Inquisitor Hawksmoor turned the daemon skull over in his hands, it was gilded with gold and engraved with fine scrimshaw. He had no eye for beauty, but he could appreciate the workmanship, particularly as he knew from experience that daemons would usually take their skulls with them when they fled to the warp upon their demise in the material realm. And though it was clearly daemonic – a vast maw and three fist-sized eye-sockets -it was not of a type he recognised. A vile creature in life yet beautiful in death. It was an enigma, and he could appreciate that too. He looked up and addressed his guest. “This token buys you your pardon and the reinstatement of your title as agreed. Congratulations, Rogue Trader.”
Captain Dakkar met the Inquisitors gaze, her face and hair bound in silk cloth with just her eyes visible; fierce eyes. She was young, scarcely more than a child, small and somewhat dwarfed by her oversized greatcoat, but she showed no sign of nerves. At her side a large white cat sat idly licking its paw. “My crew?” She said, her voice level.
“Your crew too, if you will dispose of these skulls…” Hawksmoor regarded the dataslate his aide was holding, video footage showed the dark container crates currently sat in the dock, each one full with human heads, and each head carefully inscribed with a number. When Hawksmoor had proposed an armistice – a pardon in exchange for the head of a traitor – it had been with the intention of inspiring the hive world’s prison population to fight against the Chaos invaders. Hawksmoor had opened the penitentiary gates, releasing several billion convicts in the hopes of slowing down the enemy forces. It had bought a little time, but had been a massacre. There had been no pardons. Captain Dakkar however, seemed intent to make the most of the arrangement.
“No more piracy. That life is at an end. Profundis needs allies and so the Inquisition has pardoned you. The Imperium is your enemy no longer.”
Dakkar inclined her head slightly. “In desperate times an enemy can become an ally. There is an old expression: ‘to make a deal with a devil’.”
The Inquisitor frowned. “Captain Dakkar, you have lived outside the Imperium for too long. I am the Emperor’s weapon against daemonkind. I am His wrath incarnate. I am no ‘devil’.”
“No Inquisitor. You are not.”
I’m reasonably happy with this paint job, but I have a bad habit of experimenting with new techniques whenever I paint something, I get bored quickly! Sometimes it pays off, other times it has mixed results. I think her coat didn’t quite work as well as I had hoped, the initial airbrush work looked amazing – gold to green gradients, but the shimmer was completely lost after applying various varnishes for decals, oils, etc. It looks much duller than I wanted. And the skin – I really wanted to paint her in a body suit but it just looked unfinished. Dark skin proved extremely difficult and so she is lighter than I really wanted. And the paint got too thick after all those layers, but never mind. I think Maya – the lynx/gyrinx crossbreed – looks pretty good, it’s amazing how much nicer this ancient sculpt is than the new thunderwolf sculpt I painted the other week.
My favourite detail – her high heel made from the second hand of a watch – is almost invisible, little bugger was a real headache!