Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Mischief, thou art afoot

Today I need to get something off my chest, I need to vent. I have been the victim of plots perpetrated by the forces of Chaos. Two different events, both of which are related to the writing of this blog.

The first incident took place during my attempt to write an earlier entry. The one about Gshtaad the Abomination. It was meant to be a profile of my homegrown Chaos God, acting as an introduction to my old Chaos Warrior miniatures.

But before I wrote it, I knew I wanted to start with a longer, more complicated entry, discussing my thoughts on Games Workshop's Chaos Pantheon. This was to be my argument for why I felt it was okay to invent a new god, and where this fictional deity would slot into the existing Warhammer mythology.

But I couldn't keep this piece short and it started to become a bit laboured. And not just laboured, it seemed to be a story that didn't want to be told. Midway through writing, when I was talking about the Chaos Gods appearing in both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, I realised I needed to discuss the relationship between these two games before I could go any further. So an additional post had to be written. Then, as I was writing the additional post, more ideas sprung up, meaning a single extra post was not enough. I had other things I needed to say, so I ended up having to write yet another entry.

But I never set out to write either of those two posts. Several thousand words just kind of appeared within me and forced their way out. I really only wanted to talk about the Chaos Pantheon, and its potentially missing Gods. 

But eventually I got back on to that story and started to make some decisive progress. In fact I was almost in sight of my goal, having written about three quarters of the article, when my computer's screen flashed ominously. Everything I had written so far disappeared before my eyes, and while I was messing with apple z an autosave overwrote any chance I had of retrieving an earlier copy. No matter what I did I couldn't get the article to come back. It wasn't saved anywhere else, and I was powerless to undo the damage.

It was my bad, for not keeping a backed-up copy of the article, but that didn't make the fact that I had to start all over again any easier to bear. Quite a few hours of writing and researching needed to be repeated from scratch, after a journey that had already ended up running into months.

The fault was entirely my own, so I did the only sensible thing open to me, and laid the blame firmly at the feet of the Chaos Gods.

Or their tentacles. Whatever.

Not at all how it happened, but a better image than the blank screen I was faced with

And it probably would have ended there, never to be mentioned again, had another event not unfolded just a few weeks later. This second story centres on the tribulations of constructing and painting a large terrain piece.

The piece in question was part of a modular town project I've been working on since I was at college. That means it's been ongoing for nearly twenty years. Except of course it hasn't been ongoing. It's been sitting on a shelf somewhere, forlorn and forgotten about.

The original idea was to build part of an Empire town that had been attacked and overrun by the forces of Chaos. The Chaos connection again.

It started out as a single model, but when I moved house it broke and I had to separate it into component parts. Then the colours that I had painted the first part in were withdrawn and a whole new range of paints released in their place. Then I moved again and the models went into deep storage for several years. When they came out they had suffered all kinds of damage. Eventually after all those years (and repairs and rebuilds and additions), I realised I had to just finish the project and draw a line under it. So I took a day off work and committed myself to finishing. I didn't finish. But I did enough to mean that I was able to wrap it up during the next few evenings. Eventually, a few weeks ago, I completed the whole thing. I reached for the spray varnish, but instead grabbed the black primer. A piece of terrain that I have quite literally been trying to complete for twenty years, got partially resprayed matt black at precisely the moment I thought I was crossing the finishing line.

And now, after repainting the damaged area and repairing the base, all those years after I first started, the terrain is finally complete.

But that's not quite the end of the story. There's an epilogue. Or maybe it's an epitaph? Because, with the release of Age of Sigmar a few months ago, in game terms the finished piece is now out-of-date. The Old World has been destroyed. The Empire and the Northern Wastes no longer exist. My little terrain project no longer has a place in the current continuity.

But I guess that's how Chaos works. Those pesky Chaos Powers. There's no order. No logic. Things happen randomly for no reason.

Or do they? Who knows? It's kind of impossible to tell when Chaos is involved.

No comments:

Post a Comment