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Friday, January 23, 2015

Tarja and Shashenka: Kurganova Yagas

 So.. here I was painting up Tarja and Shashenka, two of the Kurganova Yagas,  when I was inspired (probably by the very personality driven sculpts) to write up a bit of background fluff to guide me on my themes!  So.. here are Tarja and Shashenka and a close encounter with One Shot Blondie.

One Shot Blondie stopped short and held up a fist.  The pack of children known affectionately as "The Lulus" stopped instantly and in complete silence.  Blondie had been their guardian and commander since before the evacuation.  She wasn't effusive, and rarely spoke other than to tell one of the kids..."its gonna be all right sweetie"  The Lulus loved Blondie and hung on every word, every gesture, so  it was no surprise when the typically precocious gaggle of children froze like statues at Blondie's signal.  Blondie scanned the woods with a sniper's critical eye and whispered to the only other adult in the group..."Yagas... Bernie keep them here."  Nurse Bernadette nodded in silence.  She'd keep The Lulus here for five minutes and then fall back to the rally point.  In these haunted woods rally points were frequently noted and she'd likely run into Mimi the Radio on that interval.  If Blondie wasn't back in five they'd need some help.

Trusting the Lulus to "Mad" Nurse Bernadette Blondie ghosted forward.  In spite of the pink Minnie Mouse ears that she referred to as "Neko Mimi"  and the loud colors that she wore to cheer up the Lulus, Blondie practically vanished from sight when on the hunt.  It was one of the tricks that she was teaching the Lulus, and one that they derived endless pleasure from, Bernadette put a rubber gloved finger to her lips, stifling the collective gasp of amazement that Blondie's vanishing act was certain to provoke, then chopped her hand quickly downward.  The Lulus performed their own vanishing act.  It wasn't as instantaneous or dramatic as the one their mentor was famed for... but it was fast, quiet and thorough.  Fifteen seconds later the only person visible to the casual glance was Nurse Bernadette.  She was sitting on a fallen tree as the focus and bait to complete the Lulus' camouflage... this was the sort of thing that had earned her the title "Mad" and the very sort of thing madness that was required to earn the trust Blondie placed in her.  The Lulus would be safe until Blondie returned or Bernadette wouldn't have to worry about answering for it.

Some of the other Jailbirds whispered that Blondie was a Psyker with a chameleon ability.  The Jailbirds had no real psykers of their own and the idea that Blondie might be augmenting her famous skills with some witchcraft was quietly popular among the outcast Jailbirds.  Fortunately for the Jailbirds the gossip held a grain of truth.  Blondie had mad skills... really good trade-craft... and she was a null.  Being a null made her odd and off putting.  She didn't mix with the unit she supported other than with the Lulus and Bernadette.  She just felt wrong.  Most people chalked that feeling up to the immense body count that the notorious "One-Shot Blondie" had racked up.  No one was that efficient a killer without paying a price.  The upside to being a null was that real psykers could not sense her.  She was invisible to Witch Sight, and many psykers relied almost exclusively on Witch Sight in the field, while conversely Blondie could 'feel' the presence of psykers herself.  She'd honed this ability over time and could track her prey with precision.

Stalking her prey Blondie moved silently, but at speed, fixing on her targets.  "Yeah" she thought "targets..."  One Yaga was bad... two was a nightmare...  and these two felt familiar.  Yagas were the Kurganova house psykers.  They tended to manifest elemental powers within the family.  Earth, Air, Fire, Water.  The current slate was full with four masters led by the immortal Baba Yaga who could use any elemental power and aslo manifested Death Magic.  If core Yagas were here, instead of lesser 'trash' witches, Blondie needed to know it.

Coming to a halt she saw a unit of Kurganova Storm Troopers setting up tents for the night.  Through her scope she searched the camp for sign of the Yagas.  It didn't take long to find them.

"They are close!"  shouted Shashenka, punctuating her ire with a burst of flame that seemingly leapt from her yellow eyes.  Shasenka was the famously hot tempered, Pure Blood, Kurganova Household Firestarter... a psyker and Master of Flame.
"...and they will still be close in the morning sister." came the measured, icy, response of Tarja the Water Witch. Tarja was the elder sister and was tired of Shashenka's displays.  "We will rest tonight... we will rest here... and we will rest now." she hissed then spun on her heel and stalked toward her tent.

One-Shot Blondie sat completely motionless.  She decided that taking down Tarja would be the best option.  Shashenka was impulsive and would descend into a blind rage and pursue Blondie...  allowing  Blondie to kill her in short order.  Having determined a course of action Blondie lined up a shot on the Water Witch... then the Howling began...

Blondie froze... as did everyone in the Kurganova camp... That was a hunting howl...  one of the Kurganova Werewolves was on the hunt... three more howls voiced together... shit!  it was a pack!

Blondie moved with fluid grace and trained speed.  The hunting pack would keep the Yagas contained for the night but the Lulus were the likely target of the pack.  Blondie would make sure that the wolves had other things to worry about and trust Bernie to find Mimi and call in the cavalry.

It was gonna be a long night.

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