With the Inqvitational 2013 now behind us, it’s time to check on Inquisitor Zuul: What fate may have befallen him? Did his puritan enemies manage to take him out? Or was he able to elude his pursuers? Was he murdered by Tybalt and his cronies? Or did he make the puritans rue the day they tried to apprehend him? Here’s an update, with lots of great pictures, very kindly provided by Marco Skoll:

Our stage opens to a clandestine meeting between Zuul and his fellow radical Inquisitor Haxtus amidst the buildings of a derelict industrial outpost, in the middle of a tropical swamp. The Inquisitors had come here to talk in private and to discuss their next actions, with their respective retinues fanning out around them to defend them against any possible interlopers:

Zuul_Inqvitational (1)
As an aside, I was delighted to find out that Zuul had been given an impromptu retinue made up of some of Jeff Vader’s truly stellar INQ28 models, namely his fantastic Chrono-gladiator and the female assassin known as the “Red Lady”. And Kari’s marvelous Stryderre, probably my favourite model from the recent Secret Yggdrassillium project, also returned for a stint in Zuul’s warband — I couldn’t have been any happier with the composition of his warband! The models also look really great together, coincidentally:

Zuul_Inqvitational (2)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand: While Haxtus and Zuul were discussing how best to proceed, the puritans were drawing near: Inquisitor Tybalt wanted to apprehend Zuul, and he had his colleagues Cordatus, Trask and Virasson on his side. In a rather unfortunate turn for the puritans, Trask couldn’t resist announcing their presence via his loudspeaker, pompous fool that he is ;-)

So two of the radicals’ retainers broke off from the meeting to intercept the puritans:

Zuul_Inqvitational (3)
Zuul and Haxtus realised that it was time for their getaway, so they began their escape, escorted by their remaining agents:

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You’ve got to love how Haxtus seems to be exchanging dark secrets with Zuul in the picture above…

Meanwhile, the pursuers were still locked in combat:

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Check out PDH’s beautiful (if foolish) Inquisitor Trask above!

But the hunt was far from over: Inquisitor Virasson was hot on the fugitives’ heels:

Zuul_Inqvitational (6)
Shots rang through the wilderness, and one agent after the other dropped. And suddenly, Inquisitor Cordatus’ agents tried to intercept the radicals’ escape:

Zuul_Inqvitational (7)
In the end, even Inquisitor Haxtus had to stay behind in an attempt to stall the pursuers, urging Zuul on to seek refuge under the canopy of trees and get away:

Zuul_Inqvitational (8)
Shortly afterwards, Haxtus too was felled by the puritans’ onslaught. So Zuul did indeed have no other choice but to continue his escape alone:

Zuul_Inqvitational (9)
But the hounds were closing in from all directions: It may have been a close call, but in the end, the puritans caught up with Zuul on the banks of a dark jungle morass. With Virasson drawing a bead on him and Inquisitor Cordatus as well as Tybalt’s interrogator Serren advncing through the trees, Zuul was at the end of his rope. The venerable Inquisitor surrendered to his enemies:

Zuul_Inqvitational (10)

“Very well, gentlemen, Shall we be going?”

The day ended with Zuul and Haxtus captured, their fate uncertain…

I love how these pictures concisely tell the story of Zuul’s capture, giving us a pretty good idea of the events during the game. The fact that both the terrain and the miniatures used in the game were simply gorgeous also helps, of course. I really love the picture of Zuul surrendering, by the way, with Virasson seemingly daring him to give him an excuse for opening fire (“Go ahead: Make my day!”). Zuul, however, may be forced to surrender, but he is obviously far from defeated.  He remains unbent and unbroken, at least for now. It’s in his pose…

All in all, this year’s Inqvitational seems to have provided a plethora of new narrative developments and options for the Dalthus sector, with the arrest of Zuul just one slice of the day’s broader narrative. Once again, everyone involved worked tirelessly to make the event as good as it could possibly be, while also strengthening the INQ28 scene at large. I think events like this are proof that Inquisitor played at the 28mm scale has really managed to come into its own; that it’s not about the ability to simply plunk down 28mm Space Marines of Ork Boyz on the table, but about telling stories and creating compelling characters — an objective shared by all INQ aficionados, beyond any notions of miniature scale.

So what lies in store for Zuul? An undignified end in the dungeons of an Inquisitorial stronghold? A roleplayed trial before the Dalthan Conclave, channelling all the cool trial scenes ever (if you ask me, that would be so freaking awesome)? Or will his radical colleagues devise a plan to free their figurehead?

Whatever happens next, I’ll gladly admit I am pretty pleased that the old rascal has managed to survive the day. Granted, I may not have spent years and years fleshing out the character’s background, but building the model and trying to imbue it with some measure of character has made me grow quite fond of it and, by extension, Inquisitor Zuul. Go Xanthites! ;-)

Huge thanks must go once again to Commissar Molotov and PDH, for making it all happen! And of course, to all the hobbyists attending the event and enriching it with their brilliant models and respective narratives. And of course, to Marco for letting me use his great pictures! I wish I could have been there — although Zuul was probably a pretty good replacement for me, I guess. As for his eventual fate, I’ll definitely keep you posted!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the events during the Inqvitational, check out the Aftermath thread over at the Ammobunker.

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Filed under: 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings Tagged: 40k, background, commissar molotov, conversion, fluff, INQ28, inquisitor, inquisitor zuul, inqvitational, inqvitational 2013, the sins of the master