The Black Prince. The Bastard of Ch'Ihll. The Gorgon's Disgrace.
Cynath remains the sole heir to the Ch'Ihll dynasty, an ancient name that ruled Lost Nagarythe at the behest of doomed Aenerion. The Black House is ancient, even by the reckoning of the Elves and holds many traditions that pre-date the Great War against Chaos in the first age.
The Prince is possessed of a wild and savage temper, unpredictable in his wrath and reward. He is tall, even for an elf, slender of shoulder with a thin, sullen face. His skin is the colour of fresh snow, his handsome features crippled by cruelty, pierced through with daemonic carmine eyes. His hair is a silver white and his blood is a rich prurple of the nobility of Naggaroth; poisonous to the lesser races, intoxicating to other Elves.
The Black Prince is a bastard of the house; a title that is fashionable in the higher echelons of Naggarond society. In truth, matters of legitimacy and blood inheritance are of little consequence to those of power, only invoking these ancient mores in matter of politics. Lokastias, the current Matriarch of the Ch'Ihll dynasty, has not birthed a child that is hale and whole since Cynath. It is talked of that the Prince is the doom of the Ch'Ihll dynasty, the last in the line of monsters.
Cynath's father is a mystery to the young prince. Lokastias's bed is open to monsters, witches and elves alike: her rutting birthing monsters into the world. Cynath has been known to boast that his sire was a daemon of the blackest hells, but the truth is not so. Before Alith Anar became King of the Shadow Lands, Aliar Corwain ruled this blighted realm. He is only now remembered as the Forgotten King, for he turned his back on honour, duty and the isles of Ulthan for the charms of his dark lady; Lokastias. Cynath, born of the true Blood of Ch'Ihll and Ulthan weds the old lands together and may claim by right of birth the broken ruins of the Shadowlands.
Cynath bears the Dragon Glass Ring, a bibelot that every true born Ch'Ihll must wear as a mark of their lineage and their secret servitude to their patron Daemon-God Arioch Ch'Ihll, from whom the Dynasty derives their name. Cynath wears the ancient Lorica of Lost Nagarythe, as worn by the Kings of old before the Sundering. The armour is wrought with painstakingly beautiful fashion, the minutiae of which tells the history of the Elvish race. Scenes of the Birth, the enslavement by the Old Ones and the life of Aenerion play across the obsidian metal in silent repose, forever doomed to enact the triumphs and tragedies of the great Elvish civilization. The Strangers Smile is a helm that contains the lingering essence of a long dead deity that allows Cynath to dream strange dreams of the forgotten Pantheon.
The final hierloom of the Ch'Ihll House the Black Prince wields is the Dark Sister, Mother's Woe, otherwise spoken of as The Tear of Khaine. This long sword is Nagarythe steel, a rare breed of weapon owned only by a few houses in Naggaroth and Ulthan. This ancient heirloom of the Ch'Ihll house was created in the first age, before the coming of Chaos and has ended the lives of traitors, kings, thieves and heroes.With it, the Black Prince sings a song of ruin in the Northern wastes at the head of a private army drawn from the house retainers and nobles of infamous repute.
I've owned the base of the model since I was twelve years old. Cynath has been known as Kharn Heartbreaker, Kharn Darkstar, but I finally settled on the name Cynath after reading the rune in an old High Elf army book. In the old tongue, Cynath means 'chill, silence, loneliness, fear of death' - all very appealing themes to a child indulging in a little fatalistic narcism (as an aside I also found this which was a little weird). In retrospect, this was a good name to pick, as it isn't really a name at all, but functions as a noun in the Elven language. The bastard born prince is undeserving of a name and so is simply branded with an ill fated nomenclature.
The miniature is one of Jes Goodwin's classics (original can be found here) and I fell in love with sculpt as soon as I saw it. I decided on a Dark Elf army based on the Darkblade series of comic books and my first few conversions were heavily influences by this character.
The painting is the culmination of study into NMM, TMM and contrast that I've been practicing for the past year. I love the work of Georc and I have tried to emulate the NMM of the black to be noticeably different to the black of his cloak. I knew this model would be very dark and monochromatic and I was terrified it would look boring. Black can easily end up looking dull and un-interesting, so I decided to paint the armour as if it were highly polished, using blues to bring out the sheen. I used yellows, beige and colours closer red on the colour spectrum on the cloth to make the two blacks look different.
I used carmine (more red than purple) as a spot colour on the ring, the tear on the sword and the Prince's eyes. Cynath's skin is quite pallid, with undertones of blue and purple - he's an aristocrat of Naggaroth and needed to be quite pale. The white hair is nod to Elric Stormbringer, the hero of Moorcok's Eternal Champion series whom this character was influenced by.
The base is special built using a GW cavalry base and three 25mm bases. I found the standard cavalry base to be inadequate for Gamezone's beast of a Cold One. Although I'm a little worried about using this larger base on the battlefield, aesthetically, I'm glad I re-mounted the lord and the cavalry on Gamezone's version of the Cold One (Cynath's mount is called Venura by the way). GW's plastic version is smaller than the standard horse and is even smaller than the Fenrisian wolves (which I used for my dark riders). That would not strike fear into the hearts of my enemies. These mounts will. I'm not sure if it is too clear from the photographs but I've modeled clear spittle on Venura's maw. A extra detail for those careful enough to look.
A labour of love leading a force that is another labour of love.
Now to unleash some hate upon the world!