Sunday, May 26, 2024

Vastarian Contest - Entries Part 3

Entries Part 3

Below are the third set of ten entries in our Vastarian contest!

Julian (eelheelstudio): Xenologer Secundus, Griz Graxxius

Xenologer Secundus, Griz Graxxius.

Initial Survey Report:
Vastarian, Cathedral World
Xenologer Secundus, Griz Graxxius

Log Begins

10:11:25 I have been dubiously dispatched to this pious backwater by my betters to seek out the cause of this troublesome psychic awakening. The pompous pen pushers at the institute believe that the reported “Cicatrix Maledictum” and the reported visions of apocalypse have been caused by a most ancient Xenos artifact. My loyal entourage and I have our doubts. The madness engulfing Vastarian seems to be little more than centuries old religious rivalries finally bubbling up to the surface. The Tooters and the Breathers, Crimson this, Red Mist that, they all seem to think the Emperor is speaking to them through the Vox. Or worse. Through messages in their morning nutri-slop! If I must put down one more zealous geezer with a mind to brain me, I might just finish the job myself.

Thus far I have been unable to delve deep into the area where this Cicatrix is supposedly located. The location is heavily contested by the most numerous and well equipped of the religious ordos. While I possess some talent with a machete, I do not dare enter these areas with my small party. We will continue seeking some hidden pathway underneath the cathedral.

10:34:25 The companion of mine Vaevos, Venerable tech augur has communed with the quickly decaying datasphere on Vastarian and believes he has found a route underneath the cathedral. Through the sewers. I did not survive my doctoral defense duel to go traipsing about in the fetid pools of filth produced by the chamber pots of 100 million zealous fools.

10:52:25 We have found our way underneath the cathedral. I feel no different, but the thinking beast I have brought from the institute’s Gene Vats looks ill. This does not bode well, the creature is horribly sensitive to spiritual emanations.

Log Ends

Matt Ross (totally_not_panicking): The Chisel of Oblivion

The Chisel of Oblivion.

Mind Log: dfg71-hn0091nt-09fgtxy1

The desiccated womb calls me back, it’s slack, withered umbilical throbbing in my mind. The heretics continue to plumb the depths they’ve created of our homeland. Rooting for sisters - artifacts they say. They will not obtain as long as I am attuned to the dedication.

After the liberation, I called out to the womb again, in defense, and it spoke back, undulating new life into me. I have reached, and it has given. I have called, and it has responded. Moving objects without touch, reaching out for more sisters in the void. Sometimes the pain comes in waves, but mostly it is a dull throbbing. I will return to the womb, fat with family, through the rotten tunnel, and into warm oblivion.

A newly awakened psyker of the Chisel of Oblivion.

Matthew Brereton (macharian_rising): Cult Enos

Cult Enos.

In an isolated area of Vastarian there lay a forgotten and abandoned Adeptus Mechanicus enclave.

This enclave had become the gathering point of locals who searched for further meaning within their day to day lives.

This gathering would have been frowned upon on other worlds, however the inclusiveness of Vastarian allowed such assemblies to grow and flourish.

During the Age of the Witches, all inhabitants of Vastarian started to become molested by tainted visions pulling them towards their own version of the truth. These visions were the culmination of the Cicatrix Maledictum triggering the awakening of a powerful localized psychic entity.

The awakening of this psychic entity could be traced down to an Inquisitor with psychic leanings visiting Vastarian.

Inquisitor Enos Macath and his retinue, including his right hand man Amil Cortek, arrived at Vastarian in search of ship repairs after enduring a brutal warp flight. Unknown to the psyker, he had become subtly corrupted by the warp.

Upon arriving on Vastarian, Enos soon lost track of his purpose and as he became evermore corrupted and empowered he felt himself drawn to a long forgotten place.

Upon finding himself at the abandoned mechanicus fort, Enos found himself welcomed and revered as a God by the collection of worshipers.

With his new found militia, Cult Enos quickly developed machinations towards grandeur and power. With the power of the warp and his knowledge acquired through his work as an inquisitor, he unlocked the potential of the weaponry found within the fort.

Armed and inspired, the Militia of Enos set forth into Vastarian to spread the good word.

The indigenous people of this planet can often be heard to remark about the times before the blue flowers blossomed and the power from high touch them with his gifted hand.

Some even say the flowers are of nefarious origin and a symbol of chaos corrupting the very core of this world and its inhabitants.

Members of the Admech Cult Enos.

A towering monstrosity of metal from Cult Enos.

Inquisitor Enos Macath and his right hand man Amil Cortek.

Matthew Farmer (ierthling): Flamma Undarum - The Cult of The Flame That Burns Beneath the Waves

Gang War: the entire cult moves quickly to defend the Prophet against an invasion by Vastarian’s fanatical Redemptionists.

Beneath the old shrine of St. Pharos on the teeming cathedral world of Vastarian lies a vast network of flooded ruins, whole streets, churches, hab blocks, and armories long submerged beneath the waves as the seas encroached and the people of Vastarian built ever higher atop the remnants of the past. For generations, the quiet cultists who tended the Pharos shrine have made it a central ritual of their worship to dive down into these flooded ruins in search of holy relics and remnants of the sacred past. Within the shrine, an ancient machine of forgotten purpose surrounds a well, a mouth into the flooded depths encrusted with verdigris and festooned with seals of purification. Adherents of the cult don sacred diving masks and brave the depths, returning with the bones of forgotten saints, with rusted weapons of ancient holy wars, with blessed machines whose shattered cogs the cultists tenderly array in glass-faced reliquaries and display about the side-chapels of the shrine. From an early age, the children of the cult accompany their elders in their holy tasks and rituals.

These quiet rites, practiced out of the sight of the ecclesiarchy but hardly threatening in their mild heresies, were suddenly transformed when the galaxy was torn asunder by the Cicatrix Maledictum. Divers began to experience a series of mutations which the cult now calls simply The Change. Their skin turned blue as their blood took on the greenish shade of verdigris; gills began to form at their necks, scales to cover their skin. Some found they could now dive into the ruins with no mask at all and spend hours breathing the holy waters of the flooded ruins.

The first to undergo The Change has become a living saint, a man referred to in hushed tones as The Prophet or as Saint Pharos Redivivus. His mutations have reached a point where he can now only survive outside the waters through the assistance of a hideous technomantic throne, the Copper Chair. The parallels with the life of the great Emperor of Mankind are not at all lost on the devout cultists.

Although he no longer rises from the chair, the Prophet guides his followers by projecting a psychic beacon known among them as the Flamma Undarum or the Flame That Burns Beneath the Waves. This beacon has led them to previously undreamt of riches among the flooded ruins, whole reliquaries and churches sealed by rust and verdigris, flooded catacombs teeming with saintly relics.

But this abundance of relics has drawn unwanted attention to the cult as well: rival claimants to the fulfillment of Vastarian’s planet wide dream-prophecies, agents of the Ecclesiarchy, even worshippers of the Ruinous Powers now strive in battle with the cultists for control of the shrine and its well. The worshipers arm themselves with traditional weapons: the hammer and net they bear beneath the waves (for breaking open encrusted doorways and gathering sacred relics), the flamer they bear aboveground (believing themselves immune to its sacred fire).

A new age is dawning on Vastarian, but will the Flame Beneath the Waves continue to guide the faithful, or will it be snuffed out by heretics who doubt the guidance of St. Pharos?

The Divers: Two Pharos cultists, with their verdigrised relic diving masks, escort their young apprentices to the well.

The Guardians: Deacon Pelagius, captain of the relic divers, and one of the changed stand watch before the well.

The Prophet: St. Pharos sits atop the Copper Throne, bearing the unquenchable goblet of the Flamma Unduram, flanked by a pair of infant changelings.

The Gang: The Prophet and his chief servants, each accompanied by their cult apprentices. A heavy gunner has been fully taken by the change, but the rest still wear their sacred diving masks.

Nathan Iddles ( The Cult of Novum Corpus

The Cult of Novum Corpus.

In the bowels of the vast sea hulk, Hadalghast, toil the dregs of Vastarian Society, the impoverished, the ailing and the mutated. Even these depths are blessed by the Emperor's Holy Light and faith abounds amongst these hard working souls.

The cult of Novum Corpus has arisen as the main denomination in the lower levels of the ocean trawler. After beginning in the lightless bilge decks it spread to the rendering halls, up through the bone grinding and offal sieving decks right up to the killing floor.

After the dreams drove the vast cetacean pods into the stygian depths, the Hadalghast, like the other slaughter ships, was directionless. Cloistered in their ramshackled fanes, the brethren of Novum Corpus heard the call. The call of the Pale Child, Saint of the Holy Emperor. The path was clear, return to shore, gather the faithful and make for Terra. The Emperor’s soul yearns to be reborn into new flesh and it is for the faithful to answer. It is for the faithful to become the new body.

The cult teaches that the souls of the faithful are preeminent, not the earthly vessel in which they reside. These bodies are tools through which the willing can serve the Emperor. As such the cult welcomes mutants and even venerates “gifted” members as shaped by the Emperor’s will to do his work. Ultimately the cult of Novum Corpus seeks to aid the Emperor in restoring his physical form with the bodies of the faithful. Many followers make offerings of their flesh which are consecrated and stored in the now empty renderings tanks of the large whaling ship where the cult emerged. The cult seeks to make a pilgrimage and offer this flesh to the Golden Throne.

The Twins, mutant siblings that butcher whales in the ship and have heeded the Child’s call.

The cult accepts all, welcoming mutants within its ranks.

The cult teaches that the souls of the faithful are preeminent.

The cult will see the Emperor reborn into new flesh.

Nikolaus Smith: Cult of Extraction

The Cult of Extraction.

Uli gazed through his optical implants at the remains of his crew with absolute horror. How far they had fallen in the name of the God-Emperor.

Life-cycles ago, his ancestors landed on Vastarian. The group of Squats had been welcomed with open arms. There was nowhere else in the Imperium that would have welcomed them. They found a place working on mining contracts deep beneath the hive cities. For generations they thrived and became an integral part of the planet’s mining network. In more recent years, the number of Uli’s miners declined sharply from both age and the extreme work environment. Off-planet conglomerates picked up contracts at a loss just to drive out competition. Massive equipment haulers congested the upper atmosphere waiting to drop excavators larger than the ship Uli’s ancestors arrived on.

There was no way to keep their people fed, equipped, or safe. They could only take the most hazardous jobs, often spending years at a time underground. At best, these limited contracts left them barely breaking even.

That's how Uli justified his decisions. And besides they were doing it all in the name of the God-Emperor.

When Uli got the radio call from his chief foreman on an offshift, he could not quite figure out what the message was trying to convey. The vein they were currently working on had been one of the toughest operations in years, and now he was hearing it wasn’t only his team down there? Contract disputes occasionally came up, but never this deep below the planet’s crust.

When he arrived at the worksite, the foreman was standing next to the mineral vein looking into an opening expanding into a wider cavern. A lone figure wrapped in cloth sat in the center rocking back and forth.

The Emperor requires your help. You have something to give.

It was not clear if the message had been spoken or had gone directly to his mind.

Uli spent days deliberating, as the initial request was minimal - a pound of flesh. The rewards were promised to be unimaginable. Uli and his crew would become unrecognizable praising the God-Emperor each step of the way.

For each pound left in the cavern, they would find it returned in the form of tools, technology and biological upgrades the next day. Uli’s first offering of his left hand was replaced with an unrivaled mechanical copy that grafted seamlessly into the fresh stump. Limbs became entirely mechanical as the trades continued. They were able to work longer and harder and contracts started to come back. Things were looking up. Hybrid constructs were built to help with the hardest work that could scuttle through the tunnels faster than anything their competitors could manage.

Uli tried to sigh, but like his crew, he was now entombed in his mining suit. Little more than a brain sat in his helmet, for eyes and mouth had been traded away decades ago in the name of the God-Emperor. When they no longer had any of their own flesh to offer, workers from the other mining conglomerates started to miss shifts, never to be heard from again. From Uli’s standpoint it was just another form of material extraction…and all for the God-Emperor.

Uli nodded to his crew as they slowly emerged from the mine entrance and trudged towards the newest neighboring mining camp.

More machine than biological being, the miners continue to serve the God-Emperor.

“The Emperor requires your help. You have something to give.”

Sam (inconvenient.hoof): Cult of the Fenlands

Far from the lighthouses of Vastarian, deep in the salt marshes of the brackish wastes, the Cult of the Fenlands is growing. Reclusive and secretive, the Fenlanders are merely myth to many of the citizens of Vastarian. Rumored to be humans who were banished from the cathedrals of Vastarian millenia ago for worshiping multiple gods, the Fenlanders spectral forms haunt those who have encountered them. Now, with psychic awakenings wracking the planet, sightings of Fenlanders have become increasingly common, and the creatures that were once confined to folk tales, are proving to be disconcertingly real.

The Cult of the Fenlands.

Once merely a myth, the Fenlanders have started to be seen in Vastarian.

Tall and spectral, the Fenlanders are terrifying, haunting all those around them.

Sam Olof (cupboard_of_shame): The Illuminated Corvidians

“His miracles appear on coal-black wings, bathed in the wisdom of his eternal flame”

The Illuminated Corvidians: a cult that worships the crows and ravens on the lighthouses of Vasterian. Their proximity to the lighthouse lights as a metaphor for their divine quest to be near the holy light of the Emperor. They are thought to be a bastardisation of beliefs from the human Earth diaspora, who worshiped a bird headed sun god and belief in the immortal god Emperor.

Members of the flock protect the divine corvids with chainsword, flame and stubber. It is unclear if the birds themselves are organic, enhanced or some kind of simulacra. The biome of Vasterian is no longer particularly hospitable to animal life - but known for their intelligence the corvids could easily have carved out a niche.

The Illuminated Corvidians.

Detailed shots of the Illuminated Corvidians.

Members of the Illuminated Corvidians.

Scott Dennis Ward (_justhobby_): Vector of the Innocents Cult

When the Cicatrix maledictum opened, it was not only the time of nightmares for Vastarian, but also of miracles. The voices of saints and blessed multiplied on the planet as much as those of demons and devils, and it was often impossible to tell them apart. One of these 'miracles' was given the name 'Vector of the Innocents' and was discovered by the radical inquisitor Pius Longinus.

Vector of the Innocents. No one knows who or what it is. The black sphere in place of his head does not let you see anything through, though his figure seems to float. In one hand a sphere symbolizes sanctity, while from the other comes blessings or powerful psionic attacks. The carrier speaks with the voices of the human remains it collects. It imparts sermons and those who listen to him say they hear the voices of deceased loved ones telling them from heaven how to obtain salvation.

Inquisitor Pious Longinus Inquisitor Pious Longinus is a radical Inquisitor stranded on Vastarian. Stricken with a terrible Nurgle disease on one of his missions, he lives confined in a crystal helmet. In the chaos of Vastarian, the Vector has gained all his attention. For now he protects it and follows it to understand its true nature.

1st Apostle Laherte. The first witness of the Vector's miracles, he is given the task of writing down everything the Vector says. Like a bird he perches beside the Vector, listening to everything and then singing and repeating the teachings to the devotees.

Sergeant Dimitri and Crusader Antipaxos Crusader Antipaxos. Sergeant Dimitri Dimitrovich is a Veteran of the Vostroyan Firstborn. He is the bodyguard of inquisitor Pious Longinus. He looks at the Vector with superstition as not everything it says can be a blessing.

Vector of the Innocents Cult.

Sean Shaffer (forges_of_zed): Brotherhood of Lead

A member of the Brotherhood of Lead.


The Brotherhood traces its origins from the remains of the Age of Apostasy, with the Decree Passive which created thousands of similar cults devoted to unofficially defending the faith. The Brotherhood of Lead was one such cult. It was founded by their patron Gun-Saint Garand Ferrum, a figure shrouded in legend.

+++Gun-Saint Garand Ferrum+++

The patron saint of the brotherhood Garand Ferrum was an Imperial guardsman. He is one of the lucky few who lived long enough to retire from military life. But such a life did not sit well with the saint and soon he joined the Confederation of Light in their crusade against the Goge Vandire and created a following for himself due to his tactical and leadership experience. He would command a number of men equal to an Imperial Guard regiment in strength during the terran crusade. It was after the victory over the corrupt ecclesiarch that the Decree Passive was signed thus forcing Garand to disband any armed following he had. This did not dissuade a group of Garand’s core disciples who followed the man into the frontier realms of the Imperium. The group would attach themselves to various pilgrimages as hired guns protecting the faithful for donations. They would also preach Garand’s own particular beliefs and gather a following. Saint Garand would meet his end on the frontier world of Pyrris VII, in the Malxius sector, where his followers would lay him to rest. It is claimed that he lived for several centuries without any life-extending technology and several miracles are associated with the saint but the Adeptus Ministorum has never made any comments on the matter of the saint. Saint Garand is the unofficial saint of the brotherhood.

+++The Tenets+++

The Brotherhood of Lead follow the core tenants of the Imperial Cult with some additions.

+Always be armed with a gun so that one will always be prepared to do the Emperor’s will.+
+Always maintain your weapon. If it fails you you have failed it and the Emperor.+
+Always train with your weapon. Your skill sings the glory of your devotion.+
+Always use blessed ammunition. How else will you bring death to his enemies?+

This simple and pragmatic creed has allowed the brotherhood to spread throughout the Imperium and due to the need for faithful warriors it is tolerated by the Imperial cult. Since the brotherhood’s tenets are more practical than theological, this gives them a certain amount of flexibility when interacting with other cults; it is not uncommon to see a lone member of the brotherhood acting as muscle for another cult granted as long as they are Emperor-fearing and have enough thrones.

+++Cult Hierarchy+++

The Brotherhood of Lead has three distinct ranks that place a member above the average member. First is the Gun-Saint, a rank that is derived from the brotherhood's founder and patron saint, Saint Garand Ferrum. Gun-saints are the leaders of the brotherhood who lead the majority of brotherhood found throughout the galaxy. Pious and skilled gunslingers that command authority through their acts of marksmanship and faith. Second are the Drill-Deacons, which are the enforcers of the brotherhood able to keep discipline within the ranks of the brotherhood either through religious or traditional Imperial Guard methods. Finally, there are the Ammo Bearers, those who make, bless, and carry the blessed ammunition of the brotherhood. They also tend to carry the heaviest weapons within the brotherhood.

A member of the Brotherhood of Lead.

A member of the Brotherhood of Lead.

A member of the Brotherhood of Lead.

An Ammo Bearer, one who makes, blesses, and carries the ammunition of the brotherhood.

We hope you enjoyed seeing another set of entries to the Vastarian contest! Make sure to follow the creators if you are not. The final post of entries should be coming soon!

- Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier

1 comment:

  1. Well done to everyone who finished their entries, there are some great things in these posts.