Sunday, October 8, 2023

Vastarian - Dreams of the Pious: Open Invitational

Blessed the mind too small for doubt.

Vastarian is a vast cathedral world located within the Totradus Sector, in the southern region of Segmentum Solar. Although it is on a well-traveled route used by the faithful on their pilgrimage to holy Terra, that fact is not what makes it special. Instead, it accumulated its renown from two particular aspects. The first is its many architectural marvels: massive houses of worship, an expanse of stained glass and minarets, labyrinthian catacombs revering the hallowed dead, and cavernous libraries and repositories of holy texts and religious scholarship. The second, and more surprising aspect, is that in an age characterized by intolerance and persecution, Vastarian welcomes thousands of disparate orthodoxies and splinters of the Imperial Creed, where they all live in relative harmony together. Provided the God-Emperor is venerated above all others and His will is promulgated, the Ecclesiarchy turns a blind eye to minor deviations and differing interpretations of the Lectitio Divinitatus. After all, isn't all of humanity a part of His flock, of His Grand Design? While there are some documented instances of schisms that led to bloodshed, most were limited to internecine disputes and selective purges by the ever watchful Ordo Hereticus.

But nothing lasts forever* and this shining jewel of faith and understanding started to crumble as the 41st millennium came to a close. With the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum and the harkening of the Age of Witches, the inhabitants of Vastarian were wracked by unified dreams, dreams of spectacular derangement and miracles of metastasis and biological dysfunction that offered each dreamer their own personal apocalypse. After months of these collective visions, centered on the ruins of reality, they started to shift and began to be dominated by a radiant light emanating from a figure whose features could not be made out, a being that seemed to pacify the encroaching ruin. The figure’s form was not consistent, as though it was taking on an aspect of the dreamer. These dreams seemed to coincide with an unprecedented psychic awakening, one that touched virtually every religious sect on Vastarian, fomenting zealous conjecture within each denomination that they alone had been touched by the Emperor Himself, birthing a Saint that would rise from the ashes of a burning Vastarian. Finally, after centuries of tenuous peace, the religious tolerance that defined the planet collapsed. The war for the Emperor’s soul had begun, for there could only be one Saint, and the rest false idols and apostates.

In addition to being a setting, Vastarian is an Open Invitational that encourages anyone to create their own Imperial Cult (the more eccentric and deranged the better) and through bullet, blade, and litanty, crush any other faction that has another interpretation of the Imperial Creed. Each Cult’s spiritual well-being and fanaticism is intimately tethered to the emergence of a powerful pskyer in their midst, their own patron saint of the God-Emperor. Although any rule system is encouraged to play your own games, we plan to us the updated 2023 Necromunda rules, supplemented with the Book of the Outcasts, which has general rules for Outcast warbands, as well has Psychic powers, which may serve as a basis for the newly awakened Saints. As always, however, the focus is on building imaginative warbands and crafting a narrative rather than slavishly adhering to a ruleset. We hope others join us in building warbands and have them fight amongst the crumbling ruins of Vastarian, zealously promulgating its beliefs above all others.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be posting about warbands we are creating and using in the setting, as well as battle reports showing blood in the hallowed places of cursed Vastarian. We will also touch on what the Church of the Red Athenæum has been doing since failing to obtain the Pilgrym…

We hope to see some of you create your own horrific cults and play your own games within the setting! In the future, we hope to feature some of them on this very blog! If you do create anything, be sure to tag it with #vastarian.

Recommend reading to get you into the proper mindset for the setting:
Songs of a Dead Dreamer & Grimscribe - Thomas Ligotti
Teatro Grottesco - Thomas Ligotti

Recommended Listening:
Earth Vs The Bug - Concrete Desert (2017)
Locrian - Drenched Lands (2009)
Lingua Ignota - Caligula (2019)

*Aside from His divine grace

- Eric Wier


  1. I can't wait to start on my cult! This looks so promising. It's cool to see an open invitation to the community, too!

  2. Reminds me of Meanwhile City from the film Franklyn. If you've not seen it, it's definitely worth watching; hauntingly good.

  3. I am looking forward to see more of this