During the last campaign I have run, we had rules to let out heroes gain experience and suffer serious injuries. In addition to the rules I already posted on this blog, we had mechanics to allow “squad characters”, like Aspiring Champions or Space Marine Sergeants, to be promoted on the field and become Independent Characters, and thus I started building a model worthy of a rising hero.
I wanted to use the Chaos Space Marines Raptors kit as a base, and I had a spare World Eaters Terminator head that an ex-colleague gave to me. The champion had to be a follower of Khorne, but he had to be very particular to fit in my Betrayers of Pain army. Why a follower of Khorne would be in a warband that does not venerate any God? Who was he? Where does he came from?
Brother Vlad was once a member of the Sanguinary Guards that formed the bodyguard of Sanguinius himself, and was at his side during the events on Signus Prime, when the madness flowing from Ka’Bandha almost drove the Blood Angels Legion on the blood path of Khorne. Vlad was seriously injured during that battle, and left for dead on the field. Many days later, Fabius Bile landed on Signus Prime to try to recover samples of the Blood Angels gene-seed for his experiments. There he found Vlad, broken in the body but still alive. In the time he spent alone on that deserted world, the darkness within his soul had grown bigger and bigger, changing him forever.
In the beginning I thought that he should be heavily mutated, having been in the service of the God of Battle for ten thousand years. So I tried equipping him with a brutal-looking axe from the Chaos Forsaken kit, but it looked too big and disproportioned, even if it cannot really be seen from this angle:
Then I thought of using the daemon wings from the Possessed kit, but still was not satisfied.
Then I was struck by a thought. Vlad was a son of Sanguinius, the most noble of all the Primarchs. His mind might have been shrouded by darkness, his body might have been broken, but the taint of the Warp might not alter him beyond recognition. He is a fallen angel, but an angel nonetheless. Perfect. Flawless.
Even though I decided that he was a Sanguinary Guard, I did not want to clad him in a gold armour. It would have been too flashy and not “Blood Angels” enough. Also, I wanted him to stand out more from the rest of my army, to mark his difference. Gold would have been too similar to the muted green of the Betrayers of Pain. I painted him red, with gold trims as a nod to the rank he held 10,000 years ago.
Note that in the end I decided to swap the plasma pistol for a combi-melta, for I wanted his squad to carry out an anti-tank role. I also gave him a ceremonial dagger from the Sanguinary Guard kit, a memento of his former life he is unable to get rid of. The death mask on his base, instead, was of one of his many victims. He has a particular hate for his former legion. They abandoned him on a doomed planet and almost killed him during the bombardment on the Cathedral of the Mark. He will have his revenge for this.
And, to conclude, here is a couple of shots of Brother Vlad in action: