I had hopes of sharing Hand of Silence with you today, but alas I haven’t had as much time at the painting table this week as I’d have liked. His horse is almost done, so there’s that at least! The Reclaimant Order is one of my favorite subsects of the Protectorate of Menoth. No other group in the faction exudes such an enigma, to me. The High Reclaimer was one of the first four Protectorate Warcasters way back in Mk1, along with Kreoss, Severius and Feora. The other three all set out to embody the Protectorate’s themes of anti-magic and fire, but the High Reclaimer came out with something else – a gatekeeper between the living and the dead.
Every faction in Warmachine and Hordes has its subgroups, but the bulk – the vast bulk – are groups with different military application. The Reclaimant Order is almost unique in that their primary function, while certainly having battlefield application, isn’t one of war. Their role is to usher the souls of the dead and dying into Urcaen. They’re funerary priests, and even though the most recent fiction shows how little mercy the Reclaimers can have in the zealous fulfilment of their duties (I have no illusions about most Menites being jerks virtually devoid of compassion), the Hand of Silence represented in Of Dust And Ash wasn’t headed onto a battlefield, into a warzone, but rather to an an otherwise peaceful (if beset by a sandstorm) village.
It’s elements like this that really draw me into the character of a model. Sure, your RPG character is a kick-ass taker of names and chewer of bubblegum, but what made him start adventuring? What does he do in his downtime, if any? The exemplars, the flameguard – these are models who are purpose-built for combat. Reclaimers? They’re ushering the souls of the departed into Urcaen, it just happens that in the process they can use the energy released to make obscuring clouds and stuff.
Back to the High Reclaimer. Aside from the sheer enigma of someone leading an army while operating under a vow of silence (the same conundrum that makes me love Black Bolt as king of the Inhumans), his evolution to becoming the Testament is one of the most epic tales in the Iron Kingdoms. For many other characters, the difference between their versions is a promotion, aging, mutation, or heck, they just got a new ride. The High Reclaimer tapped into Ancient Greek myth, entered the underworld while still living, waded through a horde of hungry, twisted souls that I imagine was something like that scene from the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie with all the gribblies that only had half a head, and basically found the Ark of the Covenant and brought the original stone Ten Commandments back with him. Now with the Omegus he’s the arbiter of souls in a game where multiple factions rely on them to fuel their abilities. He’s still enigmatically silent, but now he’s even more badass.
Then there’s the Reclaimers. Well, Reclaimer Gatekeepers. Their role has changed a little on the table since their earlier incarnations. They don’t fuel warjacks with souls anymore, but now they’re actual Jack Marshals, which is a real boon for some of the lower focus Warcasters of the Protectorate. Someone to sit back and run the Redeemer is handy. They can still put up their 3″ self-centered smokescreen, but they can also grant Ashen Veil and, more importantly, Future Sight. Reclaimers were always something of a support solo, as they wandered through the lines of infantry reciting litanies of the grave and planting markers, but with Glimpse Of Fate working on any model – not just warjacks – the potential to up your Focus-spending efficiency has increased. At this point I’d like to mention that you can totally play a Reclaimer in the IKRPG, though it will make for some real challenges in roleplaying.
Hand of Silence is, of course, the latest member of the Reclaimant Order to hit the tabletop, and yes, I will make a separate post once I’m finished painting him. A 19″ threat range with an assaulting, boostable flamethrower spray is a pretty amazing thing. Like the Testament, he can hamper enemy models collecting souls, and he can use those he collects himself to boost, buy extra melee attacks (more auto-fire!) or to actually fuel warjacks in the same manner the Reclaimers used to. Of course, this does mean that he could funnel souls into a warjack marshaled by a less horse-based Reclaimer…
I’m hanging out for the day Privateer opens up the Monastery of the Order of the Fist and releases trainee initiates and other kicky monk variants, but for now? The expansion of the Reclaimant Order makes me happy.