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Easterling Warriors for HoTDQ

My group and I recently started the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, a 5th edition D&D adventure path. The PCs are facing the Cult of the Dragon, and Games Workshops Easterling Warriors proved to be ideal miniatures for the cult.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen

5th edition D&D is starting the new life-cylce with an epic transmedia storyline in the Forgotten Realms setting (which is still my favorite)! Tyranny of Dragons is an epic campaign, where a dark cult (the Cult of the Dragon) gets a new leadership and abandons its old ways of worshipping undead dragons in favor of living dragons. Their new goal is to release Tiamat, the goddess of evil chromatic dragons, from her prison within the nine hells and bring forth a new age of dragons.

Tiamat – goddess of evil dragons

The storyline is advanced with novels, comics, video games (as expansion pack to the MMO Neverwinter) and of course with the pen and paper adventure path. However, the Tyranny of Dragons will be finished by March 2015. I really don’t think that we’ll be through by then, but there is no need to rush. The first official adventure book is called “Hoard of the Dragon Queen” and it follows the PCs as they try to prevent the Cult of the Dragon to amass a huge treasure hoard for their dragon goddess. It is really fun to DM. I also enjoy to read the blogs of other dungeon masters, writing about their group and their exploits in HotDQ. They also feature a ton of ressources, erratas and new ideas to enhance the story.

The first game session starts with the PCs entering a village which is under attack from the cultists and their blue dragon ally. As I wanted to have miniatures for all major fights in the game, I needed dragon cultists from the very beginning of the campaign.

The Beginning of "Hoard of the Dragon Queen"
The Beginning of “Hoard of the Dragon Queen”

Miniatures for the Cult of the Dragon

When preparing for the new adventure, I read up on the Cult of the Dragon and found lots of nice concepts for their appearance. Some lower ranking cultists just wear normal commoner’s clothes, while others wear robes. The higher ranking cultists wear a combination of leather, scale mail, chain or plate armor and wide cloaks or cloth items.

The officers of the cult are called ‘wearers of purple’ and have a  purple-gold-black color scheme. The rest of the cult likes to wear black and grey, which is kind of boring in my opinion. They also often wear masks in the rough shape of dragons (see image to the right).

Some bloggers covering their take on HotDQ endorsed the idea of the cult having five different factions within, each representing one type of chromatic dragon and head of Tiamat (red, black, white, blue, and green). Cultists from each faction look and behave differently, possibly by embracing their specific type of dragon much more than the others.


So when I was looking for fitting miniatures for the game, I wanted the ‘cannon fodder’ minis to have some variation, but they also had to be cheap. As I was very happy with the Lord of the Rings miniatures from Games Workshop in the past, I found the Easterling Warriors to be very fitting for the Cult of the Dragon. They wear scale mail armor and lots of cloth pieces and have helmets that could resemble dragon masks. Also, the box includes four miniatures with sword and shield, four with bows and two with spear and shield for about 25 Euros, which was the kind of deal I was looking for.

The miniatures came in plastic blisters and had to be assembled first. I still had some pieces of older Games Workshop Uruk-Hai warriors as well as some bits with heads laying arround. So I wanted to use these spare parts to create additional cultists and swapped out some parts for more variation. The uruks looked very beastlike, so I used some green stuff to model fur capes and long beards for them. These minis would be used as white dragon cultists with thick clothing and such.

The next couple of posts will focus on each of the cultist factions and show you how the minis turned out in the end. There are some pictures below to give you a first glimpse.