Sunday, April 21, 2024

Vastarian Contest - Entries Part 1

Entries Part 1

Below are the first ten entries in our Vastarian contest!

Alex Blanchard (@durzin_miniatures): Holy Sacrament of the Ossified Sentinel

A roving cult in the charnel wastes of Vastarian. Self proclaimed keepers of the bone mounds turned into places of worship for the wretches who inhabit these dead lands. Accompanied by a heavily modified combat walker, they patrol the wastes for those who would encroach upon their holy territory. Led by the Apostle Proxiro, they swing their holy censer of herbs only found in the Charnel Wastes to ward off the wayward and agitated spirits of those lost long ago. They preach their gospel to anyone who will listen. Proxiro is watched over by the Paladin, Leuthere and his Blessed Servitor. Together they patrol smaller catacombs and tombs in search of Holy Relics and those who are deemed unworthy to possess them. The unworthy are brought before the Ossified Sentinel, a sentient and horrific bipedal monstrosity of metal and bone. All who are found looting the sacred bone mounds, catacombs, and tombs meet the Judgement of the Black Flame. This is a sacred rite in which the unworthy are shackled and kneeled while the Ossified Sentinel passes its Judgment. Black Flame erupts from the mouth of the horrific visage, incinerating flesh and metal, leaving behind only bone to add to the wastes. The same fate awaits any who do not belong in their sacred land of bone and death…

Holy Sacrament of the Ossified Sentinel.

Blessed Servitor.

Sepulchral Paladin Leuthere.

The Ossified Sentinel.

Proxiro, Apostle of the Charnel Wastes.

รlvaro Martรญn de Ruedas: The Cofrady of the Blind King

The last time I saw the brotherhood was in the Aenyx system. I was amazed by their solemnity. Father Ignatius talked about a Blind King, a King who makes no distinction, who does not judge. The saint and the damned, the neighbor and the foreigner, those who despair in the mud and those bound in their golden prisons. All shall encounter a place among his arms. That's what Father Ignatius always said.

Then I started reading all those reports. Those mandatory sackclothes. The spiked chains mortifying their bodies. To be honest, that was not that scary. At the end of the day, most of the Vastarian cults were similar. No. It was that particular eye thing that really scared me. See, there's a reason why the cofradres were banned from Aenyx. The mandate of humility is not only about their belongings. They really give everything to their King. Even their own eyes. Those who are not worthy enough to become blinded, roam among the stars grasping the eye sockets of the unfaithful. That may sound cruel to you, son. But I saw them. I saw the processions of millions of blinded citizens on their way to that shrine world. And in this galaxy full of horror, let me tell you something. They were at peace. I understand now how they could assault the Palace of the governor, why they fight anyone too weak to seek peace. But I don't want you to go through all of that. Father Ignatius told me about it. The best moment to make the mandate is as soon as possible. Now come here, kid, and don't be scared. You are about to see a King.

The Cofrady of the Blind King.

The Blind King cares not from whence His followers came.

The Blind King’s subjects arm themselves with anything at hand.

Another blind wretch, follower of the Blind King.

A procession of followers of ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ ๐™ฑ๐š•๐š’๐š—๐š ๐™บ๐š’๐š—๐š.

Barthel (8arthe1): The Beacons of Guidance

The sisterhood of the Beacons of Guidance belief is based on the Light of the Emperor, the Astronomican, which guides the starships of the Imperium through the warp safely to their destination. To depict this, the priestesses and deaconesses wear burning braziers to guide their devotees on their pilgrimage through Vastarian.

Led by the Reverend Mother, they are carrying the Light of the Emperor into the darkest places of the cities, bringing the faith through fire and covering their faces with the purity of ashes left behind by the cleansing flames. Sisters, who deflected the Light of the Emperor, wear helmets of iron and barbed wire for their penance, and join the ranks of Zealots for redemption.

The Beacons of Guidence.

Deaconess and devotee, their faces greyed with ash, a testament to their faith.

Reverend Mother, wearing a burning brazier to guide their devotees, and zealot, helmet wrapped in barbed wire in penitence.

Bill Ford (the_ruin.501): The Reverent House of St. Nirvath

The Reverent House of St. Nirvath was formed upon the apostasy of Jace Nirvath, a missionary upon the Halo Stars who recognized that the Emperor's Light was not something to hoard amongst the Mon-Keigh, but a gift to be bestowed upon all - regardless of species. His rousing sermons of unity amongst the stars, documented through his several books: Ruminations (RUM. I-VII) provide a rare insight into an otherwise forgotten tranche of Imperial belief that preaches acceptance, prosperity and harmony.
Having garnered a significant following, Nirvath preached for several centuries until his demise in what has been deemed the Martyrdom by Brazen Light, upon which he was placed within the brass effigy of the Emperor and cooked alive for his denial of the Xenos. While his followers lay dormant for close to a millennia, his visions have spoken through Cardinal Ladorak, a man desperate to see the Saint's vision of inclusivity upon Vastarian enacted—regardless of the cost.

The Reverent House of St. Nirvath, prepared to depart Kruv for the world of Vastarian.

His Eminence, Cardinal Ladorak of the Reverent House of St. Nirvath and an enslaved Vesonysx species Beta-class psyker, purchased from sources unknown and enslaved to facilitate clarity of Ladorak's dreams.

A member of the Reverent House of St. Nirvath, a Srakchi from the Eastern Fringe. Instinctively drawn towards passivity, this particular Xenos only wields an organic flenser rifle, bearing the distinctive cloak and wrapped feet in mimicry of their patron Saint Nirvath.

A Cyrnian drawn towards the promise of acceptance and harmony shared under the vision of the Emperor's divine grace.

Case, an Ogryn-turned-faithful from his life of crime after witnessing a sermon delivered by Cardinal Ladorak of the Reverent House of St. Nirvath.

Lazlo, Secretariat of his Eminence of the Reverent House of St Nirvath. A ratling of prodigious intelligence who's financial acumen was instrumental in securing transport off Kruv to Vastarian, amongst other clandestine purchases…

Bryce Goodlett (eldritch_menagerie): The Melliferan Collective.

Their progenitors were Imperial entomologists tasked with the care and proliferation of bees. Over time the order’s duty came to be seen as a holy one. What once were smokers are now censers. On Vastarian, the order enjoyed a privileged position as the purity of the wax produced by their wards as well as the rare commodity of honey made them invaluable to the highest priests and officials. Since the wave of psychic awakenings, however, the priorities of Vastarian’s elite have turned elsewhere. One of their own has had such an awakening, creating wax wings and calling themselves an Angel of the Emperor. This new leader has caused many to defect. The order has resorted to bolstering their numbers with “servitors.”

The Melliferan Collective.

The Melliferan Collective readies for war.

The Melliferan Collective is a terrifying sight, transmogrifying from civilian beekeepers to religious zealots.

Clarke Payne (cbp3dragon): Awakeners, Offshoot of the Adherents of the Veracious Semblance

The Veracians believe that reality is a simulation created by the sleeping Omnissiah. They have taken it upon themselves to protect the Semblance from non-believers who may disrupt it and cause the Semblance to end, thus destroying existence.

A schismatic sect of the Adherents of the Veracious Semblance, the Awakeners believe the Semblance must be brought to an end to achieve enlightenment and join with the Omnissiah. To achieve this, the Omnissiah must be awakened to break the Semblance. Most Awakeners use sonic weapons and often sing loudly or ring bells and bang metal objects together as they go about their daily activities.

Frenkford the Recusant began having deeper insights soon after the Veracian Pilgrims arrived on Vastarian. He discovered the true purpose of the Semblance and swayed several of the Veracian Pilgrims to embrace this revelation. Further insights led to the desperate need to find The Beacon of Quatti, a relic Frenkford believes is somewhere among the ancient temples on Vastarian. The Beacon will somehow help awaken the Omnissiah.

Awakeners, Offshoot of the Adherents of the Veracious Semblance.

Awakeners, Offshoot of the Adherents of the Veracious Semblance.

Dave Rosewell (dark_kinetix): Cult Imperatorus Judicium

Thorn’s Roots
Cult Imperatorus Judicium’s leader Judge Vinicius Thorn was a former Deacon of a Redemptionist gang known as ‘The Scorched’ from Hive Primus on Necromunda. His former gang was a ragtag group of fanatics, with many of their members hailing from different backgrounds or house gangs, such as House Goliath or House Escher. Their methods of spreading the word of the Emperor were somewhat extreme (even by Redemptionist standards), burning and eviscerating non-believers and heretics with fire and blade. Thorn had enjoyed every moment of it. They would often take trophies from the dead, as a stark reminder of their force of will and to set an example to those who did not pay proper obeisance to the God Emperor.

However, several years ago, the Scorched were all but wiped out by a cadre of possessed Delaque psykers and only four of their members survived. Three of whom are now in service to Inquisitor Ivรกr Mordred of the Ordo Hereticus, after his understudy Interrogator Cylena Yarija helped destroy the rogue psykers. In return for saving them, Priest Bolvรขr, Deacon Malak and Zealot Irina pledged their fealty to the Ordo Hereticus. While Thorn himself, whose body and mind had been ravaged by the psykers, remained in Hive Primus in the care of a local medicae facility.

Once Thorn had recovered enough, and with fellow members of the Scorched either gone or dead, the now emaciated former Deacon decided to make a pilgrimage to the holy planet of Vastarian, in the Totradus Sector. His faith had been severely shaken by the acts of the sinister Delaque witches and he believed that traveling to such a holy place would reinvigorate him.

Life was good for Vinicius Thorn on Vastarian. Although his wounds (both physically and mentally) had never fully healed, he had at least regained his faith in the Emperor. He had decided to stay on the planet and become a preacher in one of many churches of the Caelestus Peninsular and had gained many followers in the couple of years since his arrival. Yes, life was good, that was until Thorn’s dreams began to be filled with visions of hell…

Vastarian’s skies were bathed in blood and daemons feasted on his congregation. Lava flowed up from the planet’s crust, as the split ground opened beneath him. He was dragged screaming into the hot magma by flaming hands, he… he… He woke up screaming, again. Several months he had been plagued by these nightmares, screaming himself awake, as strange shadows danced around his bedchamber. Unbeknown to him, this was happening to people across the planet. The ‘Cicatrix Maledictum’, a great warp rift had split the Imperium and was spreading chaos and unrest across the galaxy.

After months of sleepless nights, these nightmares were suddenly replaced by a peaceful and idyllic landscape, where a giant indistinct figure stood, dressed in gold and white. The mysterious figure was haloed by a radiant light and called himself ‘The Architect.’ Thorn had immediately assumed that the figure must be an effigy of the God Emperor himself, after all he was the architect of the Imperium. The Emperor, well ‘The Architect’ tells Thorn, that he is of great importance in Vastarian’s future; he is a saviour, he must judge the population of the Caelestus Peninsular, cleansing the region of the non-true believers. He tells him that the Peninsular has become a secret haven for heretics and that he must root them out.

‘The Architect’ said one final thing to Thorn before he woke, “To help you with this task, I will grant you a measure of my psychic potential, now go, gather your most devoted followers and cleanse the unclean.”

As he awoke from the dream… vision, he felt re-vitalised, although his body was still skeletally thin, he felt strong. As he looked into the mirror, his eyes glowed a brilliant blue, but most bizarrely of all, blue fire danced between his thin fingers.

However, the figure who called himself ‘The Architect’, was most certainly NOT the Emperor…

The Cull
Within weeks of awakening from the vision, Vinicius Thorn established the Cult Imperatorus Judicium (also known as the Cult of the Emperor’s Judgment). He was once again that ruthless man he had been during his time with his brothers and sisters of the Scorched. He had culled his original flock of any “heretics” and only the most dedicated and zealous (and perhaps unhinged) followers remained, a dozen or so souls. Some are fanatics like himself and Koobus Ventar, one is a former sergeant from the Vastarian army regiments - Volkhar Loth. While some are little more than deranged killers or simple servitors and some are nameless penitents, who repented in the wake cult’s actions.

Cult Organization
The Cult is led by ‘Judge’ Vinicius Thorn; he is the self-proclaimed ‘Prophet of the Emperor’s Divine Fire’ following his visions gifting him with pyromantic powers. He is able to cast scourging blue fire from his fingers. He wears white and blue robes, trimmed with gold and a golden face mask in echo of the figure from his vision.

Thorn’s second-in-command is Koobus Ventar, an ‘Adjudicator’ and he assists Thorn in passing judgement on the people of Caelestus and announces the ruling over a large vox castor apparatus. His vox castor also plays holy music or litanies while the cult is fighting. The vox castor apparatus consists of a large speak horn hanging over each shoulder, as well has three more mounted around a skeleton in a gibbet that he carries around; the skeleton bare the remains of the first ‘heretical’ priest that the cult executed.

Volkhar Loth, is a former Vastarian army sergeant, turned blacksmith and holds the title of ‘Brander Priest’. He brands those captured individuals who choose the path of penitence rather than death. He carries around a cauldron of hot coals (that is heated by a servitor attendant carrying a brazier) in which he heats an aquila shaped brand. He wears a thick worn leather apron and black leather gloves to protect him from the heat. He is also armed with his army issue las pistol and a powered hammer, that is charged with a micro-generator mounted on his back.

While Thorn and Ventar are judge and jury, Kรถrg Baldur is the ‘Executioner’ and this is a fine fit for the beast of a man. Any captives deemed heretical or refuse the path of penitence are beheaded by the brute’s chain glaive. The bodies of those executed are then burned by the firepike of the cult’s ‘Purger’ Devor Vardos. He then ritually smears the ash of those he has incinerated onto his gauntlets.

Lazarus Agar is the cult’s ‘Warden’, he oversees the captives until their trials and is assisted by ‘Goaders’, who make up the backbone of the cult. It is their jobs to keep the prisoners corralled with shock staves, whips and rifle butts.

Finally, there are a couple of servitors and the ‘Penitents’, those souls who were spared execution after repenting. They assist the cult by carrying holy books, artifacts and ammunition.

Cult Imperatorus Judicium.

Cult Imperatorus Judicium’s Spiritual leader, Judge Vinicius Thorn.

Cult Imperatorus Judicium’s Brander Priest, Volkhar Loth.

Cult Imperatorus Judicium’s second-in-command, Adjudicator Koobus Ventar.

Eli Collins (audio.wyvern): Our Lady of the Auric Fume

One of the many Imperial Cults found on Vastarian, the Auric Order endured for many millennia, meeting in secret in the depths of the furnaces that power the planet. As fate would have it, the Order was convened during the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum and their High Priest was possessed by a daemon. The congregation was thrown into disarray, as the beast tore through their ranks speaking blasphemy against the Holy Emperor. Its rampage was only stopped by the Order’s shameful acolyte. The acolyte in question was a young woman and an unknowing psychic blank. The Pariah, long reviled by the Auric Order, banished the daemon by her presence, cementing herself as the Order’s new saint.

Hastily renaming themselves as Our Lady of the Auric Fume, the high priests and acolytes began subjecting their most faithful to Servitorization to allow them to serve their new Mistress with all faith and fervor without the revilement her presence would bring. Now surrounded by her lobotomized faithful, the fair lady roams the lonely lands of Vastarian, driving the denizens to insanity at the touch of her empty soul.

Servitor Acolytes of the Imperial cult Our Lady of the Auric Fume.

Servitor Acolytes of the Imperial cult Our Lady of the Auric Fume.

Servitor Acolytes of the Imperial cult Our Lady of the Auric Fume.

Eli Parsons (redwetskeleton): Blessed Saint Abdubel of the Crippled Penitents Procession

It is known that on the fifth day of the blessed Remaz, the crowd flowed through the low parts within the southern sprawl of the undertow, behind their cardinals and clergy. On this most glorious day, among the pyres and stakes where those who dare to blaspheme meet the gaze of the God Emperor, not all was still for the first time in weeks. Baold the devout, long waiting for his holy task, bore his hammer down to the cusp of smoldering ground. Baold would give mercy to this poor soul who still yet lived, for the God Emperor shall grant none in his wisdom. He was to be the first soul to hear the Saints words, yet has never spoken what he was told. On that glorious morn he swung his mighty hammer and freed us from the lies of the false prophets. He struck the cardinals and those of their clergy who did not join him until the holy blended and merged with what remained of the heretics. Chained to an unremarkable stake the remains of a man hung, but this was no ordinary man. His penitent helm, fused to the skin that remained glimmered in the morning light and twinkling firelight of dying pyres. His body had been all but devoured by the flames, the smell of cooked meat and crackling of bark like skin. He would be known to us as Abdubel. Blessed Saint Abdubel of the Crippled Penitents Procession, hear the voice of the God Emperor in his words for it is by HIS will that we have been delivered!!

The Blessed Procession of Holy Saint Abdubel of the Crippled Path.

Seeketh not his forgiveness, for thou art beneath his gaze. Repent for the folly of life, for the blasphemy of existence.

Shed the senses, thy flesh clad sins. Shed off this veil so that we may walk with him! REND THESE FORMS TO THEIR BONES! GRANT US NEW FLESH, NEW SENSES, FEED US YOUR WORD FOR IT IS THE ONE TRUE WORD!

And HIS word shall be my word. And my flesh far too worn to offer unto thee.

Upon this flesh a penance. Upon this soul a brand. Hear his voice children and speak his glory in word and deed.

Fall-from-Grace (descentfromgrace): Crones of the Emperor

They are the Crones of The Emperor, a death cult that lurks within the tunnels and sump system underneath the cathedral world. They stalk the dark sump-swamp, fishing for supplies, weapons and anyone unfortunate enough to have their body wash down there still alive. Their vision is to merge humanity with machines, much like how The Emperor is with the Golden Throne. Very few agree with their ideals, and thus, blood must spill. All heretics are to be carved apart and turned into penitent servo-thralls, fodder for their ambush-raids on rival cults. They prefer to take in children over adult recruits, to the horror of their enemies, as they are much easier to indoctrinate into their beliefs.

"In the depths of Vastarian where dark things dwell, a cautionary tale we tell
Of the sump where witches play, luring little children far away.
They'll snatch you up without a sound
Flesh and metal, forever bound.
They'll turn you a creature of blood and steel
With blades and wires, they take your zeal.
"In Emperor's name", or so they claim
As they kill us, bring us shame.
So heed this tale, child, stay far away
From Vastarian's depths where nightmares lay."

"Fret not, child. For we have the answers to your worldly woes, if you're worthy of receiving His gifts, that is..." - Crone

"The pious beasts fight with pure zeal; penitence for their very existence..." - Beast-Crone

A shambling Techcrone.

"Come with me my pretties - deeper into the sump swamp! The gifts of machines await thee-hee-hee!" - Tech-Crone

"Let the flesh of the unholy be rend asunder! More! More blood for The Emperor!" - Murder-Crone

I am sure you will agree that all of these entries to the Vastarian contest are amazing! Make sure to follow the creators if you are not. And look forward to the next set of entries soon!

- Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier