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Author Topic: Ne Cede Malis: Fortress Foundations  (Read 10435 times)

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Ne Cede Malis: Fortress Foundations
« on: June 10, 2023, 11:10:23 PM »

Welcome to Ne Cede Malis!

It's been a little while since I've been properly active on LAF, but really happy to be back! I closed down my old threads on the Black Order and the Dark back in late 2022, and since then have been working on a (completely spurious) desire of mine - a website dedicated to the miniature wargaming hobby:


The concept for this website first arose after years of miniature wargaming and hobbying that eventually (inevitably?) led to the idea to create a unique, bespoke setting all my own. This soon snowballed - as ideas do - into multiple modelling and hobby projects reflecting the various individuals, factions and entities inhabiting the world of Ne Cede Malis.

The inspiration behind Ne Cede Malis is multifaceted. Primarily, I'm a huge fan of Native American, Norse and early Slavic mythology and history, and there are strong 'what-if' parallels between the world of Ne Cede Malis and our own, circa the 10th-13th centuries CE. For example, the Black Order - the primary protagonists of the Ne Cede Malis setting - is pretty clearly closely inspired by the real-world Teutonic Order, although it has been realised in a fundamentally different way. We'll get to that in a future post.


Other inspirations included a healthy respect for the Lovecraftian genre, as well as the Arthurian corpus. It's probably fair to say that the concept of the Dark - the cyclical, existential threat inhabiting the world of Ne Cede Malis - arose somewhere between the utterly inhuman malignity of Lovecraftian horror and the very human, fallible characters of the Arthurian legends. Again, we'll get to that in a future post.


I've always felt that verisimilitude is one of the great strengths of 'low' fantasy - whilst there's no reason why fantasy shouldn't be full of wondrous magic and impossibly virtuous heroes, I've always enjoyed universes where the mundane baseline of everyday life is not that different to our own, with magic a rare (but impactful) interloper. It'll come as no surprise that early inspirations were early-1990s video games like Bungie's Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter, which in themselves dealt with similar concepts of cyclicity, eschatology and human survival in a world dominated by far greater, unknowable powers beyond our own.


All this might seem a bit grand for what is essentially a website about the miniature wargaming hobby. Primarily, the hobby for me is about storytelling, whether through the process of building and painting a miniature (visual storytelling) or through written stories based on the events of a tabletop game, in the finest traditions of games like Dungeons and Dragons. This website is just another means to that end.

My aim with this website is to have fun - to share blog posts, tutorials, battle reports and stories from a multitude of gaming systems, all set in the world of Ne Cede Malis. Hopefully, this might provide some food for thought to others in this hobby for the same reasons as myself, and along the way if it inspires anyone to pick up a paintbrush or put words to a page then I'll take that as a solid success.

So, thanks for reading the waffle - will share website updates in this thread, hopefully it's a fun ride! Thanks for all the inspiration along the way. :)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2023, 10:50:54 PM by Knight-Captain Tyr »
" ... the seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."

-Thrall Flavor Text, Myth: The Fallen Lords

Offline Gibby

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2023, 11:27:03 PM »
Good to see you on the LAF once more. I have duly bookmarked your website and will remain a keen follower of your work!

Quote
All this might seem a bit grand for what is essentially a website about the miniature wargaming hobby.

It makes total sense to me. I have a somewhat romantic approach to the hobby as well - perhaps because my inspirations are all the same as yours!

Quote
It'll come as no surprise that early inspirations were early-1990s video games like Bungie's Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter, which in themselves dealt with similar concepts of cyclicity, eschatology and human survival in a world dominated by far greater, unknowable powers beyond our own.

The Myth games were pretty much one of the cornerstones of my interest in fantasy as a genre. The atmosphere of those games is exactly what I seek in any given setting.

Quote
I've always felt that verisimilitude is one of the great strengths of 'low' fantasy - whilst there's no reason why fantasy shouldn't be full of wondrous magic and impossibly virtuous heroes, I've always enjoyed universes where the mundane baseline of everyday life is not that different to our own, with magic a rare (but impactful) interloper.

Couldn't have put it better myself. Very well said, and I agree heartily!

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2023, 09:35:16 AM »
You are an amazing world builder and storyteller mate. Great to see you making a dedicated website for your vision. Your work is inspirational.
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Online OSHIROmodels

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2023, 11:53:55 AM »
This is a great project and it's good to see you back at it  8)
cheers

James

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Offline Elbows

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2023, 06:16:10 PM »
Awesome project, though I hope you keep posting here.  The simple fact is I'm unlikely to go check out a personalized website on a daily/weekly basis, etc.  I come to forums because I get to see all the content (often with associated links) in one place.  I do think it's a great idea to have a website though as it catalogues everything nicely.
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Offline Ogrob

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2023, 06:26:56 PM »
Very much agreed on the low fantasy and versimilitude. I love the smaller stories in believable settings.

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2023, 09:53:12 PM »
Very much agreed on the low fantasy and versimilitude. I love the smaller stories in believable settings.

QFT!  8)
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Find a Way, or make one!

Offline LouieN

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2023, 03:31:20 AM »
Welcome back and luck. 

I always felt the Black order had a feel of the North or Baltic regions.  Harsh, cold, rough
« Last Edit: June 12, 2023, 03:33:34 AM by LouieN »

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2023, 10:10:31 AM »
Good to see you on the LAF once more. I have duly bookmarked your website and will remain a keen follower of your work!

It makes total sense to me. I have a somewhat romantic approach to the hobby as well - perhaps because my inspirations are all the same as yours!

The Myth games were pretty much one of the cornerstones of my interest in fantasy as a genre. The atmosphere of those games is exactly what I seek in any given setting.


Thanks, mate - honoured you're still interested :) It's a labour of love for sure, I have no expectations but am just enjoying the ride.

You are an amazing world builder and storyteller mate. Great to see you making a dedicated website for your vision. Your work is inspirational.

Cheers mate, really appreciate the kind words :)

This is a great project and it's good to see you back at it  8)

Thank you sir! Much appreciated.

Awesome project, though I hope you keep posting here.  The simple fact is I'm unlikely to go check out a personalized website on a daily/weekly basis, etc.  I come to forums because I get to see all the content (often with associated links) in one place.  I do think it's a great idea to have a website though as it catalogues everything nicely.

Cheers fella - I know exactly what you mean. I'll definitely be posting the major updates here. I have no big expectations about the website - I'm enjoying doing something I always wanted to do, in creating a website dedicated to my own little corner of the hobby, and that's enough for me.

Very much agreed on the low fantasy and versimilitude. I love the smaller stories in believable settings.

Thanks bud - on the same page.

Welcome back and luck. 

I always felt the Black order had a feel of the North or Baltic regions.  Harsh, cold, rough


That's great, as it's pretty much analogous to where they are situated in the world of Ne Cede Malis. I need to draft up a proper map soon!

Offline PineyPhantom

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2023, 10:38:05 AM »
It's nice to see your posts on LAF again. I've said it before and I'll say it again, your focus on storytelling through the medium of paint scheme across a model range and kitbashing elevated my own hobby past "buy and paint the box" and I've never looked back. Can't wait to see where the Black Order goes next!
"There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity.

There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity.

There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.”

― St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2023, 06:43:15 PM »
It's nice to see your posts on LAF again. I've said it before and I'll say it again, your focus on storytelling through the medium of paint scheme across a model range and kitbashing elevated my own hobby past "buy and paint the box" and I've never looked back. Can't wait to see where the Black Order goes next!

Thanks mate - can't wait to see your guys back at the top of the forum. The terrain you were making was really special and you captured the For Honor vibe really well.

Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2023, 06:49:37 PM »
Right - let's get this rolling.

Plenty of content on the website, but let's kick things off with respective introductions to the two principal actors of the world of Ne Cede Malis - the Black Order and the Dark.

Let's kick things off with the bad guys...

_____________________________


…when Tarsulis slew Maedrach a thousand years ago, and was in turn slain by Taranis his son, the line of the Merovar kings was restored; and yet Taranis would be the last of this mighty bloodline, for he would be known as Taranis the Deceived, Last King of Modrach, and under his rule the kingdom of Modrach fell willingly to the Howling Dark, that force of malice and spite which is unending and absolute in its hatred for all things living…


None can say from whence the Dark arose; some say it is a cyclical entity, that comes with every passing age, to level the world and raze it to its foundations, so that life may arise anew from the ashes; others say it is a phenomenon wholly alien to our world, and that it is inimical to the existence of life itself, that it is a cancer upon the very fabric of the skein of reality.




But none of this concerns the denizens of the Continent. For them, the Dark is simply a fact of life: it is the genesis of the curse of undeath, and it is the enemy of all who live. It is the reason why the dead rise from barrow and tomb, why crops fail to grow in the blasted lands of the West, why witches, malcontents and seers are hunted down and slain by the terrified, superstitious masses, why children wake screaming in the night, driven insane by the laughter of inhuman, alien entities others cannot see or hear.



And after one thousand years, it has returned.


Offline Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: Visions of the Howling Dark
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2023, 09:21:12 PM »

___________________


Since the Dark first emerged to blight the world more than two centuries ago, the manifold nations and kingdoms of the Continent have been wracked by internecine conflict and constant war.

In the face of the supernatural, the old systems of faith, governance and power no longer hold the sway they once did. The True Faith, once the single most powerful religious and political entity on the Continent, has lost its influence upon a world in which the dead no longer rest. Although the heart of the Faith still beats strong behind the walls of the Golden City, the pious no longer flock to its mighty gates as they once did, bereft of hope that a better world awaits in the next life. The Faith's legions are no longer the dominant force on the Continent, and grow fewer in number every year as the Dark's undead hordes crash against the walls of the City.

The erosion of the True Faith has spawned over a dozen major wars, and the destruction of several empires. In the chaos, many a petty princedom has grown bloated and swollen on the corpse of a once-great kingdom brought low by strife and ruin; many a robber-baron has fattened himself upon the innumerable towns and villages left unprotected by the destruction of a great empire. It is an age for men to become as wolves.

Not least of these are the ironclad warlords of the north-eastern provinces, the survivors of the last crusading armies to bring the True Faith to the North. Most are robber-barons writ large, warrior-kings of their own making who dwell within massive fortresses of rock and stone, dominating the lands for dozens of miles in each direction. Some, however, have grander ambitions than carving out minor enclaves and baronies...



The mightiest of them belong to a confederation their enemies call the Black Order. The Order's name for itself is likely more humble, but its pretensions to military dominion certainly are not. The Order, ruled by a council of lords and robber-barons drawn from half a dozen lesser military Orders and princedoms, is fast becoming the dominant power of the north-east. Its knights, or 'druzhyna' in the native tongue of the Shieldlands, are descended from the old crusading armies that once campaigned against the pagans of these lands, now long since settled and intermingled with the multitude of tribes and peoples populating the north-east. The Order's armies draw upon the men of the fjords, the forests, the steppes and the mountains, all marching beneath the same black banner. 'A dozen tongues and twice as many gods march with us', goes the saying; and it is no lie.


In less than fifty years, the Black Order has subsumed three lesser military Orders and annihilated half a dozen armies sent by the Golden City to re-establish the Faith's hold over the north east. In that time, it has managed to provide a barrier - a haven, even - against the endless tides of the Dark. The refugees who have flocked to its cities and fortresses are driven more by the prospect of survival than any other motivation, and the Order will soon find that it faces foes within as well as without - foes who will challenge the Order's right to rule a small empire at the very edge of the world, in between the Great Ocean to the west and the endless steppes of the Traverse to the east.


But for now, while the Order endures, the Dark is held back. The Order's barrier is built with stone and blood - the stones of a dozen mighty fortresses, from Ostvangr in the east to the fortress-city of Cimbris in the west, and the blood of a dozen peoples, all united by the desire to survive in a world gone mad.

That barrier will not last forever. But in these times of the world's ending...what does?



Offline LouieN

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Order and the Dark
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2023, 09:41:58 PM »
Good stuff

Offline Ogrob

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Re: Ne Cede Malis: The Order and the Dark
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2023, 09:49:57 PM »
Love it all.

 

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