Sunday, 25 December 2016

Warhammer Art: Land of Eternal Autumn

For Yule, I have taken receipt of a printer / scanner.

I have recently joined the "Inquisimunda" forum on Ammo Bunker and been inspired to share my pictures which have grown from that ferment.

In fact I made a topic to post my doodlings, but I felt I would edit them and repost them here for sake of record.


I have a vague outline for a place which was in the very early stages of what would eventually become a Hive World, but on being cut off from the Imperium ended up regressing into a Knight World level of technology. Parts are almost medieval, with a huge central city and ruins and remnants of semi autonomous refineries/factories scattered throught the world. Left to develop/devolve by itself for millenia, heretical technology and beliefs have blossomed even in the apparent absence of Chaotic influence.


"Arbite Bannerman"

 This fellow - I have attempted to thumbnail at least a dozen times, and draw full A4 at least once and it just doesn't want to manifest.

My idea for the remnants of Arbites and law enforcement on this planet is that they have split up and regionalised - becoming more and more medieval the further away they are from the Capital and other large towns and cities.

Ironically, the higher ranks want to emulate nobility - and look as individual and lavish as possible, looking more like Warhammer fantasy Empire generals than soldiers, with feathers in their caps and colloquial technology such as duelling flintlock pistols.

I liked the idea that recruits would be given the most useful weapons and armour because they were not "fashionable" so you might have scrawny kids with big ancient arbite helmets wobbling on their heads as the mascot of a group, like a drummer boy.

I figured that it in the most rustic areas they might have recruited a fellow who had never seen a gun fired in his life. He might have a family heirloom of a shotgun that had only ever been used as an improvised club. One of my thumbnails had this fellow staring dumbfounded at a bullet/shell given to him as a reward by his superior, completely confused as to what he was to do with it.

Another idea was for some kind of boltgun to be the symbol of an Arbite leader, but for the bolter shells to be so rare that it was a purely ceremonial object. A "white elephant", it could not be relinquished or disgarded, despite being a huge lump of useless metal. Essentially some servant would be required to constantly carry this thing wherever the leader went, perhaps strapped to his back, as a symbol of office - in fact, maybe nothing else would be acceptable as a symbol of office to all the peasants in the outermost places. If you turned up with an "official seal" they'd think it was suspicious and easy to copy - but some huge lump of intricately detailed metal - well you'd have to be the real thing with that as a sign of office!

This fellow is veering towards medieval, with his metal helmet, shotgun that could be club or firearm, and the fur of some dead beast cloaked over his shoulders. Banners flutter in the wind, showing symbols of the weighing scales - one of the few signs surviving that these forces think of themselves as Arbites.



  The usual trope in mainstream 40k stuff is fire and flame, promethium, burning the heretics etc. etc.

But I rather like the idea of citizens worshipping light rather than simply flame - light including electrical light. Venerating it almost as a lost technology.

This fellow is a Lantern Man, one of a great variety of penitents or semi religious nomads/tramps.

They provide illumination and navigation for caravans of traders, pilgrims or monster hunters as they move between settlements or through tunnels, having no real home, relying on the generosity of their wards for food and shelter.

His lamppost and battery backpack are hierlooms, passed down from father to son, with almost no knowledge surviving on how they work. Probably only a fraction of the mass of the backpack actually generates the power for the lights, with slung together technology having built up like sediment over the centuries. A forest of different power adapter wires dangles from... somewhere, allowing him to plug it into local power generators when he stops to rest. Whether this actually helps or whether there's a gram of radioactive material with a half life of 10,000 years ticking away inside - who knows? Every Lantern Man is different!

A variety of replacement lightbulbs adorn his belt, a bit like other characters would have spare ammo clips or grenades!

He clutches The First Bulb, a burnt out power unit turned into a relic of significance for Lantern Men, a bit like rosary beads, allegedly the very first bulb that one of his great gr. gr. etc. grandfathers would have begun the tradition with.

For his weapon, I imagined an ancient, completely broken Power Maul, which is now simply a club with some phosphorescent material inside it to make it mimic the appearance of its former glory!

His weapon has a cable tied around his arm - this is inspired by the way that Black Templars are chained to their bolt weapons - I like the idea that he can never relinquish his "guiding light" and therefore his responsibility in guiding travellers in the darkness.

He is bald with perhaps whisps of hair - with various burn marks over his skin and scalp. He is a man constantly strapped to a lot of electric power and I imagine that the urge to tinker and explore the heirloom means that he is covered with scars with a lot of burnt off body hair!  His forearm and hand have a remnant of some metal on them with half legible numbers on. Along with the equipment, the idea is that the shreds of some ancient imperial adept uniform have survived down the long years, the origin of the Lantern Man probably being some splinter group of some very menial Imperial techs who only knew how to change light bulbs in the City.

The larger insect hunting moths is some genetically modified dragonfly, fearsome to look at but much venerated by the populace as one of the surviving bioforms from the initial colonisation/terraforming, designed to make marshlands habitable with a voracious appetite for mosquito and other pest type creatures.

"Lanternman with Marrow Seekers"

One thing I like about all the vignettes you get in Warhammer rulebooks over the years are the little servitors / grots / cherubs etc. that snap at each other in the margins. Mercifully, this seems to have survived at least until 40k 6th edition and in the themed art on the GW webstore.

Here, it felt natural to add some ratlike creature on the tilting, damaged lamp on the right. So I added a whiptail, a kind of rat sized lizard creature, not really vermin but an ill tempered spiny creature in any case. It's raising it's hackles at the perch of a dragonfly to the left. If you want to eat moths for dinner, a Lantern Man's totem is a good place to sit!

I figure these gentlemen are Marrow Seekers, moving across a mostly dried up lake bed (like the Aral Sea), trying to find the remnants of what are, to the eye of a 40k player, Eldar wraithbone constructs. These are brittle, porous and ground into a power source which is used alongside the scant Promethium which is occasionally wrung from dilapidated, semi-automated sources.


"Preacher of the Spire"

There are many fragments of Imperial Ecclesiarchy left on this world, whose energies have been turned to strange things in the virtual absence of the light of Holy Terra.

One such faith goes by diverse names but is called in official channels the Church of the City Unattained, but also goes by Faith of the Spire among lay people. Different splinter sects of this movement regularly roam the planet, making pilgrimages to places they believe are the foundations of a mythical paradise city they were cheated out of when the planet was isolated from the Imperium.

The Capital city has many grand pillars and attempted excavations that have since been built through under and over. These great cisterns, caverns, pipes, tunnels, vast pillars and girders were the beginnings of the long process of turning the world over into a productive Hive world.

The Faith believes that these decayed fragments are an eternal reminder of the failure of the people of the world to live up to the Emperor's standards. They are forever chipping away at these remnants and turning them into holy "relics" even though the vast majority of them are sewer maintenance parts from the foundations. They have no real mental image of what a Spire or a Hive even consists of, but they venerate the Imperial Eagle in their masks and iconography as they see it on the ancient bulkheads that survive.

I imagined the the flying buttresses and eagle heads from the Imperial Sector kits would be a big motif for this cult. They would wear masks which were just that kind of aquila pointing forwards or maybe blank art deco masks like the Sigmarites have from AoS.

I would imagine their cloaks are dyed differing shades of blue/green in mimicry of the Verdigris they would see on old ruins.

The holiest artefacts wouldn't just be torn up bits of pipes and plascrete but rather, working or legible bits and bobs from thousands of years ago. This fellow is attempting to read some huge bound manuscript which in reality is probably a detailed treatise on waste water management rather than the one true path to the Lost City.

Mummified servitors that have been torn from the walls of ancient tunnels are sometimes turned into "living saint" type reliquaries.

This Faith is seen as something of a pest by the authorities as they travel around the feudal areas encouraging the peasants to build bizarre, aimless towers to appease the Emperor and encourage him to return and finish building his Spires. This has the result that there are areas of the planet littered with strange follies and earthworks in primitive imitation of what the Administratum began to accomplish.



I figured this chap to be a hanger on with groups like the Faith of the Spire. He has sworn a vow of silence and communicates through the countless strips of parchment and seals which make up his clothes.

He makes his living taking food / drink or some small coin to write down the prayers and names of those living and dead who will never get to live in the promised Spire. Essentially, he mourns the living and the dead who never had the chance to live in the promised land of the Spire Unattained. He will also take some of your sins for you as an indulgence... Lighten your soul as well as your coin purse, of course.

My thoughts were that yes, he has a little airbrush type quill with an ink reserve and a compressor on it. He has candles for wax seals aplenty. His backpack would have all sorts of seal stamps and spare candles, perhaps even a canister just full of hot wax and a little spigot to pour it out as it's needed. His collar and shoulders are covered with the latest promises, but his entire coat is composed of the oldest ones woven into it to replace wear and tear. After years of travelling and sin eating his coat is entirely made of cured leather, vellum and parchment. He carries a coin box on his waist a bit like a Boxing Day collection box.

His staff top is probably an ancient servo skull whose grav motors gave out centuries ago, with a scroll stuffed into it's mouth, a good symbol for a sin eater.