The hounds of Zorn
Is there anything that spreads more joy to the world, than new Dwarves?
Probably it is, but try to be in my shoes: when Dwarves are involved in something, I can't help but be excited like a 90s teenager to a Take That concert.
Many months ago, I promised you to go in-depth with Zorn Uzul, dedicating a miniature release to this one-of-a-kind city of Inneath. As anticipated in one of my previous posts, in fact, Zorn Uzul will be a central scenery not only of our miniature collection but above all of our future game so I wanted to start to design some dedicated characters to take us forward.
Unfortunately, my initial plans (at least 10 new characters) have been destroyed by life, but again, when Dwarves are involved I simply can't accept to give up.
So I prayed Davide for months and I managed to cut a deal with him: 3 new characters and a couple of Mechanical Familiars, hooray!!
I've deeply thought about what characters to initially design for this mall release: Zorn Uzul is a quaint metropolis imagined to give us total creative freedom (almost any setting has scenery like that, think about Cadwallon or Mordheim or Necromunda etc.), so I had many choices in front of me!
Of course, I wanted to make something dwarfy, not only because I think that a year without new Dwarves is a wasted year, but also because they are the lowest common denominator of my projects: think about them as a kind of marketing forerunner, heralds of Durgin Paint Forge!
Again, however, the fact of having chosen Dwarves as the main subject of this release didn't narrow down my choices, at all: should I design something about the Guild of Inventors? Should I design something about the Guild of Thieves? Should I design some Iron Crow of Zorn (the Southern Chamber operates around Zorn!)? Should I design some civilian character, like a Dwarf librarian, or a Dwarf toymaker?
For an undecided individual like me (I usually spend a shameful amount of time, in pizzeria, to choose what pizza to order..just to order the same as always -mushrooms&ham), it wasn't easy at all to make a decision!
Then I thought: Davide has just become a policeman, here in Turin, so what about making him sculpt something related to his new career?!
With that in mind, I finally decided which characters to start this Zorn project with: the Metropolitan Police of Zorn Uzul!
This is the core-design of these guys, a policeman (let's say policedwarf) of the Metropolitan Police Department, in specific this guy is stationed in the garrison of the "Hounds of Zorn", of which barrack is located in the industrial district.
Of course, there is still a lot of work to do on this character, before being able to consider it "ready", but I think that you can already get an idea of what we are talking about.
To design the look of the Metropolitan Police, we started from the iconic helmets of the English police: I always loved those high helmets and I thought they would work great with dwarves. As you can see, there are many references that link this Dwarf to the first subject that belongs to Zorn: the Iron Titan. The gas-mask (you know, the air of the industrial district is not properly unspoilt...) worn by this Dwarf, in fact, reminds the Iron Titan's mask and we decorate the policeman armour with a similar pattern. The armour shape is, indeed, a mix between a classic plate armour and those worn by riot police officers, and we add a cloak not only to avoid a too modern look, but also to remind those gorgeous parade uniforms of Carabinieri: the Metropolitan Police is directly financed by the Council of Guilds, so in a certain way they must show the status of their patrons, it's a matter of social prestige, after all!
For this reason their equips are finely crafted: they are the armed wing of the shamefully rich governors of Zorn!
Unfortunately, I'm not able yet to show you the weapon of this first officer (a rifle prototype), but you can already see his melee equip: a nightstick! I thought it is more appropriate and interesting than a simple sword or axe: maybe it has a too modern look, but I want to enhance the "police" vibe of this character!
The garrison's symbol on the helmet (a stylized hound, an obvious symbol for the "Hounds of Zorn"!), completes the base concept of this first subject: I love to add some storytelling to my characters, and I can't wait to write some lines about the lore of the Metropolitan Police Department!
So, here is the first look at this new release, and I can't wait to show more about it!
There will be, of course, a Dwarf sergeant "too old for this s***" and we are designing a new bulldog character to make this troubled 2020 a better year!