Hello chaps, carrying on my humble efforts on the Rogue Quest project that JB and Jon kicked off, I would like to present my fifth entry. As a reminder, the brief is to build a six-strong adventuring party for Rogue Trader/Confrontation, where each member portrays one of the classic dungeon crawler tropes:
- Magic user
This time, I’ve tackled the ‘Cleric’ character, and I must admit, I have really been looking forward to this one… I used the classic ‘Techpriest Schlan’ model from the Adventurers range as the base model – a creepy and disturbing individual if ever I saw one! To be honest, the base sculpt is so-so IMO, and I felt compelled to make a few ‘adjustments’ here and there. I embellished the staff with several bits from the Flagellants kit (a great source of bits!), and bashed together a creepy mechanical claw and backpack/flamer from various AdMech bits. I should probably explain that I started out with AdMech in mind for this guy, but over the course of the conversion I got to thinking about him as more of a heretical type… the battered feet, the raggedness, the hunched look… they all suggested a wandering vagrant to me, rather than a powerful AdMech priest, so when it came to painting, I deliberately avoided using too much red. I did slip a little bit in to tie him in with the RogueQuest crew, but I (hopefully) avoided making him look obviously mechanicus. I kept the pallet muted and weathered looking – this guy clearly isn’t rich or powerful! The feet were particularly fun to do – whether the sculptor intended it or not, (one of the Morrisons, Naismith or Copplestone I believe), I interpreted the exposed and skeletal feet as being cybernetic, and painting the transition between flesh and metal was good fun. The other major point on the painting side is the religious icon… I spent a lot of time on this, and it’s the most ambitious bit of freehand I have ever undertaken… I’m hoping some of you may recognise the image that I was trying to reproduce here??? ;-)
Anyhow, here are some pics, see what you think:
And here’s the fluff:
“Hass used to be a Mechanicus exploratory priest from Urdesh, and he travelled the galaxy widely in order to gather artefacts and data for the holy Omnissiah. His services were highly prised, for Hass’s expertise covered many fields – biological, medical, linguistic, mechanical, electrical, and even social. He never questioned the doctrine that he had been programmed (literally and metaphorically) to believe, until a fateful discovery on a distant and uncharted moon in the galactic south – a region of space seldom travelled by the Imperium. The moon held evidence of an ancient population, and the rulers of Urdesh held its existence as a jealously guarded secret. Hass was one of the few explorators to ever be sent to the moon, and the mission was so clandestine that, unusually, he went alone. The high priests of Urdesh dispatched Hass with a small craft and no crew, (apart from a handful of mindless servitors), in order to preserve secrecy. Hass was unperturbed, and accepted the mission without reservation.
On arriving at the designated moon, Hass spent several weeks surveying the small, barren world, and he eventually identified an equatorial area that appeared to have a subterranean complex of intelligent design. He landed his craft, and set about organising servitors to assemble a bio-dome and begin preliminary excavation. The servitors soon broke through to the subterranean complex, and Hass ventured in to explore and document thoroughly. To Hass’s amazement, he discovered that the site was an ancient human habitation dating back to the dark ages before the Great Crusade, containing examples of technology that pre-dated even the STC system that his peers worshipped with such zeal. What was most surprising was the sophistication of the computer systems that he found, far more elegant than the simple servitor-driven systems that he was used to. It took time to connect power feeds from his ship and bring the habitat to life, and even more time to figure out how to work with the machines, (they were operated by delicate keys in a language that had been dead for eons, but eventually he gained access, thanks to a cryptic yellow note that had been helpfully left attached to one of the terminals). Hass discovered that the ancient humans called the machines ‘Windows’, and he could see why – the ancient monitors were like windows to an unimaginable life that was vividly painted in pictures and words. He poured over millions of files over many months, and learned much of this ancient civilisation. Much was strange to him, but what came across clearly was how much art, beauty, curiosity and free thinking was valued by these ancients, and how little superstition and reverence they possessed. Nothing it seemed was beyond their curiosity, and Hass was filled with admiration and inspiration. One image in particular kept recurring, that of a mechanically enhanced man who seemed to embody this wilful expressiveness and creativity in his gaze. Hass committed this picture to hard copy, convinced that it must be the image of some profit or saint of the ancients.
All too soon, Hass completed his survey. He knew that he should return with his findings, but to his surprise, he found that he didn’t want to… for the first time in his existence, Hass had feelings of defiance and wilfulness that ran counter to all his teachings. He ran countless diagnostic checks on his own systems, and each showed that he was operating perfectly, and yet Hass felt different – changed. Put simply, he wanted to be free – free of dogma and ritual, free to express and create, free to explore and grow. In that instant, Hass resolved to escape his life, even though he knew that such heresy was punishable by death. He quickly calculated that the only way to escape the Adeptus Mechanicus would be to stage his own death in a crash-landing, to sever his connection to the Noosphere, and to find another crew where he could hide under a different identity. The plan was risky, but Hass knew that it had to be done. He left as if to return to Urdesh, and picked a sparsely populated Imperial trading outpost en-route where he could implement his scheme. He over-rode the pilot servitor engrams in such a way as to make it appear as a fault, and he manually guided the craft into a crash in uninhabited part of the world. The crash was calculated to be severe but survivable, and Hass was able to leave on foot, rigging the ship’s plasma drives to detonate once he had reached a safe distance. He waited until the precise moment of the explosion to fire a low-pulse laser into his own cortex in such a way that he physically destroyed the portion of brain that connected him to the Noosphere without causing too much incidental damage. To anyone tracking his Noosphere connection, it would appear is if he had been vaporised with the ship.
Wounded and disorientated, he wandered the world for months as he recovered from his ordeal, before finding himself in a minor trading port. He learned of a visiting Trader named Arturo, and he introduced himself to the young man and offered his services in any capacity that Arturo chose to name. Arturo was intrigued, and asked Hass what he could do – he was suitably impressed at the long list that Hass provided. Arturo agreed, and Hass joined the trader as an apothecary and engineer. He integrated well with the crew, where his usefulness and personality was welcomed by all, and Hass enjoyed the freedom and liberation of the environment in turn. Over the course of several weeks, Hass felt a growing sense of responsibility and loyalty to the crew… Although discovery by the servants of the Omnissiah was unlikely, he didn’t want to endanger them in any way, so he decided to confide with Arturo regarding his past. Arturo listened patiently, and remained quiet and still during Hass’s story. He thought about all the ex-priest told him, weighing risk against benefit, and accounting for the friendship he felt for Hass. Eventually, Arturo agreed that Hass could remain a part of his crew on the condition that he shared and developed his new-found philosophies, for Arturo saw them not as heresy, but as a way of free-thinking that brought him a trading advantage in a dogmatic and superstitious galaxy. Hass agreed, and now travels as a member of Arturo’s crew, proudly displaying the picture of the ancient visionary that he recovered from a long-dead moon – an image that embodies the power of creativity and curiosity, ever reminding Hass of the value of free though.”
So, there we have it – six RogueQuest characters completed, and six crew members to accompany Arturo on his RT adventures. I hope you have enjoyed this little project as much as I have, I’m not sure what I’m going to do next, but it’ll probably be some civilians to populate my imaginary world… watch this space ;-)
Finally, I just want to thank JB and Jon again for letting me crash the party and for your kind words and encouragement – I’ve loved watching your interpretation of the brief, and I hope that you enjoyed mine in return. I really hope that I get to meet you guys at BoyL next year, and maybe even get our RQ parties together on a table! Now that would be cool :-)