|A typical farewell party held in Alric Konrad's honour.|
Of course, player groups inevitably change over time. Some people move to Canada. Some people have job or family commitments. Some people didn't really fit in well from the start. Some people are my evil arch nemesis, plotting my downfall with every waking moment. I probably shouldn't have invited that guy. But there are always enough experienced characters left over to get the new ones up to speed, to pass the proverbial torch, and I was luckily able to attract most of the Dying of the Light crew over for a transitional episode that provided excellent continuity at the start of Enemy Within. It's worked out very, very nicely.
But there is one particular player I have to give special credit to: Alex. Over the last 50 sessions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Alex has been there for all 50. He is the non-load bearing, spongy backbone of my group, and I doubt I would have carried on preparing the game for this long without the reliability of Alex. He's also managed to keep his current character, Alric Konrad, alive and active for far longer than is probable in the Warhammer world, especially considering all the shit Alric's been through. I should be clear that Alric wasn't Alex's first character in this campaign, though. His predecessor, Peter Peters, lasting 9 sessions, was pretty similar in that he was a blatant, unapolagetic thief. But Peter Peters (Pumpkins Eaters) was executed by his own party halfway through Dying of the Light for admitting to being a Chaos-worshipper, and I think there was also something about trying to use one of his comrades as a blood sacrifice. I try to stay neutral in (admittedly valid) intra-party conflicts.
Alric Konrad had joined the party after that, as a mere tagger-on to another new character who had a much better reason for joining the party at that point. And yet Alric went on to become a much more central character, helping to foil multiple Chaos demons, both lesser and greater, and stealing more gold than the Empire is supposed to have. He and the second longest lasting character, Adelyn Zumwald (35 sessions) even managed to steal, by subterfuge, a whole fucking castle! Naturally, because this is Warhammer and not D&D, Alric isn't actually that much better off for all this. He's lost about half his wealth to disaster and robbery (by fellow party member Adelyn, primarily), he's increasingly full of persistent scars and maladies, and he's simply not welcome to show his face in half the towns he's saved. And the castle he so cunningly stole was immediately destroyed, the falling debris almost crushing his trusty barge (which was burned and sunk shortly afterwards anyway). This is Warhammer as it is meant to be played.
To formally acknowledge Alex's achievement, I sat down to make a model of Alric Konrad for him. Warhammer roleplaying has the enormous advantage that it can borrow miniatures from Warhammer Fantasy Battle (and a few smaller games, like Mordheim), and yet we've never really done much with that. I provided half a box of Empire militiamen, as the most likely generic bits for typical human adventurers, and we've always had some temporary figures slapped together roughly out of those. And where convenient, we've taken whatever figures from people's armies happened to suit a given character, with a fairly broad margin of imagination. We've had 40K orks standing in for goblins, horses for wolves (or was it vice versa?) and chess pawns for random human cultists. We're talking about a campaign that now has a cast in the literal hundreds of named NPCs, so we're not fucking custom-building the lot.
But I digress: Alric Konrad. I started with a simple Empire free company militiaman figure, chosen mainly for its beardless face and slightly skulking, thief-like pose. Alric's character portrait is literally Garrett from the Thief games, so I had a fair bit of modification to do. Step one, using green stuff, was to give the bald figure some basic hair and to extend the puny crossguard on his sword to better match the picture (at right) we have of the magic sword Alric acquired not too long ago (one of the few valuable items he definitely didn't steal, oddly enough). I also whittled at the blade of the sword a bit, to give it straighter sides. My crossguard is obviously too thick and chunky, but this is kind of unavoidable sometimes at this scale.
For display purposes, I took a clear dice box and glued a coin to the bottom of it, then green stuffed a small magnet under Alric's base. Not only will this keep him dust and scratch free, but it should also offer some protection against bumps and small drops, making it possible for Alric to travel with Alex to away games, although historically we've played at Alex's place most often. There's also amusement in having the thief sitting on top of a 'giant' piece of money.
And for anyone interested in the base, it's green stuff-textured, with a pretty simple, realistic paint job, and with slight indentations made with his feet right at the start, so I could reliably get him back into the correct position again every time. Cobblestones make the most sense for Alric's largely urban shenanigans, but making it brown rather than grey makes it (hopefully) fit better in rural settings too, and even on the wooden deck of a boat, such as the party's previous vessel, the Ungenannt, or perhaps one day it's as yet unbuilt, unnamed successor.