Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fifteen fanatical female flagellants...

...  furiously flourish flails from farms fringing forests far from fens...

Swing out, sisters! OK, there are actually sixteen of them...

The thing about a game with army lists is that, you tend to want to have figures for all the units on the list.

As a Warhammer (The) Empire player, one of the units I've always thought would be fun to field was the flagellants - a bunch of flail-swinging, self-flagellating fanatics who look like they were based on the Seinfeld character Kramer.

However, as my army is based on a Wars of the Roses theme, I couldn't think of a way to incorporate them into my army - curiously, the flagellant movement, popular for a time in Europe, never caught on in England.

Still reluctant to give up altogether, I googled around for some flail-wielding figures and came to the Kingmaker site. There I found some figures which I have not noticed on my previous: Hussite women. The all wear hoods over their heads, which gives them a rather nun-like appearance. And of course, they wield flails!

It was not long before I came up with the fluff for a unit of fearless female fanatics for my army. I imagined them to be the widows of soldiers who died in battle, banding together in their common grief and seeking either revenge or rest in battle. Their dress would have to be black, as befitting of widows, and they would be nicknamed The Black Widows.

As an all-black garb will make the unit appear too dull, I thought I might give them a badge of sorts based on the markings on a real black widow spider. And wouldn't you know it, the black widow spider has a red hourglass shaped marking on its abdomen.

It occurred to me that the marking also resembles a chalice, which was an emblem used by the Hussites! We have come full circle.

So there you have it: I have a unit of black-clad warrior-women called the Black Widows, made up of figures of Hussite women and bearing the Hussite emblem.

I think I will make them an order of nuns, perhaps the Sisters of the Order of the Chalice, although they are more often called The Black Widows or the Sisters of Little Mercy by other people.

I have ordered an additional figure which I hope will make a suitable leader for them. Stay tuned.

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