Get in Formation (Silva Malorum Part 2)


The Silver Leopard approached the waiting Rogue Trader fleet out beyond the world’s orbit.  One of the bridge crew turned to Captain Baltimore seated upon his command throne, ‘Sir, we’re receiving a message from Iron Dutchess actual.’

Markus Baltimore pointed to the main bridge vox caster and nodded.  A harsh male voice erupted from it like a klaxon, ‘This is Lord Everbound.  Glad you were able to join us, Baltimore.  We have a schedule to keep, so take up your position in the escort squadron.’  It raked the Silver Leopard’s captain a bit that the Rogue Trader did not use his title when addressing him and it irritated him further that he was being treated as if his ship’s arrival was tardy, when in fact they were right on time, but he was not surprised knowing his employer’s salty reputation.

The Silver Leopard took up the last position on the Iron Dutchess’ port side.  The fleet was comprised of the flagship and her escort of assorted destroyers and frigates as well as a collection of various freighters and transports.  The ships made their way further out into the void and entered Warp Space.


The Silver Leopard (Silva Malorum Part 1)

Frazetta cat head

The Iconoclast-class Destroyer turned from the orbital shipyard and made a course away from the world below.  The ship’s thrusters moved the vessel out of orbit and toward the void beyond.

Captain Markus Baltimore had retired as a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy to become a privateer and live a life of adventure.  He spent the entirety of his pension on the ship.  After buying the ancient warship there was only enough money left to hire a handful of experienced command staff.  Almost all the crew had experienced brushes with the law.  Much of the rank and file crewmen and women were comprised of penal legions.  He could not afford to hire a dedicated ship’s crew; as a result, violent criminals wandered the numerous corridors of the vessel.

The Silver Leopard was her name.  That was not her original moniker.  Avenging Dragon had been the ship’s first name.  Captain Baltimore had a fondness for large cats, so after he purchased her, he renamed her after his favorite predatory cat, the snow leopard.  He had read about the felines of Holy Terra’s ancient past while he was a child.

In order to make a living, Captain Baltimore agreed to sell his services and those of his Silver Leopard to the Rogue Trader Lord Rasmus Everbound as a part of the escort squadron to his Murder-class Cruiser Iron Dutchess.  The Rogue Trader had a reputation for not being a compassionate man.  He was known for treating everything and everyone as expendable assets.  Captain Baltimore felt he could live with that.  Time would tell.


The Side Project


I’ve decided to work on a side project of dark gothic science fiction.  It will be called “Silva Malorum”, which is Latin for Bad Forest.  That is the name of the planet the story takes place on.  I was inspired to write this by something some friends from Facebook were working on.  They recently had an ongoing Warhammer 40,000 game and storyline called “Tor Megiddo”, which, as I understand it, was set on the desert world of the same name.  While I was born in West Texas, I really haven’t spent enough time in desert areas to feel comfortable enough to write about life on a desert world.  Although, I have spent a lot of time in forested and semi-forested parts of the state, so I decided to write about a sub-tropical Death World filled with dangerous creatures and those individuals who are forced to survive there.  It will be an ongoing series.

I still plan on working on my own original story, but I feel I have to get this particular storyline on paper, so to speak.  So, please bear with me.

The Cornfield


I’m no stranger to cornfields.  When I lived in the country when I was in my early 20’s we had a comparatively small one.  I won’t deny it was a bit creepy at times, especially at night.

I’ve read that during the American Civil War Union and Confederate troops fought some of their battles in cornfields.  It had to have been disconcerting to not know exactly where your enemy was.  Creepy to say the least.

Last Fall I bought some items at the local Dollar Tree store to create my own Sci-Fi cornfield, for lack of a better description, for my wargames.  I put them aside and never got back to them until now.  I want to create it, but I do not quite know how to utilize it in a game and employ a proper creepiness factor.  Maybe I’ll come up with something in a few days or weeks.

A Monster by Any Other Name


You may remember from previous posts that some of my work buddies and I have been tinkering around with beginning a wargamers’ group to play various tabletop wargames, namely Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K).  Since “regular” WH40K is pretty expensive and often time-consuming due to the numerous quantity of models involved, we were going to play Heralds of Ruin (HoR) Skirmish Battles.  It used to be called HoR Kill Team, but since Games Workshop (GW) now has their own official game by that name, HoR cannot use it anymore per GW’s request.  HoR uses small numbers of models, usually ten or less, to play fun, comparatively quick games set in the WH40K universe.

Here’s where the monsters come in:  I was playing around with some ideas yesterday about how to introduce monsters, creatures, beasts . . . whatever you want to refer to them as into our games.  You see, back in the day, I used to hunt fairly often.  That was back when it wasn’t so prohibitively expensive to do so like it is now.  I would almost always stumble across some sort of animal that wasn’t on my list of critters to hunt.  When that would happen, I would stop for a little while and watch them, study them.  It seemed to make the hunt that much more intriguing.  Anyway, what I’m getting at is that while out HoR skirmish teams are out and about on their missions maybe they might stumble upon some sort of dangerous fauna.  So, I began playing on my phone and came up with some rudimentary rules and stats for said wildlife.

I started out by coming up with custom rules for about four different “species”, but that proved to be tedious at best.  So, I opted to take existing rules for already established entries such as Tyranids and Ogrins and tweak them a bit to fit the critters I had in mind.

I have a box of Tamiya Velociraptors (although they look more like Utahraptors).  The Death Raptors as I would like to call them could use the Tyranid Hormagaunt stats.

A Minotaur miniature and the numerous mounted knights I own could use the rules from the Astra Militarum list for Ogryn and Rough Riders, respectively.  The knights would be called Warp Knights, a species of Warp-spawned beasts that were first encountered aboard a Space Hulk.  The Minotaur could be, drum roll please, a Minotaur!

I also have a box of Warp Hounds from GW’s old Warhammer Fantasy Battles line that I would call Dire Hounds.  They would use the stats from Fenrisian Wolves from the Space Wolves’ Codex.

I think all in all these ideas will likely be well received.  Now I just need to make time to assemble and paint said miniatures.