Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pilgrym - Magistrate Danforth

Magistrate Danforth is the leader of my Pilgrym warband and I've already written a little piece of fiction earlier. The only thing missing from this photo is his little servo-lamp (seen in the sneak peek group shot). The model is based on John Blanche's amazingly quirky piece of art.

Спасибо за прочтение

Monday, 30 May 2016

Pilgrym - Judge Hathorne

Whatever you do, avoid this man at all costs. He's ruthless and dogged in his pursuit of the law. And he has this sociopathic stare that bores right through you. They say he's even made Inquisitors cower. He's memorised the Book of Law from cover to cover so he knows exactly what to charge you with and he's not afraid to prosecute, whoever you are; highborn or dirt-scum. That he stays on Terra should tell you something about the state of this planet.

Baldwin Galligaskins, third heir to House Galligaskins 
Sentenced to lifetime incarceration for delinquency and doryphorism

Спасибо за прочтение

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Vigilantism in the 41st Millennium

In my first year of reading psychology at university, I attended a public forum about the topic of the psychology of the costumed hero. The discussion surrounded the psychological deconstruction of the 'realistic' hero (such as Batman), ones without superpowers but are still larger than life. Also discussed was how Alan Moore fronted such motif in his works of Watchmen and V for Vendetta.

Essentially, it looked at the stark mental health aspects within the costumed hero genre, such as egotism, dysfunction, maladaptive cognitive reasoning, poor social integrations, oppositional defiance disorder, antisocial behavioural disorder and grand delusions. The conclusion was that to look at our heroes in a strictly psychological light, was to see them as utterly insane, especially when juxtaposed to our own society (outside the comic setting).

With my Pilgrym project focussing on the Adeptus Arbites, I was looking for something rather tongue-in-cheek to include in the warband, something that truly represented the insanity that makes up the Imperium in the 41st millennium. It was actually the Runtherd, whilst playing one of the Batman games, that prompted the idea of what would Batman be like in the 41st millennium which in turn reminded me of that topic about the insanity of the costumed hero.

I imagined that Batman would be much more homespun, a sackcloth mask and probably entirely detached from reality, spouting irrelevant one-liners whilst throwing stars cut from rusted steel. An unhinged fanatic of the law avenging some imagined slight.

I was also thinking about how vigilantism is treated in the 41st millennium? Is it welcome, outlawed or simply ignored/treated as a nuisance?

I'd appreciate your thoughts!

Спасибо за прочтение  

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Mankind is Divided

We will not stand by whilst our augmented brothers and sisters are persecuted! The apartheid must end! Progress demands evolution, evolution demands augmentation!

Despite not being much of a gamer (beyond the Portal, Legacy of Kain and Mirror's Edge series) Deus Ex is one of my most favourite game series that has gone from strength to strength, addressing issues that we will soon face in the next decade (if not already). It won't be too long before we begin to see augmentation for its own sake rather than as a replacement for damaged body parts.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Pilgrym - Old Bailey

It is said that she was discovered by excavators in the aftermath that followed the Horus Heresy, entombed and hidden for millennia. It is said that in the centuries that came after, some arbitrators heard her call and simply vanished from active service. It is said that there is a secret compound hidden deep beneath the Hall of Judgement where her devotees have taken the Lex Imperialis to new heights as holy doctrine. It is said that to look upon her bronze skin is to be blinded by her purity. It is said that she is one of the first saints, a handmaiden to the Emperor when he still walked amongst humankind. It is said that they are her sightless warriors of the sword, executioners of consummate skill.

It is said that her name is upon the lips of her cultists as their blades deliver the deathstroke: Iustitia.

Спасибо за прочтение

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Pilgrym - The Huntsman

Even amongst their fellow brethren, cyber-controllers (otherwise known as huntsmen) are considered quite 'feral'. Their need to commune with beasts, even those constructed in a blessed cybernetic form, is seen as a perversion akin to venerating the organic order over the purity of the machine. It's small wonder that huntsmen find their place amongst the Adeptus Arbites, directing cyber-mastiffs and grapple-hawks to chase down their prey for capture.

Спасибо за прочтение

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Pilgrym - The Arbitrators

No arbites warband would be complete without at least a couple of these footsoldiers of judgement. When putting them together, I drew a lot of inspiration from Jes Goodwin's original design sketch merged with some more obvious 2000AD elements.

Спасибо за прочтение

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Pilgrym - The Menials

From left to right:
The Penitent (a heretic given the sentence of death but commuted to a lifetime of redemptive servitude to bear the Book of Judgement upon his shoulders).
The Forensic Servitor (something of a mobile testing lab with a variety of implanted forensics equipment).
The Stenographer (one of millions in service to the courtrooms of the Adeptus Arbites to record the judgements of the Judges).
All three are currently in service to Judge Hathorne.


Спасибо за прочтение

Pilgrym - A sneek peak

I actually posted this yesterday on Ammobunker, but I thought I'd do so here too.

Спасибо за прочтение

Monday, 23 May 2016

Grime Lights - A Catch Up

Okay, it's been a fair since I've posted any miniatures on this blog, but today that changes as I catch up with my entries for my Ready Your Retinue project hosted on Ammobunker.

First up is February's entry, under the theme 'For the love of....'

For this one, I couldn't resist adding BOOKS to the end of that sentence. Being a bit of a bibliophile myself, it makes sense that I add a librarian/sage to the group. So, copying the format of Tsuki Shōgatsu's name, I introduce Buwan Pebrero (and his little assistant), based on a sketch done by Steve Hanford that I found in an old copy of Citadel Journal.

Second up is March's entry, with the theme of 'Leap forward'....

For a while, I've been meaning to do my own interpretation of the Sisters of Battle since the original miniatures, whilst fantastic, are armoured in a horribly awkward way with stick thin legs (which if power armoured would make their actual legs horrendously withered underneath) and individual armoured breast cups (I mean really!? Ouch!).

Anyway, I introduce Volana Martsa of the Iron Maidens, inspired somewhat by the original sororitas sketch in the Rogue Trader book.

In April, the theme was 'Open up' in reconition of all the flowers of spring opening up....

For this entry, I went a little left field with the idea of opening up ones mind, but I was certain that I didn't a psyker, more of a shaman/swami/yogi kinda character. So I looked to Burmese traditional clothing for ideas and Muaji Prill kinda appeared. Armed with a blowpipe and darts tipped with hallucinogen toxins, she also ingests a peyote which gives her temporary 'abilities' in a similar way to Spook.

May's entry I've had in my mind for a while and with the theme 'Old ideas', I immediately cracked on with remaking an old character I built  while ago based on the Attila torso.

Sar Tavdugaar is an old soldier and the last survivor of the 105th Ulgii Kazakhs regiment. He was discharged with honours and settled in solitary on the Khüiten Massif, on the, yet to be colonised, steppes world of Tsengel.

Sadly the photos didn't turn out all that well, so I may retake them at another time.

I've also been instructed by the Runtherd that once I've finished with my current projects, I am not allowed to start any more until I have done some painting, so expect paint in these pages soon!

Спасибо за прочтение

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Judgement - A Pilgrym Story

There was no longer any sunrise on this world, nor did the sun set upon the passing of the day. Even day itself was something of an amorphous concept; for below this planet’s surface, within the tiers and tunnels that burrowed through the earth like capillaries through flesh, it was always a twilit realm of gloomy orange from the endless parades of sodium lamps and guttering candles. Above ground, the sky was forever a turgid grey-green expanse from the untold generations of pollutants that caged the upper atmosphere and left the world beneath its shelter in an enduring demimonde of dusk.

The surface itself was a suffocating mass of twisting thoroughfares, boulevards, streets, lanes and alleys, framed by an anachronistic jumble of timeless edifices of varying sizes, from the truly monolithic to the simply immense. Whilst most of the buildings had been erected from a cornucopia of differing materials, from the drab grey of ferrocrete to the alabaster white of marble riddled with contrasting coloured veins, time had desaturated them all monochromatic so that even the most opulent of architecture, gilded in gold, stood alongside its brutalistic neighbour equally under the same dull film of greasy, olive-hued, soot. To look at the urban sprawl for too long was to invite a dizzying sense of claustrophobic vertigo as the panoramic scape loomed inwards, breaking from euclidian geometry and threatened to fold in on itself like a tidal wave of liquid masonry.

An undulating current of human beings asphyxiated the wider avenues with a congestion of bodies, dressed in an anarchic collection of uniformly bland coveralls, robes and other purely functional clothing. The high-rise highways, which looped above the bowed heads of the thronging workers upon gargantuan pillars of ferrocrete, where similarly gridlocked with uncounted, smog-belching, vehicles, from the smaller, personal autos to the massive tracked road-leviathans. Soporific psalms sang from vox-poles to placate the herd. Votives and maxims were displayed from giant vid-screens, suspended in the air by means of arcane technology, further cementing the axiomatic truths of the Imperial Creed.

This was Holy Terra. Not the ivory towers and glittering spires basking under a pellucid sky often depicted in the artistic renditions upon commemorative hololiths and daguerreotypes peddled out to the gullible tourists and pilgrims. He had heard that this was the way Astropaths saw this world, bathed in the eternal golden glow of the Emperor’s beneficence. However this was the real Holy Terra, a chaotic stinking cesspool of decay, a perpetual engine at the heart of the Imperium maintained by oceans of sweat and blood.

Magistrate Danforth beheld all this from one of the innumerable balconies that studded the skin of the Hall of Judgement, that basalt cathedral of law which was like unto a city in itself, ringed by fearsome palisades of black iron. Spanning several miles in either direction, when viewed from above, it took on the aspect of a forbidding sable gauntlet, reminding the populous that no one can escape from the Emperor’s hand of justice.

The magistrate sighed heavily and turned away from the blighted vista. He didn’t have time to lose himself in such sour contemplations, his age and experience had made him irascible and malcontent with the actual realities of Holy Terra compared to the hallowed utopia spoken of in the hymnals of the Ecclesiarchy and seen through the glassy eyes of the pilgrims that flock to this sullied beacon. For a brief moment, he envied their delusions.

The tip of his staff of office clacked against the marble floor with every alternate footfall. His ceremonial garments and ornamental coronal collar behind a bedizened mitre were heavy and weighed him down, slowing his stride measurably. He took a right turn from the main concourse and found himself surrounded by endless rows of colossal open cabinets which stretched high into the vaulted ceiling a mile above his head, each on crammed with books, scrolls, single leaves and a million other mediums for recording the dictates of law. The delicately painted frescos, depicting the ancient Terran gods of law, were fading and crumbling in disrepair. A complex latticework of pulleys and guy ropes had been strung from the ceiling on thousands of looped hooks, installed long after the need for such artistic decoration had been overridden by the need to reach the top selves once the centuries of legal documentation, redrafts, legislations, citations, precedents, transcripts, regulations, statutes, enactments, decrees, edicts, rulings, motions, directives, proclamations and case studies had transformed the great Book of Judgement into an unwieldy library of itself. Here on Holy Terra was the most comprehensive collection of sector, subsector and planetary law ever collected and collated by ten millennia of long forgotten law adepts. There were many such repositories elsewhere in the complex.

Shadows of spider-like subordinates danced above him as they slid and slithered along the cables to retrieve elusive scraps of judicial particulars for the hundreds of cases being brought to the courtrooms daily. Scribes and assistants skittered between the shelves at ground level, often labouring under armfuls of weighted tomes. Danforth slowed his pace further and skirted around a pair of mechanised servitors as they fumigated the selves; one swinging the implanted nozzle of its arm left and right, whilst the other worked the pump handle of a large canister.

Eventually, he reached one of the many piers of the internal canal network – by far the most expedient way to travel across the many acres of the Hall of Judgement – and carefully stepped onto the waiting barge already laden with many volumes, piled high, ready to be ferried to other sections. A quick command to the servitor manning the tiller and the barge made way to the soft burbling of its engines.

Danforth dipped his staff on several occasions as they moved under walkways and gantries and even had to kneel once as they passed through a particularly low bridge of ancient stone. The journey itself was almost serene and the magistrate took a moment to reflect on the sheer majesty that was the Hall of Judgement as the barge trundled along a lofty aqueduct overlooking a pristine, spacious auditorium (one of many) that connected to multiple courtrooms. Defendants and plaintiffs commingled with pardoners and advocates whilst they waited for their cases to be called.

The engine stalled, slowing the barge as it drifted towards the terminus pier. Danforth stepped off and strode down an unassuming corridor underlit by stagnant, blackened torches burning sluggishly in iron sconces. He passed by unmarked doors of heavy, lacquered wood; these led to audience chambers of the Marshals of the Court, peerless law masters answerable only to the Grand Provost Marshal herself. Halting in front of one among many, the magistrate took an even breath before grasping the ringed handle, turning it and stepping across the threshold.

The chamber itself was kept in shadows, the only light filtering down from a pallid lamp set into the centre of the domed ceiling. What Danforth could see through the gloom reminded him of a courtroom, but more austere; the spectator pews were entirely absent, as were the jurors box, the dock and examination stand. The Reeve’s pulpit had been replaced by three raised alcoves overlooking the entire room. Four great statues stood in each corner, muscled behemoths of black stone wearing loincloths and helmets shaped into a canine form. They each had an arm outstretched where a set of scales hung from a clenched fist. Standing sentry in the half-light at their feet, the sinister cowls of the court proctors silently watched as the magistrate approached the circle of light, their gloved hands whining slightly as they tightened around heavy maces.

For the second time that day, Danforth knelt and bowed his head keeping his staff of office held upright. Minutes seemed to stretch into an eternity before a booming voice shattered the dense stillness;

“All Rise! Marshals of the Court in attendance!”

Danforth stood once more, in time to see three silhouettes take their place in the alcoves before him. Swathed in darkness, only their outlines were visible, exuding a palpable menace.

“Magistrate Danforth,” intoned the central shadow, “you requested this hearing. Explain why?”

“M’lords,” spoke Danforth through lips suddenly dry with apprehension, “A worrying pattern has begun to emerge within the reports across Holy Terra; from hushed mentions in conversations picked up by our auritus teams to recent interrogations of arrested recidivists and heretics….”

Danforth paused, abruptly disquieted as to whether this matter was worthy of Marshals attention, until he was prompted to continue by one of the shadows audibly clearing his throat.

“A common word has been appearing in the records: Pilgrym.”

“Pilgrims!?” came an incredulous hiss from the left, “There are thousands of pilgrims disembarking daily onto the soil of Holy Terra!”

“Do you expect us to task every precinct on Holy Terra to find this elusive pilgrim amongst such a sizable flock?” scoffed the right.

“With respect, M’lords,” beseeched Danforth, as the momentary feelings of foolishness drained through him, “I’m not referring to pilgrims, but Pilgrym. It’s in an archaic format and capitalized; I believe it to be a moniker, or perhaps a title.”

“What threat do you apply to this ‘Pilgrym’, if he, she or it exists?” enquired the left.

“At the moment, that is still undetermined, M’lords,” replied Danforth, almost apologetically, “currently there have been no crimes directly attributed to the Pilgrym, if it is even a person. However with the notable rise in convictions of heresy in recent months, I am concerned that this Pilgrym could be a herald of woe, fanning the flames of apostasy with the mere mention of the name.”

The magistrate let the shadows digest his suspicions without interruption; heralds of woe were exceptionally rare cases and almost unheard of on Holy Terra since the reign of Vandire the Malefactor, where a single individual can be found responsible through machinations for plunging an entire world into the darkness of anarchy and lawlessness.  

“This could then be a matter of faith,” mused the centre, “you could leave this with the Ministorum for the moment and let them handle it with their own brand of piety and re-education.”

“We deal in the matters of law,” concurred the right, “let such affairs of theocratic doctrine be dealt with by the pontiffs and their confessors.”

“I would be happy to, M’lords,” asserted Danforth, “but with the internecine strife between the ratified sub-cults of the Imperial Creed also on the rise, I must distrust the Church’s capabilities to control their own affairs.”

Danforth could almost hear the whispered consultations between the trio of shadows.

“Very well, Magistrate Danforth,” declared the centre,” we will issue you with a warrant of law in this inquest. Ensure your investigation is conducted by this writ and make your reports regular so that we may ascertain whether further action or resources are required. In Lex Imperialis Absolutus.”

“In Lex Imperialis Absolutus.” Danforth repeated before bowing slightly and leaving the chamber.