colors 'true' to what you see when looking at these in person.)
Before I delve too deeply into the origins of this army, it should first be acknowledged that this is not an altogether original idea.
I first stumbled across the idea of a cannibalistic army based on the Vampire Counts when it was posted on The Herdstone as 'Legend of the Cannibals' by Garganthor. His work was brilliant and I knew, immediately, that I'd need to someday find a way to make something like it.
So, before I ever set out to do this 'proof of concept' paint up of a small unit, I already sort of knew how it would work visually. (And, more importantly, I already knew that it could work visually.)
However, his was more 'voodoo' oriented and, thus, had a more Caribbean feel than what I'd want.
To me, the 'Caribbean' of the Warhammer world is populated by Elves with pointy helms that wouldn't be particularly happy about finding an enclave of vampires and cannibals in their isles and would dispatch them rather quickly.
So, as that didn't work for me, I began doing some research into where an army like this could reasonably fit into the established Warhammer world.
After a bit of research on the internet, reading the history of the Vampire Counts in their army book and, also, perusing the 'Time of Legends' Warhammer novels, I found that there was a point in time, early into the origins of Vampires, that Neferata (Queen of Lahmia, the first Lahmian Vampire) and her cousin, Ushoran (the first of the Strigoi Vampires) went to war alongside Nagash against King Alcadizaar and his Priest Kings of Nehekhara.
As Nehekhara is Egypt, this put them in the Southlands.
So, that worked.
The Vampire Counts army book tells what happened further along in that story.
After the Vampires failed to destroy Alcadizaar, they returned to Nagash and, following a struggle for power and in the wake of Nagash's wrath, the Vampires dispersed 'in all directions to confuse pursuit ... thus, the first Vampires disappeared across the world, each founding their own bloodthirsty dynasty that would endure and grow through the centuries, terrorizing the living to the present day.'
We already know the story of those that would eventually wind up in the Old World.
But, what of those that fled south ... ? Perhaps this army could tell one of their stories.
So, while the idea was taking shape, I decided to also take a look at tribes within Africa that may (or may not, depending on the sources of your information) have participated in real, actual cannibalism. One of the most prevalent, I found, was the Niam-Niam (or, rather, the Azande tribe of the Sudan).
The word Azande means the people who possess much land, and refers to their history as conquering warriors.That seems like a reasonable fit.
There are many variant spellings of Azande, including: Zande, Zandeh, A-Zandeh, Sandeh, etc.
The name Niam-Niam (or Nyam-Nyam) was frequently used by foreigners to refer to the Azande in the 19th and early 20th century. This name is probably of Dinka origin, and means great eaters in that language (as well as being an onomatopoeia), supposedly referring to cannibalistic propensities. This name for the Azande was in use by other tribes in South Sudan, and later adopted by westerners. Today the name Niam-Niam is considered pejorative.
However, because I
Frankly, I imagine there to be little more terrifying, even in the Warhammer world, than a horde of ghouls all murmuring 'nyam-nyam' (think: "yum! yum!") as they scurry toward you with the fresh flesh of your compatriots dangling from their teeth.
So, I took a part of someone else's brilliant army idea, plucked it from where he'd set it and plopped it down into the Warhammer setting I found more appropriate and, then, painted over it with some real-world historical context and, I think, have a pretty solid foundation for a new army.
Thanks for reading.
Comments, criticisms and critiques are always welcomed. And, of course, more soon ...