Monday 3 February 2020

Mad Juditta

Hi All,

I painted another sister!

Sister Juditta Rosenkrantz was born in Pfeildorf the second daughter of Mattheus Rosenkrantz, a wealthy wool merchant and Ludmilla Von Leitdorf, disgraced daughter of the Seneschal of Averland. Having inherited much of her mother’s troublesome character, Juditta’s unruliness and savage manners plagued her family reputation since her most tender age. Her cruel childish pranks against the household servitude and her violent tempers became the subject of many tavern stories in the province, and neither her parents nor her tutors could put an end to her vicious rampages. At the age of seven she drowned her cousin’s pet dog and then asked the cook to serve it to the inconsolable boy for supper. On her thirteenth birthday she stole the prayer’s book from Sigmar’s temple and scribbled prophanities all over it. When she was later confronted by the furious priest she defended her actions declaring that Sigmar was a warrior, not a scholar and that He did not waste His time with books and prayers.
Always her family wealth and position shielded her from the consequences of her wrongdoing and she grew spoilt and ill mannered to the point of local dignitaries avoiding visiting her father’s shops for fear of becoming entangled in one of her cruel amusements.
Though her behaviour always troubled her parents, the last straw came when, at the age of fifteen, Juditta fell for a bretonnian troubadour and fled with him. When her father’s men reached the two fugitives in Helmgart they were about to cross the Axe Bite Pass and reach Montfort.
She was not returned home to her family this time. Her father, tired of her abuses, had decided that Juditta was to become somebody else’s problem. She was delivered, screaming and biting, to the gates of the Rock in Mordheim, where she was forced to take her vows as a Novice of the order of the Sisters of Sigmar.
Countless nights of vigil, ritual purifications and corporeal punishments followed but with every crack of the whip Juditta seemed to grow more spiteful and unruly. Her escape attempts were all thwarted but she never gave up and kept taking every opportunity she could to plant seeds of discord and rebellion amongst the sisterhood, a terrible influence on the other novices on whom she seemed to have a strong ascendancy.
When the comet appeared above the city, burning brighter and brighter every day, Juditta had been in Mordheim for almost two years but still showed no sign of repentance. While the population of the city gathered to celebrate the return of the God-King and abandoning themselves to all sort of decadent indulgement, the Sisterhood was called to pray in the temple as the prophet Cassandora had forseen a terrible calamity.
Seeing her chance of evasion Juditta took advantage of her sisters distraction and slip past their surveillance and out of the walls of the convent. Once in the city, free from her pious jailers, Juditta joined the wild celebrations, dancing for hours, embracing strangers of every rank and laughing like she never laughed in her life. Finally, for the first time in her life, she was free to be herself. That was the best night of her life.
Then the comet struck.
What followed the impact is shrouded in the myth and has already been confined to the darkest pages in the Empire's history books. After three days of fire and madness finally the whole city fell quiet, a chilling silence as cold as a witch grave. That night a naked and bloody figured knocked at the gates of the Rock. Impossibly, against all odds, Juditta had survived. She was not the same though, as her sisters soon discovered. Whatever she saw amongst the ruins had left a deep scar and the girl was now haunted by feverish visions of unspeakable doom. As soon as she recovered the power of speech she asked the Matriarchs to accept her within the ranks. Though initially reticent, they eventually acknowledged her survival as a sign from Sigmar: surely the God-King had some plans for the young woman.
While madness swathed the Empire and hordes of treasure seekers reached the infamous City of the Damned, the Sisterhood got busy: cleaning the ruins from evil and corruption was a near impossible task but one Sister Juditta threw herself in with wild abandonment. Her Sisters, initially unsettled by her constant mumbling and wild eyes, grew to admire her fervour in battle. Juditta blossomed from a young and spoilt noblewoman to a hard warrior who was also capable of inspiring her Sisters to acts of reckless heroism. While some of the Matriarchs still see her as a dangerous influence on younger minds, Mother Romhilda has decided to invite Juditta to join her ranks and even promoted her above her sisters a a Superior.
In the eyes of Romhilda, Juditta has the potential of a great martyr as the lines that separates faith and madness is often very thin.

Here she is, an ancestor of Count Marius Leitdorf suffering from a similar affection. She is essentially mad as a box of frogs.

While painting her I tried to stick to the same colour scheme I chose for my warband but pushing the details a bit more: the robes are painted with a slight stippling and the use of some Contrast (Wyldwood) for the first time on this warband.
Work has already started on the Matriarch, Romhilda Wasserlosen, and I hope to share some progress with you in the ext days.



  1. Incredible work. Love your vision of the Sisters so far.

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