The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling


Update: Power Loss and super secret project!

So, long time viewers (all four of you) know that I live in Lansing, MI now, and that Lansing was recently wiped off the map by an ice storm.  I lost power for 8 days.  However, I was not idle in that time.  BEHOLD!  MY xmas present to my roommate Jen!

The Reik River Raiders are a bunch of Goblins from the foothills near the city of Reikland, bankrolled by the mad scientist Dr. Emmet Von Braun.  Von Braun has them test his latest weapons and potions on the blood bowl pitch.  In addition, the Goblins have bribed two river trolls from the Reik River to be their muscle.  Von Braun hopes to use the profits from the Reik River Raiders to bankroll his further attempts to undermine reality through science!

Next: a battle report between me and Lexington of Dice Abide!  Salamander Space Marines (6th ed) vs. Orks!  No holds barred, no aircraft, no superheavies!  Stay tuned!


Blood Bowl Konquata Monitors Coach: Lord Kroak

Lord Kroak, last of the First Generation of Slaan personally commissioned the creation of the Konquata Monitors Blood Bowl team after the Lizardmen re-conquered the mystical island of Albion (called Konquata by the Lizardmen) from the Dark Elves.  To promote the superiority of the Lizardmen race, Kroak ordered the team be composed of members of the first spawnings from the newly formed spawning pools on Albion.  Unwaveringly loyal to Kroak's vision, the Monitors have become the hottest new team in Blood Bowl.  Kroak himself has recently taken up the mantle of Coach, personally leading the Monitors from the sidelines.  Eschewing his customary floating chair and gold death mask for a simple cap, Kroak is prepared to help the Monitors win to bring glory to the Lizardmen.  Of course, his incredibly powerful magics would never be used during a match.  That is, unless the inducement was right...


Antonius, Hero of Tenkath Hive

“Go, go, go!” shouted Antonius. At his command, sixth scout squad burst from the forest, bolters blazing. Their withering fire was directed towards the bunker held by the traitors. Up until five seconds ago, the bunker had been a brutal combat between the traitor Marines and Eldar forces. The Eldar had, finally, been slaughtered, but the Traitors now had only two men standing. A bolt of hideous red plasma scorched the ground at Antonius’ feet.

“Spread formation! Keep suppressing fire on that window!” Antonius ordered. That plasma pistol had to go, or his meager squad of five scouts would not have a chance across this open ground. Sure enough, Xian’s torso disappeared in another plasma blast. Antonius cursed loudly and redoubled his bolter fire into the building until his clip was dry.

“Knives!” Antonius shouted, and was answered by the rasp of each scout drawing their long steel blades. A Chaos Marine popped up to fire his bolter and Antonius dove through the narrow window of the bunker and clothesline tackled the traitor to the ground. The traitor instinctively rolled and kicked upward, sending Antonius flying. Antonius landed hard on his back. He opened his eyes to see the muzzle of a bolter in his face. He winced as he heard the bark of a bolter, and felt warm blood spray all over him. The Chaos Marine above him howled in pain as his arm and part of his torso were disintegrated by a bolter blast. Antonius flexed his back and jumped to his feet. The last traitor, cornered by Joel and Nbutu, swung his glowing red power sword wildly to keep the two scouts at bay. Jolath rushed in to try and close the gap forming between Joel and Nbutu, and keep the traitor pinned. He was neatly sliced in half for his efforts. Antonius screamed in wordless rage and hurled his combat knife. It spun end over end and clanked into the traitor’s wrist, forcing him to drop his power sword. Nbutu took advantage of this and quickly sunk his combat knife under the Traitor’s breastplate. Joel finished the traitor by slashing his neck.

“Are you OK sir? Joel asked.

“I’m fine. Find that beacon and shut it down.” Antonius said as he surveyed the battlefield from the relative safety of the bunker. It was a charnel house. Chaos, Orks, Eldar, and Azure Flames Space Marines littered the grounds surrounding the bunker in all directions. Antonius tried to understand how so much killing had taken only a few short minutes. Orks had made the first move, and were soundly cut down by fire from three sides. Eldar and Chaos had then taken out the forward emplacements of the Azure Flames, leaving only Antonius’ Scout Squad hidden in the trees. The only three warriors on the battlefield left standing were Antonius, and his two squadmates.

“Antonius to Vigilance, emergency Thunderhawk extraction at my coordinates. Send Apothecaries.”

“Confirmed. Medivac flight enroute. How bad is it, brother?”

“Not good. ETA on medivac?”

“Fifteen minutes. Sit tight.”

Antonius turned and addressed the remaining Scouts “Evac in fifteen. Secure the area. What the hell did we come here for?”

“This.” Nbutu said, holding up a sheaf of parchment. Antonius perused it, and his breath caught. It contained security details and shield harmonics and schematics for the planet’s main hive.

“Throne of Terra! Antonius to Vigilance! Priority one warning! Security at Tenkath Hive has been compromised! Advise them to rotate shield frequencies randomly and double their security details at the main shield generators. They have been infiltrated!”


Double Dare 40,000

Found this old story on Lexington's site.  I wrote it when bored at work.  Enjoy!

(wa-na na!)

Marc Summers: On your mark!


MS: Get set...GO!

Announcer: Watch as these two teams of tiny titans duke it out in the super-sloppiest battle for the fate of the galaxy in the 41st Millennium. It's Double Dare 40,000!

A Guardsman, a Fire Warrior, and an Eldar Guardian, in red jumpsuits fire a spray of brightly colored seltzer at a Space Marine in a red jumpsuit with a funnel on his head. On the other side of the blue tiled room, a Necron, a Chaos Space Marine, and a Dark Eldar fire at an Ork with a funnel on his head, all wearing blue jumpsuits. The Double Dare theme blares in the background as Mark Summers shouts out what happening.

MS: Looks like the read team is doing good, and the blue team is doing better! Just have to get the soda past the line! Oh, the Ork is leaning back. He's trying to catch the soda in his mouth! No, you have to get it past the line in the bucket! Well now he's drinking from the bucket. Not a very good strategy! *buzzer sounds* OH! The red team wins! Let's start the show.

Both teams go over to their podiums as Genestealers clean up the mess.

MS: Welcome to Double Dare 40,000! I'm your host, Mark Summers. Let's have a round of applause for the red team, The Goody Two Shoes! *audience applauds* and the blue team, The Evil Kinevels! *more applause* Now to explain the game for the viewers at home. We ask a question to one team. They can either answer it, or if they think the other team doesn't have a clue, they can dare them to answer it for double the amount. But be careful, because they can double dare you back for four times the amount. Then you can either answer or take the Physical Challenge. Goody Two Shoes, you won the opening challenge, here's your first question. What are the three names of the defense stations around Armageddon?

The Red Team confers with each other.

Guardsman: Dare!

MS: Alright Evil Kinevels, what...


Chaos Marine: Moron! I knew that one!

MS: OK, Goody Two Shoes, do you have an answer?

Space Marine: Dante, Mannheim, and Yarrick.

MS: That's right for two hundred Imperial Credits!

Ork: ARGH! Dat's no fair! Dey woz supposd ta take da fizukul challunge!

MS: Next question, when can you re-roll a re-rolled die?

They confer again.

Eldar: When a master crafted weapon stacks with a psychic power?

MS: Ooooh, no, I'm sorry. The answer is: never.


MS: Evil Kinevels, control goes to you. What three loyalist legions were slaughtered at the Istvaan drop site massacre?

They confer.

Dark Eldar: Dare.

MS: Alright Goody Two Shoes, Which Legions?

Tau: Double Dare.

MS: Evil Kinevels, do you have a...


Genestealers drag out a bizzare apparatus.

MS: OK, Necron, you sit here.

Necron: ...

MS: Now, the Necron will toss these slime-filled balloons to the Dark Eldar, who will catch them with this funnel that pops them and catches the slime. You then pour the slime into the Chaos Marine's bucket, and he hands the bucket to the Ork, who pours it into the container up top. If you can fill the container to the line in 60 seconds, the bucket will empty on the Necron. Ready? GO!

The Necron initially has a tough time aiming, and the Dark Eldar gets slimy, but they establish a rhythm, and the Ork laughs mightily as the Necron is slimed just before the buzzer.

MS: WOW! We'll be right back after these messages.

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Antonius’ First Battle.

Antonius crouched in the brush of a forest. Nearby, he heard the roar of an enemy jetbike. Sergeant Daniel raised his power sword, and in unison, Antonius and his scout squad stood and readied their shotguns with a loud KA-CHACK.

“Alright, move up and stay out of sight.” Daniel ordered, pointing with his sword. Antonius took point, with Daniel and the rest of the squad trailing. He ghosted from tree to tree, and paused at the edge of the forest. He saw that 3rd Squad had engaged the enemy Eldar, and were severely outnumbered. Antonius yearned to join them as a full Space Marine, but he had at least a year of surgeries and training. He motioned for the squad, and they cautiously moved out of the forest. Suddenly, an Eldar appeared before him. It was red and had a large backpack that resembled a beetle. It raised an exotic looking weapon to him.

“Hit the dirt!” Daniel shouted. Antonius did. The alien’s weapons discharged a weblike stream of gossamer thread. Antonius heard screams behind him. He shouted in wordless rage and pushed himself up off the ground. He discharged his shotgun at one of them, but it had no effect. He ran at another of them, and kicked it in the torso. With a fluid motion, he drew his knife and plunged it into the alien’s throat. Another came at him and exploded. Daniel appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and ran another through with his power sword. The fight seemed to take several hours, as Sergeant Daniel and Antonius fought back to back, slaughtering the aliens. Antonius fought with even more ferocity as he saw the rest of his scout squad, torn to ribbons on the ground behind him. Soon, not one of the teleporting aliens lived. Daniel turned to him.

“We’re not through yet lad! Charge!” Antonius followed him into combat with the aliens fighting 3rd squad. He fought side by side with his brothers in power armor, who stood a foot taller than him and Daniel. One of the aliens raised the butt of its shuriken catapult to Antonius' temple and he blacked out. He awoke to Daniel slapping him gently in the face.

“Need an Apothecary lad?” He joked.

“No, I’m alright.” Antonius answered.

“Course you are!” Daniel shouted. “So, now you’ve seen action, what do you think of it?”

“What about the rest of the squad? Antonius turned to see an Apothecary standing over them. One was being carried away in a stretcher. The others had sheets draped over them.

“Joshua made it. The others weren’t so lucky. Care about the dead later. We’ve got a war to win.” Daniel clapped him on the shoulder. Antonius nodded. There would always be a war though, Antonius thought. If we stop for each casualty, we’d never get anywhere. Antonius and Daniel joined the remnants of 3rd squad aboard their Rhino, and returned to base. Antonius quietly reflected on his squad mates on the way back to base.



Grimfang Scrappaz – Throwers!

Two throwers from the new Orc team, the Grimfang Scrappaz!  These Orcs grew up in the ruins of the Mount Silverspear Dwarven mine.  This reeking hole is the ground was "appropriated" by the warlord Grimfang, and has been the staging ground for the Silver Road wars.  Enriched by the residual silver, and with a trove of ruined Dwarven equipment, the (bored) lads of Mount Grimfang put together a Blood Bowl team for excitement and glory!  The Scrappaz coat themselves with sharp iron plates salvaged from the mining equipment, and often with added spikes.  They have but one goal: SMASH OTHER TEAMS FOR FUN!


Big Game V Story Complete!

The entire story for the Big Game V is now available!  Check the link to the right under Features.  This features the entire story, start to finish, uninterrupted.  It also features the entire "ending" arc (chapters 51-70) which were never posted on this blog's predacessor.  Check it out!

And now I rest.  Next: Lightguard updates!

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I am NOT George Lucas.

Good news: The Big Game V fluff now extends to Chapter 20!

In going through these files, I had to do some things to make them work with this new format.  First (and most drastic) I added the Intro.  This is brand new.  The original Big Game V fluff was written by Joe, Lexington, and myself during the year-long preparation for the Big Game.  Originally posted on a forum Lexington created, everyone involved knew some stuff about the previous Big Games.  Not so for the rest of the internet.  I created the Intro to give a back story, so that new readers would not be confused.

Next, there were several gramatical errors (even in the final version!)  On top of that, before I found the best way to transfer the text, several key factors, such as bold and italics got lost.  I manually fixed them.

Finally, and most hesitantly, I did add one extra feature to one chapter so far.  Recently, I read Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Soul Hunter.  An incredible novel, I highly recommend it and its sequel, Blood Reaver.  One of the characters is a Navigator, and Dembski-Bowden added the fact that seeing a Navigator's third eye causes death.  I added two lines to chapter seventeen to reflect this fluff, out of respect to Dembski-Bowden.  Even though this chapter was written by Joe.

So, why the picture of Jorge at the top of the post?  Because these changes were not made just to throw extra stuff in there.  This was an homage to Dembski-Bowden's work and the 40K background.  This story worked well because it was a collaborative effort between Joe, Lexington, and myself.  No one controlled everything.  In fact, Lexington and I came near to blows about a part of the fluff (happily left out as we had no Necron players.)

My point?  Art can be great, but art in an echo chamber where you control everything yourself can be self-indulgent.  Other viewpoints, such as a co-writer, (or two) and a forum of fans can provide additional thoughts you wouldn't normally get.

Finally, I'd like to thank Joe and Lexington for their work on this story, as well as Scott for making the Big Game V possible and all the players in Big Game V for giving us ideas for their characters.

Stay tuned!  Or, because this is the Internet, bookmark and subscribe to the RSS feed.  There's more to come for the Big Game V story, PLUS pics of the Lightguard and Scion Minis soon!

Edit: Lexington approves!

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Big Game V Fluff now available!

Long ago, my friends and I put on some huge games of 40K.  The largest and most enjoyable was the last one, Big Game V, of which I have spoken several times on this blog.  During the year-long buildup, myself, Lexington, and our friend Joe wrote an entire novel-sized story for background.

Check out the "Features" section to the right.  The Big Game V link will take you to the stories we wrote for this game.  Only the first 5 chapters are up now, but it does include a brand new Introduction which summarizes the backgrounds of the previous Big Games and sets the stage for Big Game V.

Check often, as more chapters will be added soon!

EDIT: First 10 chapters available!


Scion Mini “Carrie” Painted; a fond farewell!

Sadly, one of my players dropped out of my Scion game.  However, I painted her miniature for her and assured her she could come back at any time.

Above, see Carrie,  Once again, based on the "Lucky" model from Dark Age.  I kept Lucky's red hair because Carrie is Irish.  I added freckles!  A first for me!  I also did custom detailing on the stomach buckler (a raven for her birth mother, The Morrigan) and on the holster (a Cadeuceus, for her adopted father, Hermes).  Note that since the previous picture, I've cut out the bayonettes and lengthened the hair with putty.

Next: More Scion Minis?  ...or a secret project I've been working on?