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Ross Fisher

[GAS - FB] The rises and falls of Bogdan the Unstoppable

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Well now. Evenin's are getting cold. Reminds me of the time I spent in the Great Alliance States. At least that's what you'd call it. Me, I call it the Ghaskin Confederation, on account of how it was founded by Nikolai Ghaskin, the Bear-Hearted, so many years ago. 

Oh yeah. All you folk looking Eastwards. You never thought to explore to the West. But I did. And I's got a story to tell:

If there's one fella you ought'a know about among Kolya's Folk (cuz tha's what they call theyselves) it's Bogdan the Unstoppable. 

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Now, young-uns. Fetch an old sailor a drink, and I'll tell yeh a story. A tale of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge... Oh thankee! 

So, where teh begin? Our story begins in the year 530 (by our reckoning) in the Zhevrenai Delta. That's in the Great Alliance States, as I'm sure you know; the Delta being the main route into the Alliance States for any traders from old Halos. 

What ye mightn't know, unless ye're a proper seadog like meself, is that the Delta is all shifting channels. Most of the Delta folk stay nomadic. Anythin' permanent is raised up high above the water on stilts, with houses made from straw or planks. There be a saying; "nowt lasts forever in the Delta". 

And there, and then, there were a young lad born and raised, called Bogdan. Ee was named after 'is great grandfather, Tsar Bogdan the Great. Y'see Bogdan was the son of Prince Ilya Bogdanovitch

If you din't know the name, it's prob'ly because Prince Ilya weren't a important member of the Royal Family. He certainly weren't a popular one. Did a lot of things that din't go down so well with the Tsar and 'is people. 

So it weren'ta surprise that Prince Ilya and his family were shipped off to the far-off Floating City of Salobrinsk, in the Duchy of Mechov.

But that place might'a been the best thing that happened that happened to that family. It meant Prince Ilya could get Pan Twardowski of the Corrington Royal Academy as a tutor for his son. Gave him just about the best education a young man could get. And, for a while at least, they were happy.

Young scholar in the floating city of Salobrinsk

So, anyway, what was I sayin'?

Oh yeh; life weren't all roses for young Bogdan for long. Aged 15 'ee lost 'is da. Salobrinsk were hit by the water-plague of 545. Royal Family weren't interested in pickin up the peices, so 'is ma took 'im back to her own people.

Course, what yeh din't know is that her people were Hetmans among the Gorasnayan Host: Brakhask Cossacks. 

You might'a heard of Boyar Semyon Ivanovitch. Legendary raider? As many enemies his side of the border as on the other? Yeah, turns out he was young Bodan's great uncle or some such. Took the young lad under 'is wing. 

An it seems the Cossacks took to 'im, too. See them fellas are tough bastards. They'll kill a chap soon as look at 'im. But they'll ride through fire for a kinsman, even if it's a rival.

But Bogdan weren't just kin to the Cossacks, he went deep into Mokolei territory with them. Led raids, fought battles, captured loot. In other words, he was a damn sight more successful than any of you lazy sods! Now go and fetch an old soldier another ale!

Cossack raid

Finally! You young-uns are slow with your rounds, aren't yeh? It's too bad my regular audience have all swanned off to Weelond for Oktoberfest.

Right! So yeh remember how Bogdan was with the Cossacks? Things seemed to be going well for him? He was quite happy? 

Yeah, that all went to shit, didn't it? See, by the time ee reached 'is 21st birthday, the Cossacks weren't just raiding Mokolei, but they were pushing into Kalkrein and even Coscovia. Well the Tsar didn't like that, did ee?

Course, ee couldn't exactly push back; The Kingdom of the Great Raider were on the warpath in those days, and it was Coscovia that we're doing the main job of holding them back. So ee sent assassins instead. 

Now, you'll be glad to hear that they didn't survive their encounter with Bogdan. But, unfortunately, 'is ma and the Boyar din't fare so well. 

And when the new Boyar, Kuril, started leading the Brakhask Cossacks... Well, Bogdan could see things weren't going to go his way. 

So, ee did what many smart folk've done before and since: Ee high-tailed and legged it, din't ee? Went off and joined a band of Oruman Gypsies. 

Well, if ye're lookin' for em on a map, don't bother. Orumans go where they want; always have. 

True enough, they are Kolya's Folk. But when Nikolai Ghaskin was handin out territories, their ancestors were off playing knife-games and drinkin piss-water schnapps instead. 

The Orumans are true nomads, even more than the rest of their countrymen. And that suited Bogdan just fine. 

Some reckon ee must've changed 'is name during that time. Went by "Oleg" instead, so the Tsar's killers couldn't find 'im.

There are even rumours ee had a wife during this time. But if that's true, then the rumours she died in childbirth are like to be true as well. I never heard tell anything 'bout the child. 

It might'a been that, that made Bogdan leave the Orumans. Or it might'a been the fact that Tsar Bogdan III famously attended the Oruman Summer Gathering of 562. Either way, our Bogdan's story don't end here...

A gypsy caravan

Edited by Ross Fisher

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Great to finally have all these awesome builds and their stories in one place! Looking forward to the continuation. :thumbup:

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3 hours ago, Professor Thaum said:

Nice scenes, nice story (and great maps) you needed/wanted something russian ?

Yeah, the GAS are heavily inspired by Russia and the Slavic States. 

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Your stories are great as always! They never fail to disappoint. Like I said in DM before, I love seeing the builds and story develop. It's great to see the Great Alliance State being fleshed out. All the figures have a distinct Russian/Slavic feel to them, which helps to immerse in the story. I really like the gypsy wagon too. The decorated tiles give it a genuine gypsy touch. Are those from Elves sets?

Can't wait to see how it continues!

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4 hours ago, Khorne said:

The decorated tiles give it a genuine gypsy touch. Are those from Elves sets?

No, from a city set. Lots of minifigs at a fun fair?

Thanks

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Great story and I too love the gipsy wagon the most. But the story is the best part of this page. I really do hope we will see a lot more of this part of the world.

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Great storyline and very nice builds! The evolution of your character is very well described, and I like the way you are fleshing out the GAS! Well done!

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I'll be glad when Oktoberfest is over and my usual patrons come back, that's fer sure. Bunch of layabouts, you lot are.

Now, as I was sayin', come 562 by our reckoning, Bogdan'd done left the Orumans again. Only a couple of years later, someone matching 'is description pops up in the Donova River Lands, callin' 'isself "Father Bear" an leading a mercenary company called the Bear Guard. 

Now, they started out working for the local Boyars and Margraves, but these fellas were canny. They played the different factions off against one another; takin' a bigger slice of the pie for every new master they served. Pretty soon "Father Bear" owned a large chunk of the River Lands 'isself.

When the local rulers finally cottoned-on to what was happening, they weren't 'appy. Decided to club together and recruit a warband of Kashkuri Cossacks to dislodge the upstart.

'Course, what they didn't know was that "Father Bear" had fought alongside Cossacks 'isself, and knew exactly 'ow they would act. 

On the Plains of Donovaskoye, ee took 'em apart peice by piece. Gave the survivors a simple choice; swear loyalty to him, or die. 

And with two armies on 'is side, he took the fight back against the blokes who'd paid to have him attacked. Offered them the same deal.

The first one to actually refuse was one Voivode Boris of Brascov. Ee were twenty-odd years older than our Bogdan, and thought ee were smarter, too. As the lord of a hilltop fortress, ee fortified 'imself in, and prepared to wait it out. 

An ee might'a done ok, too; if ee'd gotten the harvest in *before* our Bogdan and 'is armies arrived. With almost no food, and no wood for fuel, 'is folks got weaker and weaker. 

Ee may've sent messengers to call a truce, I dunno. But what I do know, is that no-one was ever sent back. 

In the end, three days shy of Midwinter, Boris of Brascov and his remaining men attempted to charge through their enemies and escape. Not a single man escaped with 'is life. 

And very quickly, the rulers of the Donova River Lands toppled like dominoes. You were either with "Father Bear", or you were a dead man walking. 

An what did the Tsar and his armies do during this time? They din't budge an inch, so worried were they by the Kingdom of the Great Raider. They sent messengers instead, saying that the River Lands were expected to oppose the upstart in any way possible.

I ask you, would you follow a leader like that? Think careful, boys; not every ruler is a good one. 

 

Beseiging Brascov

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Din't think I forgot about you, did yeh? Bogdan's story ain't over yet. So if you'll just hand me another pint... obliged, I'll begin. 
Well, it musta been about 572 by our reckoning when the Prince led 'is forces deep into the Kalkrein - tha's the Gran Duchy of Kalkrein to you lot. 
Now the Grand Duke was a crafty old fella called Cosmovoyda. Ee weren't the type ta make the same mistakes as Boris of Brascov. When ee first figgered out what were goin on, ee called up 'is men, demanded troops from the Tsar, and brought in sell-swords from Varcoast and Pontilia. 'Ell, even some of your folk were part of 'is forces. 
Well Bogdan, faced with overwhelming odds against 'im, went to ground in the forests of the Kalkrein. Ran what we'd now call a guerrilla campaign. 
For months ee fought only small skirmishes. Hit 'n' run. Got the baggage train, rather than the men it was following. 
An eventually, it started teh pay off for 'im. The Coscovy troops were recalled coz the Tsar din't think it were a real war. The sell-swords slunk off when the money ran out and they realised there mightn't be any loot. And the irregular troops all 'ad to be sent home for 'arvest, on account of the fact that Prince Bogdan 'ad been burning whatever 'is men couldn't eat. 
Now, with the numbers more to 'is liking, ee launched a daring raid at the 'eart of the Kalkreinian army. 
In the middle of the forest, Bogdan caught the Grand Duke unprepared, and held 'im hostage. 

Battle in the forests of the Kalkrein

Well, by all accounts, the two got on like a house on fire. Gran' Duke Cosmovoyda were impressed at Bogdan's clever strategy, and Bogdan, well, ee were just impressed that the old fella din't hold a grudge. 
After a rowdy night of vodka and carousing, the Grand Duke emerged from 'is tent with one hell of a hangover. Ee announced that Bogdan would be betrothed to 'is daughter, the famously beautiful Countess Tatiana. Ee said that the Kalkrein were now allies with Bogdan's people, and would fight together against any enemy til the day ee died. 

Edited by Ross Fisher

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Love the use of the red crowbar for the winged hussar's wings! The brigands look especially nefarious!

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Another fine addition! The parts selection for the Winged Hussar is perfect and the addition of the "real" feathers at the end of the crowbar is a great finisher. I never do that, but it really adds to the figure. I also spotted the Viktor Krum torso recently and thought to myself "that would make an excellent part for a GAS figure", so it's neat to see it work. Great figures all around and nice story :thumbup:.

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Nice terrain, details such as tree trunk looks really good, and I'm also a fan of your winged hussard, brilliant use of crowbar.

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@Bodi @Basiliscus Thanks! I nearly went with the sausage instead, but the crowbar just works.

15 hours ago, Khorne said:

I also spotted the Viktor Krum torso recently and thought to myself "that would make an excellent part for a GAS figure"

Yeah, I'm going to get some good use out of that piece. The pelisse works perfectly here, I just wish it was a bit more visible.

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Such a fantastic story Ross! I've finally just had the chance to read through from the start rather than just skimming to the (excellent) builds. It's really well written and I love the character you've injected into the story teller. The story itself is great too and I hope we hear more of the story of Bogdan!

The builds complement the story beautifully. It's hard to pick a favourite but I do love the gypsy caravan. Keep up the great work!

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