(Taken from “The Edge of Illumination” by Solomon Voss, 950.M30)
“He dashes on with diabolical cries, his shield in his left arm and in the right his uplifted spear. Such an apparition strikes terror into the hearts of the enemy, and at its approach they flee without coming to blows at all.”
(Taken from “The Armorial Questoris”, attr. Lucifer Hajime, 001.M31)
It is perhaps inappropriate for our dynastic examination of the honourable Questoris Familia to dwell too long on “House” Ilmeluaya, for it is no true House, but rather a loose collection of individual warriors who call themselves "the fearless" in their native tongue. Its members are not drawn from a single noble bloodline; even those from the basest of lineages may enter its ranks, for the steeds that bear its Scions have long since lost the ability to discriminate between noble and common blood.
This is perhaps the natural consequence of the barbarism that holds sway upon the moon of Kalenjin Minoris, from whence the “House” is drawn; for unlike the homeworlds of the Great Houses, which retained the strength of character and purity of spirit to resist the chaos of Old Night, the Kalenjin system once hosted an advanced human society which succumbed to the decadence and self-indulgence suffered by so many other civilisations in that troubled time.
The degenerate survivors of this holocaust eke out a poor, nomadic living on the savage plains of their moon, overrun by all manner of deadly beasts and dependent on a caste of half-mad tech-shaman to maintain their machinery.
While “House” Ilmeluaya can deploy more than a hundred engines, their numbers are irrelevant, as they are piloted by a half-naked rabble who adorn their mounts with barbaric fetishes and crude hand-daubed designs in complete ignorance of the accepted rules of Heraldry. Further examination of such a crude society would only serve to corrupt the morals of the reader.
Hi all, and welcome to my new WIP thread.
I’ve wanted to do a Knight ever since the Paladin got released, and very nearly bought one after seeing the love and care that was put into the incredible Queen Bee, but had never quite got round to it. I love the fluff for the Knightly Houses, particularly the whole techno-barbarian element- proud warriors using ancient technological marvels that they don’t understand and can hardly maintain- but the chivalric element has never really caught my imagination enough to invest in buying one.
Doing a ‘knightly’ knight using the established techno-medieval theme just didn’t appeal to me, but there are loads of other cultures with honour-based warrior nobility to choose from, and I figured that, especially during the Great Crusade before the cultural homogenisation of the Imperium, Knight Households might come in a range of interesting flavours.
My first idea was to go with a Samurai theme- plenty of fun background potential there, and it’s easy to imagine a Knight World where the scions are all adolescent girls defending the population from the rampaging Kaiju. But despite not having seen anyone else use this theme on a Knight, it all seemed a bit obvious and unoriginal somehow- surely I could find a more interesting concept?
Then I saw the lithe and slightly insectoid Knight Atrapos, and was reminded of this photo of the actor who played the Xenomorph in Alien. I had a vague memory of him being Kenyan (inaccurate as it turned out- he was from Nigeria) and then I realised that the Masai traditions of lion-hunting and individual valour would be a very nice fit with Knight Suits- how else would you go about killing gigantic predators on a death world?
So that’s the plan; my Atrapos is going to be the basis for a Cerastus Lancer, but one rooted in East African cultural traditions rather than the Western European one. I want it ancient, intimidating, crusty and roughly patched up over thousands of years of service, festooned with beads and feathers, and very much a focal point of veneration for the society which maintains it- as its former pilots imprint a fraction of their personality on their steed during their service, the Knight is effectively a living ancestor spirit.
The Knight will be called "Mingati", which means, in Masai, "Swift one who does not lag behind".
This is going to be quite a big project- I’ve never made a model this large before- so it’ll be fun to see how it progresses.
So, let's get started! I'm still waiting on the Mingati himself- it should hopefully be delivered next week, but this has given the the advantage of being able to do lots of planning. It's also let me occupy myself with Mingati's pilot.
As mentioned in the initial post, House Ilmeluaya hails from the moon of Kalenjin Minoris. In the Age of Technology, Kalenjin Majoris was a centre of human civilisation in the region, and was apparently wealthy enough to maintain its moon as a sort of nature reserve; when Old Night fell, the well-regulated biomes of Kalenjin Minoris collapsed as the planet above fell into anarchy , and the various megafauna brought in from all over the galaxy escaped their enclosures to form a new and deadly ecosystem. Thousands of years later, Kalenjin Minoris has effectively become a death world; the descendents of the few surviving colonists live a nomadic lifestyle as hunter-gatherers, protected by the Knight suits that the machine-doctor caste maintain.
As a result, the Scions of House Ilmeluaya are very much techno-tribals; there are no great fortresses for their mounts to be repaired, so everything is done on the fly. This doesn't mean that they are unsophisticated though, as a surprising amount of technology survived the collapse of Kalenjin's civilisation and contact has been maintained with the Forgeworld of Mordax, whose representatives have managed to conflate the Omnissiah with the inhabitants' own ancestor spirits.
In putting together my pilot then, I wanted to really stress the techno-tribal thing, with added nobility- think this picture, but with electoos. After playing around with the torso from the electro-priest set, I wanted to make him quite tall and wiry, but with a technological twist; and then I realised that the Sicaran Infiltrator legs bore quite a resemblance to the Atrapos Knight ones. So here's a tradition from Kalenjin; to mark the passage into adulthood, a warrior's legs are replaced with bionic improvements to let them run and jump like a gazelle. Here's where I got to at this point;
Obviously the groin area is very rough, but that doesn't matter- I wanted this guy to have a Masai-style toga. This was the first time I'd ever tried to make a cloak this way, so it was a bit nerve-wracking; but after half an hour of cursing, here's what I ended up with. The skull-cog brooch is shaved from an electro-priest's backpack.
It's currently curing, after which I'll tidy it up, but I'm quite pleased overall- not to mention relieved!
Finally, I had some greenstuff left over, so I did a little experiment; I wanted to Africanise the Knight's command throne, and I thought a nice hide covering might be good to replace the stock cushions, along these lines. I wanted the hide to have a subtle texture to it, and found something appropriate on the cover of an old book; here's my proof of concept. Reckon it should paint up quite nicely...
Edited by EdT, 03 November 2015 - 10:08 PM.