No one forgets their first sight of the Hanging Tree. Everyone who crosses through the Breach can see it, where hanged men drift in the wind right in view from the train station. At the top of the Tree, beyond the reach of any man, hung Jack Daw. There are many legends of this mysterious corpse, which had been present since the reopening of the Breach.
The only thing certain is that Jack was not present in Malifaux during humanity's first time in the city. At first the legends merely dealt with his origins, wondering minds looking to explain the oddity. Since the incident at Kythera, however, the legends have taken a much darker turn.
One night, Jack went missing from his tree. This immediately prompted rumors and stories that filled every bar in the city. It didn't take long for the worry of the adults to infect the children, creating a haunting rhyme that became extremely popular for a time. It was around this time that the first stories from the Wastelands came back. Jack had been seen outside the city. At first the stories were of a simple specter, hanging on the edge of battlefields and watching. The stories quickly turned to talking about Jack leading a swarm of the dead, tearing apart towns in terrible fury.
Whatever drives Jack Daw to his rages, he takes them out on everyone nearby. He seems drawn to acts of betrayal, present at nearly every mutiny or insurrection of recent months. Towns have disappeared overnight, leaving behind only blood on the ground and burned buildings.
Jack Daw’s box comes with six models, including Jack Daw himself. His henchman Montresor stands as the silent witness to Jack Daw’s madness, but woe to anyone who approaches the sullen hangman. Less solid but perhaps just as dangerous, the banshee spirit of Lady Ligeia serves as Jack Daw’s totem, and her very presence is enough to prevent Jack’s enemies from cheating their fates. The tough minions that accompany Jack are the Guilty, the vengeful corpses of those who were executed for their unspeakable crimes.
Jack Daw is a member of the Outcast Faction. He is cursed to a life of torment as an undead Master, traveling Malifaux sharing his torment with those guilty of transgressions. Jack Daw likes to field Tormented models, as they benefit from some of his actions.
Unlike anyone else in the game, Jack Daw uses Upgrades offensively. He is able to use Cursed Upgrades by passing them off on his enemies via his attacks. These Upgrades inflict severe penalties on those that bear them, and they grant the Tormented characteristic. While Jack doesn’t do a lot of damage directly, by coupling his attacks with his curses, he is able to have a lot of battlefield control while wearing down his opponents. Coupled with various tricky plays, such as using Driven By Injustice to push Tormented models, Jack Daw is able to achieve various strategies and schemes well. To top it all off, his Oldest Magic ability provides a fairly solid defense against those that would do him wrong.
Jack Daw’s non-Cursed Upgrades provide him with some solid options. Twist and Turn gives him the ability to take the actions of a Tormented model, be it friend or enemy. Writhing Torment keeps Jack from getting locked down via combat or paralysis, while Betrayer provides extra incentive for models not to come after him directly. By taking advantage of these Upgrades, Jack Daw can have a huge impact on the battlefield in relatively subtle ways.