Silvanus Surprise!

In 2010, I had just moved to a new city and my social life involved interacting with people at my new job (doesn't count) and talking to my dog when I got home (definitely doesn't count). I was bored, so my then-boyfriend suggested we start a tabletop RP game with a few of his buddies. It took awhile for him to convince me to play, but I finally agreed, knowing I'd be the oddball of the group. Each of his friends had experience with Warhammer 40k and/or had played DnD way back in the day. That first game session, I stumbled through feeling like an idiot trying to pretend to make a glorified Monopoly board marker come to life. I still suck at tabletop role-playing but that's not the point of this story.

After our 4th edition party, one of the guys said, "Hey I know a friend who'd totally be into this" and we suggested he bring him along next time. Enter Silvanus. (No, not the guy-- his player character). When we met the next time, a new character was written into our group's story: Silvanus Kaz'Ironoak. Matt, his engineer, rolls in with a full backstory, completed character sheet, organizational notebook, and fancy dice rolling apps. Whenever we'd freeze up during the campaign, we'd all look to Matt/Silvanus, who carried us through many an encounter. In fact, here's a small portion of Silvanus' well-crafted backstory (I did some frankensteining to shorten it a bit): 

Silvanus is a male minotaur warden... Silvanus’s parents belonged to a nomadic minotaur tribe that ranges the Dragon Coast, sometimes referred to as “The Twilight that Runs.” ... An extremely proud tribe, the Twilight is descended from a mating pair of ebon black minotaurs that left the Underdark several hundred years ago... they take honor in their dark fur, feeling that it binds them to The Twilight that Runs.

According to minotaur birthing rituals, a woods witch was summoned to read the auspices accompanying Silvanus’s birth. A violent storm raged all through the night, building in fury... Upon seeing the calf’s stark white fur, the woods witched cursed him as a portent of destruction for the tribe and, at her insistence, Silvanus was left to die in the thick forests of the region.

It was not to be, however. The primal spirits attending the very storm that coincided with his birth were drawn by his emotional upheaval and took pity on him, marking him as their own. With time, their mission became his: to protect the natural world and help it thrive. Under the guidance of these spirits, Silvanus learned to draw on the strength of the earth beneath his feet, to become immovable, impassive and steadfast and to champion the needs of the wild.
— Excerpt from Silvanus' Backstory

Fast forward three-and-a-half years and Matt now lives in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, we've tried to incorporate Silvanus into our campaign via Skype, but then life happened and it was nearly impossible to get everyone in the same room at the same time. I got a text from Matt the other day asking if he left his Silvanus mini at our place the last time we all got together. Now that he has a new gaming group, I agreed to ship it to him-- that was two, three weeks ago? The first week, I forgot to bring it to the post office and felt horrible. But now I'm just stalling. No, I didn't lose his mini. In fact, he's safe & sound and ready to be shipped. However, I got this goofy idea in my head and ordered a new mini to surprise our friend with a newly painted version of Silvanus: 


While the Reaper "Bones" version of this model is less detailed and made out of plastic rather than pewter, it's not meant to replace his original mini-- just a surprise that I hope will make him smile when he discovers two minis in the mail instead of one. Here's what I started with yesterday:

WIP Wednesday July 2.JPG

And here's where I'm at today. 


Right now, I'm just trying to block out sections of the mini in gray liner and clean him up a bit. This miniature is inherently kind of angry looking and our Silvanus, despite his minotaur nature, is a pretty nice guy. Because of that I gave him blue eyes and nice teeth. Because everyone knows all heroes have nice teeth.

I'll continue to work on him later today and while I find painting Bones challenging for several reasons, I'm giving myself a goal to paint him to tabletop quality in a few short sessions & send him off to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday. For all I know, Matt's checking the mail every day waiting for him to come in-- better get back to painting!