"I have come to beg you for help," says the merchant. He is a small man, and he is pale with fear. He stands in front of the magus, but speaks to the darkness beyond him. "I am an honest man. For thirty years, I have worked hard to provide for my sons and daughters."
The magus frowns in concentration, as if listening to a whisper. Then he speaks. "That is good. A man should provide for his family."
"But now these hive-gangers have come. They threaten me and my sons. They frighten my daughters. Even my grox are afraid. When I went to the Enforcers, they laughed at me! So I come here, to beg you for your help. I need your protection."
In the shadows behind the magus, something growls.
"You have come for my help," the magus translates, "but you never spoke to me before now. You never offered me hospitality. You never welcomed my priests. You never worshiped at my temple -"
"Please," stammers the merchant. "Nobody else will help me -"
"And you never called me Patriarch!"
A huge monster thrusts its head out of the shadows. The merchant glimpses a massive body, spindly, armoured limbs, rows of glistening teeth. It is like being addressed by a spider.
"Patriarch!" he squeals.
"Good," says the magus. "Good. Do not worry about these gangers. They will be taken care of. There will come a time when Don Clawleone here demands a favour of you, a repayment of the debt that you owe him. But for now, come closer, and we will seal our agreement. With a kiss."
The Patriarch reaches out, and the merchant falls into its embrace.
|Patriarch with magus and fine cigar by Tony Hough|
When I was a boy, a Genestealer Patriarch was old and fat and sat on a throne. His minions drove round in a limo. Times have changed, and the Patriarch is more like a living idol than a master-criminal. Anyhow, I kept hold of the original miniature, stripped off the paint and thought I'd give him another go.
To begin with, I thought the old Patriarch - sculpted by Bob Olley, I think - looked silly, but it is actually a really good miniature, given that the style is different. The Patriarch's throne is fantastic, with all sorts of elegant and slightly biomechanical details, like a cross between H.R. Giger and a Georgian armchair. The Patriarch himself has "character", by which I mean that he looks like a cross between Marlon Brando and the Alien. I expect that he spends most of his time complaining about young punks having no respect, and then eating the young punks. He really does look nasty, just in a different way to the modern model.
Anyway, here's the model. He's as much a diorama figure as a playing piece, so I've mounted him on quite a big base.
The old Patriarch came with a genestealer magus, who is clearly his advisor (I believe the technical term is consigliere). Again, he's a good model. Unfortunately, the one I have was missing his left hand, so I made him a new one out of a Dark Eldar arm. It's doing very much what the original did: reaching out to touch the Patriarch's throne - or arm - while the magus whispers his advice.
I painted this guy in quite dark colours, to make him look more formal and so as not to distract from his boss. I stuck him to the base and, to counterbalance the models somewhat, added an old metal genestealer familiar to the other side. Here they all are, about to receive visitors (or, judging from the red mark on the floor, having just dealt with them).