Thursday, June 13, 2024

Vastarian Contest - Entries Part 4

Below are the fourth and final set of entries in our Vastarian contest!

Shane Brockway (7he_Blindman): The Cult of the Marrow King

The Cult of the Marrow King.

The truth is not skin deep.

It is buried deep under the skin.

All within this Cult of the Marrow King look upon Locus Mon - the Living Saint, and bask in the truth his image presents. Locus was a psyker, unsanctioned and unaware of his own gift. This gift cursed him with vivid nightmares the likes of which a mortal mind can’t comprehend. On the night of his ascension, Locus dreamed of gold… in one microsecond he had seen the truth - a vision.

The Emperor whom he held so dearly was not the strong and sturdy caricature from the shrines, the statues and sermons hid the truth - the Emperor of Mankind is one of IVORY AND GOLD! A great Marrow King who sits atop a golden throne looking down over the lies of the fleshed ones. It is in this revelation that he first began to filet.

Now, the Cult of the Marrow King grows with those extremists in piety and pain who follow Locus's visions as words from the Godking himself.

The Living Saint - What was one Locus is now nothing but a Servo skull lost in a golden madness. He does not speak, he does not command, he simply stares at those who follow in his ambitious footsteps. To filet the skin is to worship, to tear off the muscle is to ascend, and to float as naught but Ivory and Gold is to become one with GOD.

The Tender - When your god is one of Ivory and Gold can you claim any but Servo Skulls are created in Gods own image? The Tender collects those Servo Skulls that wander the ruined cities. As the propagandists hide the truth, they too belittle the holy skulls fit only for worship. Within the cult these Skulls are revered as silent saints.

The Fanatic - These worshipers of various states of self-mutilation deal the fury of the Marrow King to the deniers. The paint of a skinless life is to be shocked into a divine truth.

The Spokesman - The corpse of a former denier long since dethroned from his place of power, this corpse carries the image of The Marrow King as Locus has seen it. The truth will not be covered for long.

The Matron - Within her skinless grasp sits the Goldenboy. This Servo dictates the orders of Locus, or so it claims. All those deemed heretical in the eye of the Goldenboy are cleansed in flame at the hands of his Matron.

The Muscle - These worshipers of various states of self-mutilation deal the fury of the Marrow King to the deniers. The paint of a skinless life is to be shocked into a divine truth.

Stefan Darlan Boris (FPOA): The Cult of the Hollow Thorne

The Cult of the Hollow Thorne.

The Cult of the Hollow Thorne is one of the oldest Cults of the Green Man. It has risen to great numbers recently, as the search for illumination, cure and oracular statements has increased dramatically among citizens of the Imperium. Its origination story has been lost in cult myth, but according to the fabled Grimoire Crataegus, the cult was birthed in a far-flung region near the Halo Stars several Millennia ago. Its congregants, known simply as Hollowers, are hunched and crooked wayfarers draped in green garbs and lichen garlands giving them the look of verdant half-men who have walked straight out of an Imperial fable.

Hollowers are pilgrims!

According to cult doctrine they are only allowed to walk during nighttime, their pilgrimage resembling the dark interior of a hollow tree. They walk along some of the deepest pilgrim routes traversing the underlit labyrinth of an Imperium draped in almost-darkness. They often walk in smaller congregations of a thousand pilgrims, but occasionally, larger congregations are seen gathering around ancient Hollow Thornes. Cult belief describes how Hollow Thornes were once wayside trees that stood along Imperial hollow roads when the young Prince of Imperium traversed his empire underneath their then majestic canopies ten thousand years ago. They are such potent oracles of divination, that they are now carried along in veneration along some of the deepest and oldest pilgrim routes that are stretched so thin and over such expanses through the Imperium that generations live and die as pilgrims beneath the Hollow Thornes gnarled branches.

Hollowers believe that the time is nigh, when the Emperor will be reborn as the Green Man and that his rebirth will occur through a hollow of a Hollow Thorne. As such, they all carry the cult symbol of a circle with eight pointed thorns symbolizing a hollow in the trunk of a thorny tree. Many of the cult’s augurs, chief priests who select sacred places deemed suitable for the rebirth of the Emperor, make use of geomancy, an archaic tradition of fitting particular places along the pilgrim routes into the cosmic branches of a coming verdant Imperium. Only the most pious Hollowers are blessed with the bleak task of carrying a Hollow Thorne shrine.

Hollowers carrying a Hollow Thorne shrine, preparing for the coming of the Green Man.

Tyler G (tylerisalrightatpainting): The Cult of Undying Love

The Cult of Undying Love.

The God Emperor will never die. This is a fact. In order to be closer to him, The Undying Love live in his imagine, augmenting their bodies to last forever alongside their beloved Emperor. If they die, they cannot serve him, and that is the worst form of blasphemy imaginable. Whispers of salvation bless their ears and if they accept these blessings, members gain longevity like no other. The side effects are often growths, mutations, and pustules. Yet, members revel in these gifts, as it’s proof they’ve been chosen by the holiest of powers.

Cult members will augment themselves with cybernetic enhancements as well as their holy blessings to serve to their fullest capacity. Some go as far as to sever their pain receptors so they do not feel age, battle wounds, or sickness. Some of the most revered members who still draw breath are carried as shrines when their bodies have long since failed them. Once a member dies for any reason, they have blasphemed and are instantly regarded as heretical. There are no burials, no fond memories, and never remembrance. The only way to live a pious life is to live. Life is not precious, but living to serve is.

"We fear death above all else, for only in life may we serve his holy name. When he is done with us, we are plucked like a weed from his garden, nevermore in his service.” — from the Living Disciples’ Tome of Service, page 142.

Blothar the Unmovable, a man blessed to live abnormally long (with a side effect of a great pustule growth off his backside and many open sores across his body), no longer feels pain because of his holy service. He delights in his rotting armor and unkempt appearance because nothing matters other than his unyielding service. He is the poster child for service in the Church of Undying Love.

Unable to walk, and likely struggling to draw breath, this cultist is carried as a living shrine.

A half dead Cultist of Undying Love.

“The Benefactor” Phlebitis Gaesatus (right), a noble with exceedingly deep pockets, is a primary benefactor to the Church of Undying Love. Through his donations over the last two centuries, he too has been gifted a longer lifespan by the Emperor. He is told the side effect of boils and open sores is proof of his blessing. While his appearance has changed over the years, his devotion has not.

Victor Pichereau (victor.tcvr): The Cult of the Celestial Key

The Cult of the Celestial Key.

The Cult of the Celestial Key is a fanatical cult dedicated to the pursuit of a legendary cosmic key believed to have been crafted by the Emperor himself.

Quest for the Celestial Key: The primary doctrine of the cult is the relentless search for the cosmic key, seen as the ultimate symbol of the Emperor's authority and protection. Members believe that possessing the key will grant humanity transcendent power to combat the forces of Chaos.

Purification of the Soul: Members believe in purifying their souls and spirits to be worthy of possessing the Celestial Key. They engage in rituals of purification and meditation to eliminate impurities that could hinder their spiritual connection with the Emperor.

Protection of Humanity: Another central doctrine is the belief that the Cosmic Key can be used to protect humanity from the Warp and Chaos. Cultists see this as their sacred duty and are willing to sacrifice anything to achieve this goal.

Resurrection of the Emperor: The most extreme members believe in a radical interpretation of the legend of the Celestial Key, teaching that it has the power to resurrect the Emperor from his state of semi-death. They believe that only the key can free the Emperor from his eternal agony and are willing to resort to extreme and unholy sacrifices to achieve this, even if it means plunging humanity into total chaos.

High priestess Nauqui and pet crow Astros.

Bounty hunter Regis and Knight errant Farum Cletor.

These were the last of Vastarian Contest entries! We hope you enjoyed them as much as we have. Make sure to follow the creators if you are not. Expect us to announce the winners soon!

- Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier

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