Wednesday 21 February 2024

Devilry Afoot - How will you wendigo...?

When it came to adding a North American monster to Devilry Afoot's book of monsters, there was only ever one obvious choice; the wendigo. The big question, was how to represent one on the table.

Wendigos, also known as windikouk, atchen and kewok among other names, are cursed, cannibalistic revenants found among the Algonquin nations. Their badly-lived lives have left them tormented in death with a hunger that can never be fulfilled. Although they are able to take on many forms, a wendigo is forever emaciated; standing grotesquely tall, its frame is draped in tattered, frost-covered skin They stalk their human prey consumed with ravenous appetite, however, with each meal their frame grows larger forcing them to hunt and feed again.

The standard wargaming trope is to have a creature with a deer or moose head. While the look is quite iconic, as far as I can tell it seems to be based on a Hollywood manifestation of a wendigo rather than anything coming from traditional beliefs. 

Wanting to be as 17th century accurate as I could be, I opted for this oversized ghoul from Heresy Miniatures. Admittedly he doesn't look huge next to the Bloody Miniatures figure in the top picture, but Bloody Miniatures are big boys themselves. He should probably be bigger and more rangy; maybe he hasn't been feeding much recently? The feral pointed years and sinewy body go some way to fitting the bill though.

I tried to paint him as sympathetically as possible, with a warmer than usual skin tone (a curious choice for a frozen wendigo?), Algonquin inspired warpaint, and scraps of buckskin clothing. Presumably he's wielding a moose femur as a war club, because that bone is massive!

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