Hot on the heals of the Malifaux Masters series I wanted to scratch another little itch of the community. Both on the Facebook group 'A Wyrd Place', as questions on Twitter and real life, I've been asked a few times what the fluff is for [Insert Model Here]. I should add that 'fluff' is a commonly used term for 'background story' in video games, tabletop wargames or other media where the 'history' is fictional.
In answer to these questions, I thought if do a very quick rundown of the models in each Arsenal Pack as a very quick and basic look at who they are, and where they're from. These blog entries in no way compete to actually reading the full background of each character (found in Malifaux, Rising Powers, Twisting Fates, Storm of Shadows, and Malifaux 2nd Edition). Those books also contain wonderfully written stories and little snippets of information about the world itself.
Anyways, starting with my Faction of choice, The Arcanists; here's Wave 1!
Dragged to Malifaux to serve in labor camps as punishment for an Earthside crime, Rasputina escapes and flees into the wilderness where she meets a being known only as 'December'. Though nobody knows what pact she makes, Rasputina returns with the ability to manipulate the weather - specifically snow, ice and winds. After a run in with Lilith, Rasputina gets her arse handed to her but is summarily rescued by Ramos, Marcus and Myranda. As thanks, Rasputina throws her lot in with the Arcanists, then gets captured by the Guild after a run-in with Seamus where she gets her arse handed to her again. She's dragged to Kythera where December shows up and is subsequently slain. Rasputina gains control of the wild tribes that worship December as she is the woman the prophecies speak of.
Once a professor, Marcus studied the plants and animals of Malifaux, originally blending them together with a form of magic called Chimerancy. Eventually Marcus learned to commune with the animals and used primal magic to restore himself to youth before fleeing into the wilderness to be one with the beasts. He answers if the Arcanists call but ultimately only serves himself and the wilds.
A visionary genius, Dr Victor Ramos is the President of the Miners & Steamfitters Union (M&SU), a workers rights group that acts as the legitimate front of the Arcanists. Ramos uses the M&SU as a front for his crime syndicate to wage a war of rebellion against the Guild and it's agents.
Slightly obsessed with spiders and Arachnids, Old Man Ramos is a tinkerer who loves to build and repair things. His timely arrival at Kythera with a massive walking spider-like battle tank called the Leviathan saved the day by blowing the machinery to bits.
Marcus' mate/lover and a shapeshifter who is able to change just small bits if he body if she wishes or can fully shift into the giant monsters of Malifaux. She's also picking up on Marcus' ability to control animals.
From tribal origins, Joss is Ramos' bodyguard. Originally he wielded two horrendously powerful axes but after a run in with Rasputina, he loses a hand which Ramos kindly replaces with a massive fist.
A giant angry gorilla that Marcus couldn't tame, but made an agreement with instead. Cojo doesn't attack Marcus or his allies, and Marcus supplies Cojo with plenty of toys to beat up.
Constructs of ice made by Rasputina. They're not very smart but have their used. Ice Golems supply brute force and strength, the Gamin, though smaller are annoying little bastards whom she can channel her powers through and can still hurt by sheer weight of numbers.
A manifestation of need and hunger, (not surprising since Rasputina is the Avatar of Hunger) and is intrinsically linked to December. Likes to eat things whole.
A horned rabbit with razor sharp teeth that just refuses to die. Marcus keeps it around to try and replicate the whole 'not dying' trick and presumably to annoy the hell out of his enemies.
Another one of Ramos' spider creations (and this one actually has the prerequisite number of limbs!) the Brass Arachnid is a support construct that restarts other constructs. It's also a mental reminder of the struggle Ramos has gone through to get to where he is today. D'aww.
Big fans of this December dude since he lured them out of the city and into the mountains then 'rescued' then from freezing to death. They now are pretty messed up puppies that enjoy sacrifice, cannibalism and the colour grey. As allies of the M&SU, they're often used as ambushers.
Floating mechanical jellyfish/spiders that have an annoying/useful propensity to explode. Essentially, what Ramos does when he's bored.
Tiny mountain cats that tend to hunt in packs. Rasputina has one as a pet, other Arcanist masters like to utilise packs of these poor suckers as fodder.
An unfortunate ex-miner who happened to have an accident the day Ramos was visiting only to be whisked away and rebuilt using technologies described in ancient documents that Ramos found lying in some of Malifaux's ruins. Seems legit. As Howard had no family, Ramos turned him into a five-bladed-legged killing machine.
Originally created by Mei Feng, these are living creatures made of metal. About as intelligent as a dog, they follow simple commands but forget that they're made of razor sharp metal and instead tend to hit things with whatever's handy. Mei Feng traded the secret of their construction to Ramos but nobody knows why. Except Ramos. And Mei Feng. Presumably.
Freakish subterranean half-men half-miles created by Marcus' Chimerancy. Probably made from young miners that go suspiciously missing during "Guild raids". Make great spies.
As the Ice Golem is to Ice Gamin, the Rail Golem is to Metal Gamin. Big, strong, made of metal, self aware, and with a propensity for caving in skulls wth lengths of iron rail, the Rail Golems are built by Mei Feng for Ramos as workers and protection. Ultimately though, they all answer to her.
Ironically silent giant snakes that, whilst being venomous, tend to kill more thanks to the size of their teeth. Marcus likes them so much he hasn't even seen fit to modify them.
A three headed mountain tiger made by Marcus - though as it's apparently very difficult to control due to having three minds, one must ask oneself why he would bother. On a hunt the three heads actually work together and make it a potent killing machine. Oh, that's why.
Ramos' main output for his mechanical spider fetish. Prone to exploding.
Master of the fire of the forge Mei Feng, like Ramos, likes to build things. Unlike Ramos, she likes to help her Rail Workers for free (well, in return for loyalty) and her creations are more alive than Ramos' inventions. She's supposed to be working for the Ten Thunders but she's notoriously rebellious and likes to mess them around - just because. She's very charismatic, so her crew tend to do what she says without any questions.
Technically not an Arcanist but Kang is a very intelligent hugely muscled dude whom everybody seems to respect and he's infallibly loyal to Mei Feng.
Mei Feng can manipulate the forge to create Rail Golems and Metal Gamin, but sometimes she can just manipulate the fire as well. It follows her around until she can work out a use for it, from powering machines to toasting s'mores.
When a worker loses a limb (apparently surprisingly common) they can either enter a lifetime of debt with the Guild for a replacement or get one free from Mei Feng in return for absolute loyalty. Confusing, as in Storm of Shadows, they were apparently endebted to the Union, not the Guild. Apparently the Guild assumed they weren't oppressive enough so stole the Union's Health Plan.
Well, that's wave one Arcanists! Which Wave One Faction should I do next? Answers in the comments or on Twitter!