Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Vastarian: Spyreheads

A procession of Vastarian Spyreheads.

When thinking about other potential cults for the Vastarian setting, we knew it would not be complete without a sect of Spyreheads! Stygian_thorne created the concept of these enigmatic architecture-wearing pilgrims. The idea was at least partially inspired by a piece of artwork created by the legendary John Blanche for Iron Sleet’s Pilgrym, entitled Ascend the Celestial Stair. We thought a world like Vastarian, which is covered in monolithic houses of worship, would attract devotees to the Emperor and the Arxvs Dedicatvm. We commissioned the iconic Ana Polanšćak of Gardens of Hecate to create the first five Vastarian Spyreheads!

Ascend the Celestial Stair - John Blanche 2016

Spyrehead - Nimrvd’s Reliqaries - Stygian_Thorne

Spyreheads of Vastarien:

While there are many eccentric Imperial Cults in the known galaxy, Spyreheads are some of the most bizarre. While there are many divergent Spyrehead sects across the Imperium, they all exhibit some manner of veneration of spyres, cities and architecture, which leads them to build miniature replicas of these to wear, hence the name Spyrehead. These cults are often harassed and oppressed by other more dominant sects of the Imperial cult. As a result, those of Spyrehead faith often develop a sense of submission to others, knowing their faith in Him will be rewarded in death. Their beliefs tend to align with an Amalathian philosophy of things, trusting that the Emperor has a plan that is unfolding as it should. Who has the arrogance to second-guess the will of the All-Knowing Emperor of Mankind?

The Vastarien Spyrehead faith has been shaped by the planet itself, and the vast oceans that cover it. Lighthouses are common on Vastarien due to oceans covering over 60% of the planet. Most are no longer used due to cogitators and other technology, but many remain in their silent vigil, abandoned. Vastarien spyreheads place great significance on these lighthouses, as they symbolize His guiding light, which shows the faithful their way, not unlike the Astronomicon which guides humanity through the Warp. Lighthouses also symbolize how He lights the way for each faithful soul upon death to be united with Him. Relatedly, the Spyreheads’ have a strong commitment to honoring the dead, ensuring their souls transition peacefully. As such, in addition to spyres, they also adorn their heads with ossuaries and mausoleums, filled with skull motifs and other Memento Mori's.

The conversions were primarily based on models from the Triumph of Saint Katherine boxed set.

The Spyreheads’ ostentatious headgear was converted from a variety of pieces. This one cleverly repurposed a Genestealer Cultist web gun.

This Spyrehead was created using a seismic cannon for the basis of their head.

All of the Spyrehead models are carrying different relics, emphasizing their faith.

The models are all painted in a scheme reminiscent to Blanche’s Ascend the Celestial Stair artwork (shown above).

The Vastarian Spyreheads.

We are really thrilled with how the first Spyrehead models came out. Ana did an amazing job realizing the concept, one I hope we can continue with in the future. Expect to see more from these Vastarian Spyreheads, including some battle reports of them combating the growing threat of the Church of the Red Athenæum!

- Eric Wier