Hello chaps, it’s about that time of the week when I’m usually finishing off some painting and looking forward to sharing the results on this ‘ere blog thing… Not so this week chaps, but I do have a few things in the pipeline – a couple of WIPs and a short story! First up, I have this thing – I don’t know who or what this is yet, but I like it! See what you make of it:
Pretty nasty looking, right? It’s a fairly simple mix of Lizardman & Ruststalker bits, but is the latest in a long line of (mostly crap) attempts at doing 40k Lizardmen… I really do like this guy & may end up expanding this idea.
Secondly is an involved piece to answer the question I put in my last post – who holds the power in the Imperium? Wudugast arrived at the same conclusion as me – that the true power of the Empire resides with the Navigators… here’s a little bit of a story to explain why I think this:
Mezura sat comfortably in her palanquin, lazily watching the world slide by as her mind-wiped porters carried her through the busy streets. It had been many months since she had last made planetfall, and despite the relative novelty of the sights, smells and sounds, she soon grew bored. It wasn’t that the navigation suite of her current employer’s ship was any more interesting, but the “Void Dragon” certainly smelled better… The craft may have a flamboyant name, but she was certainly comfortable, and was well maintained by her Rogue Trader employer. Truthfully, given the choice, she would have gladly spent the rest of her life in space, but the effects of prolonged void travel on the body were not kind and Mezura knew the importance of taking shore leave whenever possible. She was already suffering from significant wastage of her legs, and had needed a bionic arm after the original limb had become gangrenous during a particularly long warp jump a few years ago. This, combined with the arrested physical development that was a particular mutational quirk of her family, gave her the appearance of a prepubescent invalid, despite her being in the forth decade of her life, and being a Navigator of formidable capability. Mezura fully enjoyed the prestige that this rank provided, and while she occasionally considered being less obvious about displaying the third eye in the centre of her forehead – the gift that clearly marked her out as a Navigator, she very quickly discounted the notion. Indeed, she knew many of her kind preferred to keep their mutation hidden when in public so as to be able to mingle more closely with the common man, but she was proud of her heritage and had been raised to enjoy the isolation that it afforded – no commoner should dare to approach a member of the Navis Nobilite! So, although she travelled through the heart of a busy Imperial city, she and her entourage were given a very wide berth, for everyone knew that to meet the gaze of a Navigator’s third eye was to invite destruction. However, this isolation did not help to relieve the tedium of the day.
Sighing, Mezura decided to strike up a conversation to relieve the boredom, so she turned to speak with her companion. “Jarno, tell me about the importance of the Navigator mutation within the Imperium” she said. Jarno, hovering alongside the palanquin, clacked and wheezed as the speech modules of the servo skull came on line – “You know where the Navis Nobilite lie in the order of things Mistress – at the centre of all, always and forever”. Mezura smiled – this was a game that she and Jarno had played many times since he first became her beloved servant, mentor and teacher, right back when she was a little girl. At that time, Jarno had been an old man of flesh, blood and bone, rather than the augmented and disembodied cranium that he had become. This drastic step had been taken in order to extend Jarno’s useful life once his Mistress had grown old enough for space travel – not that this diminished the affection that Mezura had for him of course, it was simply a necessity to make the old man fit for void flight. “But how is that possible Jarno? How can the Navigators be at the centre of all things, when all we do is hire ourselves out to others so that we can steer their ships through the void?” Jarno clicked and hovered closer to Mezura’s elbow, the umbilical cabling that connected him to the palanquin slackened as he drew close. “Mistress, to answer that question, you first need to understand the nature of power, for that is at the heart of the matter… I ask you now, who do you think holds the power within the Imperium?” Mezura pretended to think… “Surely the God-Emperor holds all the power within the Imperium!” she stated. Jarno moved closer still, and lowered the volume of his vox output in a theatrical way. “Not so Mistress, not so… Certainly, the Emperor is the god-head and the guiding light for all people, but he has no power except that which is expressed through the agencies of his will”. Mezura immediately responded – “Then surely these agencies are the real power – the Inquisition, the Astartes, the Army, The Fleet! Surely the power of the agents of the Imperial will is beyond question?” Jarno produced a series of clacking sounds, possibly the mechanical approximation of laughter – “Again, and alas, this is also incorrect Mistress, for these agencies are mere tools… without the will of the Emperor to guide them, and without something to act on, they would have no more direction or purpose than an abandoned Lasgun – they have no power save that given by the will of the Emperor, and the empire that they act on.” Mezura thought some more, wriggling within the suit that restrained her atrophied limbs… “Then the power must belong with the political elite – the rulers and policy makers.” A mechanical sigh seemed to come from the ancient servo skull “Pawns, mere pawns… The politicos exist in a constant state of opposition to each other in a game that is designed to maintain the status quo. Their power is an illusion, nothing more.” Mezura shrugged, her youthful face taking on a sulky pout. “What about the Mechanicus then? Their mastery of the machine spirits must surely be the real power within the Imperium!” Again, Jarno clacked his amusement. “The red priests of Mars? Tinkerers and peddlers – they know little, and understand less! They are too concerned with their rituals and secrets to wield any real power.” Mezura laughed, then ventured – “Then how about the mercantile guilds? The great trader families, and all the wealth that they enjoy? Or how about the Ecclesiarches? Surely they have power?” The status lights on Jarno’s cranium flickered in apparent agitation – “No Mistress, I am sorry, but that is not the answer. After all, what power lies with a merchant save that granted by trade partners and consumers? What power lies with the priests, save that granted by the population that they preach to?” Mezura nodded thoughtfully, the long fingers of her remaining biological hand tapping a rhythm on her useless legs – “Then the answer must be the people themselves, surely they must be at the heart of all power?” Jarno clicked and wheezed as the servo skull pivoted left and right to take in the crowds, the gun-arms of the palanquin unconsciously tracking his mechanical gaze – “Mistress, surely you jest! The ‘people’? Beasts… Animals… Scum… A resource to be used and controlled, nothing more.” Mezura huffed, and her natural eyes flashed with feigned annoyance. “Oh, Jarno, you are being vexatious! I sometimes wonder why I bothered extending your life as a servo skull, such is your pedantry… I should have simply dragged you into space as you were, and just let you expire at the first warp jump! I give up – you seem to know everything about everything, so why don’t you explain the nature of power to me.” The servo skull turned to regard the young navigator, somehow managing to express amusement, in spite of the lack of any facial features. “Forgive me Mistress, I exist to serve and instruct you, as I have since you were a babe-in-arms. Please, allow me to explain the nature of power. Your answers were all incorrect only in so much as they identified discrete elements of a system… The truth is that the whole system needs to be connected in order for it to function – a web of interdependence if you will. Consider then, how is this web maintained? How is it connected? The answer is, of course, through the efforts of the Navis Nobilite, and their ability to navigate ships through the Immaterium – therefore the Navigator is the true power behind the Imperium of Humanity, for without them, the web of the Imperium could not exist.” Mezura smiled at that – she never tired of being reminded that her family, and others like them, were the great power that held the vast empire of humanity together. This sense of purpose buoyed her spirits, and, more importantly, it had helped to pass the time. “Jarno, you are so wise, whatever would I do without you? Thank you for your instruction today, and please forgive my temper… this place has worn my patience thin, and I think I have had quite enough planet-time for one cycle – the noise and the smell is beginning to irritate me. Signal the ship to prepare for teleporter lock, and direct the palanquin to a safe area for transfer – let’s get back into orbit.” Jarno immediately relayed her commands via the palanquin’s integral control architecture, and the mind-slaved porters smoothly turned around to head back towards the open spaces and raised ground of the Administratum quarter. The crowd parted smoothly as they made their way back through the streets, with just the occasional twitch of the palanquin’s weapon systems needed to encourage the crowd to make way. Jarno had risen up to the maximum height that the control-umbilical would allow in order to scan ahead – “Mistress, the “Void Dragon” signals that she is standing by for teleport – we’ll teleport up as soon as we clear this crowd.” Mezura sighed her satisfaction, already looking forward getting off-world and back to the peace and quiet of her quarters.
And here are some pictures of my attempts to recreate Mezura:
I hope you like the direction this is going – she’s on my painting station at the moment & hopefully I’ll make some progress this week… :-)