Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Vastarian: Open Invitational Contest

In the later part of 2023, Between the Bolter and Me launched its first major Open Invitational called Vastarian - Dreams of the Pious. Vastarian is a major cathedral world that has been thrown into bloody turmoil due to the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, which caused a massive psychic awakening. The invitational is set in this world and encourages anyone to create their own Imperial Cult (the more eccentric and deranged the better) and with your favorite ruleset, play some skirmish games to help develop the lore! We have had a series of posts continuing to develop the setting, including showcasing two factions (the Church of the Red Athenæum and a faction of Spyreheads) and some artwork showing others, as well as writing a battle report within the setting! To our excitement, other hobbyists are already starting to create cults for Vastarian, which can be seen via searching #vastarian on Instagram! To generate additional excitement and get more people involved, we thought it would be fun to run a contest that had people create their own cult, complete with models and some background lore!

The contest is simple. We want people to:
  1. Build and paint 3-5 models from an Imperial Cult of your creation.
  2. Write some lore developing your Cult’s beliefs and religious doctrine.
  3. Send up to 5 photos of your completed models, along with your written lore, to our blog email address (betweenthebolterandme@gmail.com) by March 31st, 2024.
  4. Feel free to post photos on Instagram throughout the process using #vastarian.

Prizes: What contest would be complete without some prizes?

For peoples’ benefit, below is a summary of the lore behind Vastarian and the ensuing religious warfare taking place on its surface:

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 (Aside from His divine grace) 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.

We hope you will consider taking part in this contest, as well as getting involved in the Vastarian Invitational by playing some games with your models! If you do, know that we plan to be at Under the Dice Fest and Adepticon in the first quarter of 2024, and would love to play a game with you! Also, be sure to tag anything you post on Instagram with #vastarian!

- Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier


  1. I've already shown this to the Brothers, but I've found one of my top favourite films, Franklyn, to be rather apt here;


    1. Yeah! It really looks like a great source of inspiration!

  2. This is so exciting!! I already have so many ideas!

  3. Very cool - I will do my best to put a few models together and see what I can do!