It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
Kills me to look on’t.Dramaturge Shakespire.
The Age of Darkness (approx. 004.M31 – 014.M31) spawned many terrors to the universe. The nascent Imperium convulsed in the fires of the Horus Heresy, emptying vast resources of munitions, manpower, archeotech, and most vitally – Astartes. It became apparently early on that disrupting the supply of new aspirants to the legions would be of vital importance, and so too, would be the renewal of forces.
Experiments into speeding up the Astartes program yielded mixed results. Flash indoctrination, muscle grafts, and gene seed manipulation produced a generation of warriors that would only know how to kill their kin in the throes of civil war. They were children ripped from the arms of their mothers, to be bred and die in a conflict in the stars, for reasons beyond their ken.
One of the most frequently seen Blackshield forces of this time were the Terror Cells. A veteran legionnaire would leave their legion, develop a cadre of Astartes to disrupt supply lines, slaughter civilian populations, and identify targets of their own choosing that would further thier aims with minimal loss.
The Quintessence, a Sons of Horus Battle Barge captured after the siege of Terra had a wealth of information concerning such cells, and is the only confirmed record of a figure known to posterity as ‘El Cid’.
‘You have been saved. You were criminals. Slaves. You were the forgotten. You were not loved, you were not wanted. You were to lead litte lives, like rats scrambling and dying in the dark.
I have invested you with strength absolute. I have armed you with steel, armoured you in iron. Revel in your strength. Take your pleasures from the universe that cared nothing for you.’El Cid opening address to newly elevated Astartes.
Responsible for fostering Terror Cells IVIII (Jaculus), VIIX (Leiurus Uuinquestriatus) and XVII (Basilisk). Unknown parent legion. Believed to be a half Astartes due to his diminutive nature.
I’m a sucker for Charlton Heston films. My dad loved them, and I grew up with classics such as Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments and of course: Eld Cid! Yes I know he’s a crazy gun nut, but by damn can, that guy sell a line.
This started as a Knight Errant conversion. I wanted to create a future El Cid – a figure of inspiration, of fearlessness and heroism. However, after sculpting him he took on a dark inflection. My Blackshield project was developing alongside my usual commission work, and I knew he would fit in alongside them.
The model is quite small, so I decided early on that he would be a half Astartes like Kor Phaeron or Luther. The model itself is a mixture of the MKII command squad, the Crimson Scorpion command set, and the head of a Clawed fiend.
I’ll make sure to upload the entirety of the Blackshield project as they are painted. HAppy painting all!