And they shall come…

The ‘Foretelling’ was legendary in the lands of Lustria.  Every lizardman had been told the story during their youth – that one day a Great Plague would bring an end to the light of Lustria and pour darkness into the hearts of the pure. It had been foretold more than five thousand years ago but as with all prophecies, it was hoped to be nothing more than a reading gone awry, told to scare the young before they went to sleep. Part of the Foretelling had been lost over time, but the Lizardmen were too cautious to flippantly disregard the prophecy as nothing more than lore. Instead they had passed the prophecy down to ensure they remained guarded and militant, hoping to one day bend the arc of fate to their will should the Foretelling come to pass. The Great Catastrophe had left them never wishing to be caught unawares again and the time of the Foretelling was drawing near. In the once great temples of Itza, the Slann prepared the war councils and instructed a Saurus by the name of Tunk-Et-Ai to ready the lands for the dark ages that had been foretold.

Tunk-Et-Ai

Tunk-Et-Ai awoke sharply. His night had been plagued by dark dreams again. He had not been able to rest peacefully for eight years since the Slann had convened their war councils. The closer the days drew to the Foretelling, the more restless he had become. He stared at the sky for a few moments wondering if today would be the day the Foretelling spoke of before finally gathering up his shield and spear to start his daily preparations.

Tunk-Et-Ai headed to the tallest temple in Itza and wearily made his way to the top. This is where he could survey his lands and hope to glimpse the evils said to be coming. It had become his custom ever since being asked to be the ‘Guardian of the Futures’. If danger was to come, he wanted to be the first to look it in the eye. He wanted to give the Great Plague a chance to gaze upon its foe and know that swallowing his lands whole would be fought with all the resistance Lustria had to offer.

He peered out at the lands and saw the life that was thriving; Saurus were busy practicing with shield and spear; Kroxigors were hauling great stones around as they continued to build new temples; the jungles were drenched in sunlight broken only by the shadows cast from the great Terradons that prowled the skies. Tunk-Et-Ai drank it in.

“It shall not be today” he mused to himself.  “If the darkness does come, how does it propose to win this city anyway?”

The beaten down city of Itza was famous for having never fallen to the evils of the world – it was unbreakable. Yet as Tunk-Et-Ai surveyed his lands in front of him, he noticed a ripple in the skies.

“All this waiting for something that may never come is maddening” he muttered to himself, believing he had imagined the ripple. He gazed intensely at the sky where the ripple had seemed to be. “I will be executed for being without wits before I face any great foes” he said angrily. The sky rippled again and a small tear appeared, a thin line of black scrawled across the bright skies of Lustria.

Tunk-Et-Ai growled and went hurtling down the temple to his regiments of warriors.

“IT IS TODAY!” he yelled as he bounded toward them.

The Saurus all gazed at him in confusion until he raised a finger and pointed to the tear in the skies. It had widened since he first gazed upon it moments ago.

“Ready yourselves! Sound the bells!” He commanded the warriors. “WHERE IS MY HELM?” he roared at a passing skink. The small lizard panicked at the boom of his voice and ran into the jungle. “We are doomed” he whispered to himself.

The city was suddenly transforming into a well drilled military operation. Saurus were pouring out in their hundreds to defend the walls that had never been broken; Terradons hovered in the skies as they gazed out at the tear; the Kroxigors and skinks began forming up into units to combine their might and cunning; and in the temples sat the Slann, focusing their minds to smite the evil that was  coming.

They all gazed at the sky as it widened further to become a black abyss upon the lands. For a few brief moments it was completely silent as they collectively held their breath and waited. At first the crack in the sky simply widened and Tunk-Et-Ai wondered if the prophecy had simply meant that the sun would go and perhaps a war was not to come – an eclipse of sorts.

 And then it began.

Time seemed to stand still at first. The small ripple that had begun a short while ago suddenly split the sky in two with a bang of such ferocity that it shook the temple walls and spilled their rocks down to the grounds below. The last of the light came pouring out of their world to be replaced with darkness. The Great Plague of Chaos was upon them.

The Spear of Akrak

Tunk-et-Ai was bloodied and battered from his battle with the daemons that had poured upon his lands. He had lost count of the number of foes he had slain when they appeared three days ago. He had watched his fellow warriors fall in their tens and hundreds as they desperately tried to hold on to their life; their history, their futures.  It had been futile, though, as they were outnumbered ten to one.

He stood up and climbed to the top of the temple as was his custom, and absorbed the face of the lands that now stood where but a few days ago the Lustrian way of life had prospered. Where the sun had previously warmed the lands, the darkness had brought a cold so bitter it could be tasted in the mouth. The jungles and grounds were covered by a blanket of snow and ice as far as his golden eyes could see.

“They mean to freeze the remainder of us to death” he thought bitterly. “It shall not happen”.

He turned to his fellow warriors and looked at them. Brave Saurus who were still standing strong but shrouded in fear and doubts. He needed to speak to them and try and restore their belief.

“These last days have been the darkest that Lustria has ever faced” he began, “but we can take our lands back! They came in numbers that had us fighting ten to a man, yet they only survived at four to a man. They knew they could not take us in a fair fight!” Tunk-Et-Ai was roaring now. “Do we mean to roll over and let them finish the job? I see fear in your eyes!”

“How do we mean to take back Lustria?” a young Saurus blurted out “How can one regiment do all of this?”

Tunk-Et-Ai surveyed the young warrior curiously. “How do we…?” His sentence trailed off before he gathered his thoughts and began. “We will do this slowly. We cannot mean to beat them right now. We are bloodied and weary and alone. And we cannot do this alone. We need to seek out all who have survived.” He gazed at the skies as the snowflakes continued to fall. “Look at the skies. Do you see the snow falling?”

The regiment turned as one to gaze upon their strange new world. They glanced at the flakes as they fell toward the ground.

“Do you see how small the flakes are?” Tunk-Et-Ai began “We are the snow that falls from the skies. As one regiment, we are one flake of snow. We cannot hope to take back Lustria alone, but if enough flakes fall, when they come together they can swallow entire cities”. He waved his arm in a sideways arc and pointed his spear at the snow that encased Itza.

He saw a flicker of hope in their eyes at this thought and he continued “I have heard of a legend of a Spear called Akrak. It is said to have been lost thousands of years ago but there are many who believe it is still out there. This Spear is said to be able to smite the darkness and return the lands of light. I believe this is the missing part of the prophecy. IT DOES NOT END HERE!” He boomed at the regiment who had begun to cheer and pound the butts of their spears into the ground. “We will go forth and seek out this Spear. We will not lie down while this evil swallows us whole. We will bring light to these lands again!”

The regiment roared as one. Tunk-Et-Ai picked up his spear and shield and growled at the snow and darkness. He grabbed their totem and tied the feathers of a freshly slain Chimera to the top of it. He pointed at the newly crowned totem and said “Let them see what happens to those who cross our path.” He breathed hard and took a step into the new lands to begin their quest for the Spear of Akrak.

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I attach here a couple shots of the lizards. One of the unit and one of the banner man with the chimera feathers. I am going to make a special HQ to represent the character in the story so once I have him assembled and painted he will step in as Tunk-et-Ai.

Also, regarding the current month. I am painting two salamander hunting packs and one skink priest. I am about 70% through the salamanders and only primed the priest. I will be late on these with everything that happened in the last seven days. Hope to have them all completed by end of next week and then hope to get back on track by end of Feb

Still got to work out my basing. Want something quite striking. Which is hard with snow.

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