Shadow Stalker. Pack alpha. Leader of the hunt. Bravest of the tribe. Proudest of the forest's keepers. He and his people had lived in the forests near the abyss for many, many winters, tracking the unnatural and keeping Nature's sacred places clean of abyssal infection.
In recent years, however, the abyssal presence grew too strong, pushing his tribe and Nature's other protectors back and forcing them to find other homes. Shadow Stalker and his pack fought a rear guard, helping the others escape, and losing many in the process. Distraught at the losses his tribe was suffering and angry at himself for being unable to protect more of them, by the time they were clear the pack was reduced to four. Abandoning the rest of Nature's cohort in shame, Shadow Stalker settled his pack in a new forest nestled around the base of some mountains. There they stayed for a few seasons, making a small home. Unnatural things occasionally wandered by; not abyssal, but deathly. Human corpses walking in the night. Pale purple humans with black eyes and rotten breath skittering to and fro. The tribe was small, but strong, and was easily able to dispatch those infrequent interlopers.
Yet Shadow Stalker was not happy here. He no longer took joy in the hunt, and became sullen and fickle. his tribe were losing their respect in him, and the guilt of his failure to keep his people safe was hanging heavy around his shoulders. Eventually he decided he could not help his tribe the way he was. With no word to his packmates, Shadow Stalker left in the pre-dawn haze for a spirit quest into the mountains. He hoped to find a way to reconnect with Nature's essence, to assuage his guilt of losing so many. Was he the leader they needed, or deserved?
On the third night there came a terrible storm. As he pushed through the blasting wind, sleet like razors cut and slashed at his face. Eventually he saw an orange glow ahead, and he made his way towards it. It was a cave, bathed in warm firelight. Inviting. Calming. Cautiously he entered the chamber. Within he saw a man covered in a cloak of many different small furs, seated on the opposite side of a large fire. The flickering flames made shadows dance and skip across the man, making his furs seem animated. His face old and creased, a grey beard of many decades swept down from his chin. Shadow Stalker could feel the touch of Nature about this man, and he knew he had found a Druid.
The Druid knew Shadow Stalker as one of Nature's own, and beckoned the wolfman in to sit by his fire. For many hours they sat in silence, until dawn broke the storm and the sun pushed over the horizon. It was only then, in the light, that the Druid spoke. He could see the turmoil in the alpha's heart, and spoke of Nature's will. He wasn't a failure leading his people out from the abyssal armies and losing some people along the way. It was his duty as a leader. Yet where he did fail was in leaving his pack alone now. The Druid reached forward and touched the werewolf's forehead. A short vision burst behind his eyes, of something flitting through their grove (see the Werewolf Unit Showcase). Rage flared in Shadow Stalker once more. This Druid had wasted a whole night before telling him this! Dark Kyron grinned deep in Shadow Stalker's heart. You've been betrayed! He's left your tribe to die! There was a flash of claws, and the Druid's surprised eyes glazed over, his blood hissing and sizzling where it had sprayed across the fire. Shadow Stalker turned to leave, and noticed something shining against the back wall. Examining it, he saw it was armour off a horse. Barding from a Brotherhood knight's mount. He picked it up, and could feel the power emanating from it. How it came to be here he didn't know, yet as he held it to himself, parts of it flexed and wrapped around him. Taking his enchanted armour, Shadow Stalker left the cave and scurried down the mountain. He needed to get back to his tribe.
He's a Privateer Press metal Feral Warpwolf from Hordes, possibly now out of production? He came up second hand in a local trade group, and I really liked the model so picked him up. A basic flat black enamel spray undercoat went badly as I didn't shake the can nearly enough and it just pooled everywhere. I washed off the paint while wet (ugh, bad idea too). Eventually got him tidy and just built up the grey using Warcolours Cool Grey 3, washing with a Citadel Nuln Oil. Fur got drybrushed in Army Painter Zombicide Light Denim (a light blue grey). The wound on his shoulder is because most of the spines are glue on separate parts, and I was having a shocker of a time getting them to stick and stay in. In addition, because he was so heavy being all metal I dropped him a few times while painting him. So on the third drop a spine popped off, and I gave up trying to get it back on, instead painting the mounting hole as a wound.
I run the Lykanis as a flanker with my Werewolves. He's basically some medium cavalry with the manoeuvrability of light cavalry. Running him with Ensorcelled Armour makes him able to shake off light missile fire, breath weapons and lightning bolts, letting him get close enough to disorder them to prevent further firing. His Inspiring on Werewolves mean I like to keep them close to him as well, combining charges, preferably with one or the other getting around the sides to flank the enemy.