tiistai 20. joulukuuta 2016

Santa, is that you?

Hey y'all!

With the coming of Christmas I finally picked up my Santa Claus model from the shelf to be painted at last. It is a bit fierce depiction of the happy and chatty bearded fellow most of us know him as, but I like the edgy charm this model resonates.

Santa gone mad
Well... He is no Santa, as you can tell, despite his mighty white beard and reddish/purple trousers. What gave him away? The sharpened axes whirling about? The white mohawk? Muscular upper body?

This chap here is none other than the latest incarnation of Grombrindal the White Dwarf himself! A legendary warrior from the time of myth, there is no way of knowing his true origins. Some say he's Snorri Whitebeard, the eldest son of the ancestor gods Grugni and Valaya, others that he is the god Grimnir reborn. Some even suggest that he was a betrothed and protector to Valaya, thus gaining his unearthly powers.
Whatever his history, this duardin is one of (if not THE) most famous member of his race, travelling across the Mortal Realms in disguise to suddenly emerge to the aid of his beleaguered kin, turning the direst of hours into a glorious victory for the duardinkind!

Although he is a legend and a mystery, let us take a look at his probable origins...

Snorri Whitebeard was the first High King of the dwarves in the World-That-Was, who banished Chaos with the aid of the High Elves to let his people prosper. He was also the best pal of Malekith, the infamous elven lord that later on became the Witch King to lead his dark followers in a brutal elven civil war. It is said that on his deathbed (as elves can live centuries or even millennia longer than dwarves) Snorri bade Malekith to make an oath: that their races would be allies now and forever, for there was nothing that could stand in the way of the two great races if they were united to a common cause. Malekith took the oath, only to later on deliberately spark up a war between High Elves and Dwarves to further his own ends in his attempt to rule over the elven race.
Some say the oath taken beside his best friend's deathbed had some serious mystical power, hurling Snorri back into the real world from the afterlife to seek vengeance against all enemies of the Dawi.

The other story speculates him being the ancestor god Grimnir, who strode into the Chaos Wastes in the north during the daemon invasion of the World-That-Was in order to close the Polar Gate through which various horrors were flooding into the world. He was never seen again but the daemonhost was held back long enough for the elven mage Caledor the Dragontamer to create a magical vortex to dry up the excess winds of magic that were ravaging the world and lending power to the daemons to materialize.
Before his departure Grimnir had shaven his head except for a single defiant crest and given one of this two axes to his son, Morgrim. The axe Grombrindal the White Dwarf has always been shown carrying around (especially in his older model incarnations) strangely matches to the description of the weapon Grimnir took with him into the dark north...

But now with the history of Age of Sigmar and Grimnir being reborn and lost once again, it is relatively safe to assume Grombrindal and him are not the same person. This latest model (which after all is just a Duardin Unforged with a special paint scheme) doesn't even carry that special weapon anymore, instead being armed with a pair of blades called The Twin Axes of Grombrindal... which seem deadly enough to me, though.

...unless Grimnir ruined his weapon while fighting the Mother of All Salamanders and has reforged it into twin weapons upon his return?

I've also heard him called the betrothed of Valaya, a great warrior in favour of the gods who gifted him with magical artifacts like the Rune Axe of Grimnir, the Rune Cloak of Valaya, the Rune Helm of Zhufbar and the Armour of Glimril Scales...
But none of these items are depicted on this model, seems like he lost them all during the end of the world (which is not to say that surviving an end of a world isn't extremely badass to begin with!).

Along with the story of him being Snorri Whitebeard, which undoubtedly is the most plausible of these myths, there is one more that I like a fair bit. I honestly do not recall where I've heard this from but I believe I've read it somewhere.
It is the story of a dwarf so skilled that he was all but invincible. He had bested members from all the races of the world and beyond in battle, making him the greatest warrior to have ever walked under the sun, but his legendary success roused envy in the gods that beheld his magnificent feats. Thus they cursed him with immortality, forcing him to walk the world endlessly forever and watch his friends and kin pass during the centuries that followed. He became the legend he is today, a sign of hope for the dawi, emerging unexpectedly in the direst hours of his kind to lead them to victory before vanishing again.

Some older artwork on Grombrindal the White Dwarf

Whatever the story behind this greatest of warriors, he's still one of the most famous dwarves out there along with Josef Bugman and Gotrek Gurnisson.

Being an immortal undefeated warrior without peer and having survived the end of a world is very very very badass, despite having yourself a model without all the ancestral goodies. His age is counted in millennia (if he can age at all, that is) and as such he is a humongous trove of knowledge, able to advice all the thaggin' beardlings who call themselves duardin and populate the Mortal Realms these days.
Yeah, he has every right to call everyone a beardling if he bloody wants to.

(Beardling = a young dwarf who has yet to prove his salt, typically under 50 years of age with a short beard)

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