Sunday, September 4, 2016

Serene Annihilation: Ardan St. Cygnus

'tis thy god I yearn to kill
thus reigning universal
-Natural Born Philosopher, by Behemoth

Eternities burn with his coming; the angels shriek in terror to hail his return; galaxies explode in fear.  Ardan St. Cygnus once again bestrides the earth.  The Annihilator Prime of the Death Clan - Eden rots at his touch and the scent of its death is as golden wine.

Mordhiem's reality has entered the final stages of dissolution.  Multiple causalities bleed into one another; timelines shatter; apostles of elder aeons step forth into the void.  Ardan St. Cygnus is one such being.

The wretched inhabitants of Mordheim look upon him with fear, and, perhaps worse... a terrible remembrance.

Ardan St. Cygnus was once an NPC in an RPG I ran many, many years ago.  He was immensely popular with the players, but once the game ended he never reappeared.  That particular RPG campaign has gone down in history as the best ever conducted - so much so that, when discussing it with the players, we refer to it only as "The Game."

Now, after sixteen years of absence Ardan returns.

As I have discussed previously, there is an upcoming scenario called "The Great Rebellion" in which we will re-enact Magnus the Pious' destruction of Mordhiem.  Magnus is backed by huge monsters, mighty heroes - not to mention an entire army!  I knew that the players would need some help against such impossible odds.  They would need someone or something who could combat the dreaded Nightmare Engine on even or near-even terms.  But I also knew that the aid they would receive had to take the form of something they would react positively too - not just a "big guy" who would steal the show and the glory.  Ardan fit the bill perfectly.  A favorite of our youth returned, bringing with him all the sun-lit memories of those glorious days.

Ardan, though absent from our table-top games and RPG's, has not been idle.  He has appeared in more than a few of my own short stories (such as "The High Priest" in the anthology Darkness ad Infinitum, available on Amazon in print, or in audio podcast on Cast Macabre).

Ardan's rules likewise had to be reality-bending to represent him accurately as an entity stepping from one reality to another.  The solution to allow him to roll D10's instead of D6's was elegant and represented his awe-inspiring power incredibly well.

The model itself was a huge challenge.  He took weeks to assemble and build; he required more than a couple expensive kits.  At the end though, it was worth it.


Old days long past.  Midnight races over the horizon.  The past come alive with bone-crushing vengeance.

Name M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Ardan St. Cygnus 8 8 8 8 7 6 8 6 10

Presence: 8

Equipment: Huge Sword

Skills: none

Wraith-Type: As dream-like as Mordheim's reality has become, Ardan's existence is still tenuous.  He follows all rules for Wraith-Type models.

Giant Monster: Ardan St. Cygnus is a Giant Monster and follows all the normal rules for Giant Monsters described in the Serene Annihilation Campaign rules. Starlight through Stained Glass:  Ardan is not of this reality.  As such, his existence defies the natural order.  For any rolls he makes, he may choose to substitute any number of D6's for D10's instead.  Results higher than 6 count as 'natural 6's' for the purpose of critical hits etc.

Annihilator Prime:  Ardan may cause unlimited critical hits in a single turn, rather than just one as is normally the case.

Impossible:  Ardan has a 6+ un-modifiable save (remember, he may roll it on a D10).

Bone Hand:  A power from an ancient time long thought lost.  Ardan may expend a Presence point during his shooting phase to use this power.  It may only be used once per turn.  Pick a model within 6" of a door or window.  A giant, skeletal hand bursts from the darkness to pummel and grasp them!  The model takes a S8 hit and is pushed back D6" (remember, Ardan may roll a D10 instead).  If the to-wound roll is a natural '10' the model is dragged screaming into the darkness and goes out of action.  After the battle, the model is automatically Dead.


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