Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Alexandria's Genesis

Alexandria's Genesis is a fictional human mutation circulating on the internet.  Supposedly individuals with this mutation have pale skin, purple eyes, no facial hair, long lifespans and perfect physiques. 


According to internet lore:
"The first recorded case of Alexandria's genesis was a woman named Alexandria Augustine in 1329 London. Her parents, upon realizing her most distinct feature, the purple eyes, decide that she must be possessed and take her to a priest, to have her exorcised. Luckily, the priest had heard of the mutation before and told the parents that nothing was wrong with their daughter. According to legend, after a flash of light over Egypt some odd thousand years ago, the people with purple eyes and very fair skin had appeared only to disappear north and were lost till Alexandria showed up."
Alexandria's Genesis is not real - it is a fabrication of author Cameron Aubernon who first wrote about the supposed mutation for a Daria fan fiction.  Says Cameron:
"Nearly 15 years ago (circa 1998), I was a huge fan of Daria, MTV's favorite high school cynic. I had also discovered fanfiction then, and when I found some related to my favorite show, I wanted to leave my mark. I just didn't know my mark would be the size of a logic-bomb crater.

On the night of 15 December 2011, something I created under a male pseudonym when I was 19 turned up on my Tumblr dashboard. Something that I made up as a silly backstory for my two Daria-based Mary Sues (fan fiction characters who are "perfect" in every manner possible... and then some). Something that, in turn, was my projection of my personal gender identity and body image issues that I was starting to confront in my 20s.

This something, in the 15 years since I first wrote it, had taken a life of its own. This something was Alexandria's Genesis, a fictional posthuman/alien genetic mutation I created in order to make my Mary Sues more... special.

The short version: Alexandria's Genesis is not, was not, and will never be a real thing; it was a silly little back story for someone's entertaining first draft."  


It's not clear to what degree the myth of Alexandria's Genesis may have influenced early depictions of the Emperor's Children in Black Library fiction, but similar imagery has been a popular trope in fantasy, sci-fiction and anime.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Emperor's Children short fiction: The Lucid Blade

THE LUCID BLADE
Chapter I:   
          

Alsace Kojiro strode across the crackling tundra, his indigo eyes glinting with amusement.  The void stalker had sought to come upon him unaware.  Thanks to an indistinct shimmer in the air and the sound of snapping reeds, he had however been alerted of its presence well in advance.  Once close enough Alsace had struck, his sizzling power sword exploding into his hand in a flash of color and light.  The battle had been over in mere seconds.  Now the defeated creature’s carcass lay slumped behind him, gently effervescing into a volcanic pool of sulfurous water. 


Alsace was a true son of Fulgrim.  His features were aristocratic and proud.  Stirred by his recent clash, his long snowy locks swirled around him dramatically in shining diaphanous waves.  The faded travel cloak that Alsace wore could not mask his massive physique, or muffle the soothing purr of his venerated purple magenta power armor underneath. 



Alsace had a purpose for being on this subarctic planet.  Eighty years earlier the III Legion strike cruiser Veritable Intensity had hurriedly translated from the warp close to Ophelia IV, heavily wounded and bleeding white hot promethium into the atmosphere.  The trajectory of the mighty warship had arced violently through the skies of the planet, culminating in a catastrophic crash on the previously pristine snowy surface.  None of the crew had survived, such was the impact of the massive collision.  Lost with the calamity had been one of the true relics of the Legion: 

Lux in Tenebris, the lucid blade.     


TO BE CONTINUED. . .

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review of The Embrace of Pain

The Embrace of Pain is an audio drama by Ian St. Martin released as part of Advent 2016.

"Lucius the Eternal is openly challenged by a champion of the old Death Guard Legion. Could an immortal daemonhost, blessed by Nurgle, be the undoing of the blademaster’s curse?"
The Emperor's Children have been surprisingly popular with Black Library this Advent.  In addition to the excellent novel Fabius Bile: Primogenitor, this is the third short story or audio drama released in December.

This work provides a small window into Lucius' regular existence in the Eye of Terror.  One should not expect any great plot developments.  However the drama is deftly executed, and the voice acting is well done.  And similar to a number of the other recent Emperor's Children stories recently released, there is a sense that the warp is trying to tell the remaining remnants of the III legion something of note.  An event of great significance may be coming in the near future.

Overall I give this audio drama a *** of out five.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review of Prodigal

Prodigal is a short story by Josh Reynolds about Fabius Bile release as part of Advent 2016.

"When Fabius Bile is attacked by daemons aboard his frigate Versalius, he is surprised to be rescued by an old friend, one of his very first experiments. But does the prodigal’s return bode well or ill?"


Prodigal is a quick read tie in with Fabius Bile: Primogenitor.  The short story is similar to that novel insofar as it reveals a surprising human aspect to a man that is renown as one of the most feared monsters in the Warhammer universe.

The short story is an interesting read, and provides greater insight into Fabius' motivations, his relationship with Fulgrim, and his future legacy.  Being a short story there are not necessary any references to the Horus Heresy in the reading, but there is nevertheless some interesting Emperor's Children information to be gleaned.  Overall it is a tale worth hearing.  When Fabius Bile is involved, the rules that normally bind other space marines do not apply.

Overall I give it a *** out of five.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review of The Soul Severed

The Soul Severed is a new audio drama by Chris Wraight released as part of Advent 2016.  The story centers around Eidolon's actions after the events of The Path of Heaven, and the direction he believes that the legion should take going forward.
The Soul Severed is yet another very strong showing by Wraight.  His writing is carefully intricate and accessible, and vividly describes the beauty and the horror of what the III legion has become.

While some of the voice acting could be a bit stronger, the audio drama is very effectively augmented through the use of background sound effects and environmental sounds.  It certainly is very interesting to hear a rendition of Eidolon's sonic scream attack rendered in audio drama format!


The Soul Severed provides an important link in the story of the lost nobility of the Emperor's Children and their ongoing pathway toward the final act of the Horus Heresy.

Overall I rate this audio drama *** 1/2 out of five.  It is my understanding that this audio drama will be part of the upcoming compilation, Echoes of Revelation.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fabius Bile: Primogenitor

,
Fabius Bile: Primogenitor by Josh Reynolds is a masterpiece and a must read for Emperor's Children fans.  Although the story is set in the current 40K timeline, numerous references are made to previous events that occurred before, during and after the Horus Heresy.


The plot centers around a previous protegee of Fabius named Oleander who is a former III legion apothecary.  Oleander is now in the service of a Slaaneshi chaos warlord called The Radiant.  He  seeks to draw his former master into an epic undertaking that could reshape the future of the Emperor's Children.

The book is notable for giving rare insight into many aspects of Chemosian and III legion culture, practice and history.  The novel also does an admirable job of spinning a patchwork of different source materials into a seamless whole.  Josh Reynolds has obviously done his homework, and also does not hesitate to add creative flourishes of his own to advance the lore of the story.  While he does echo certain well worn chaos tropes from Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Graham McNeil, when he does so it helps mesh this story as part of the overall narrative.


No less masterful is the author's sensitive handling of the reader's sensibilities.  Portrayals of the fallen Emperor's Children can easily slide into lurid depictions of senseless hedonism, body horror and cartoon villainy without greater purpose.  Fabius Bile is foremost a scientist and a pragmatist, and one finds oneself surprisingly sympathetic to his motivations and perspective, if not even identifying with him as an antihero.

A very impressive journey and one well worth the effort. 

I give Fabius Bile: Primogenitor **** out of five. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Origin of the name of planet Chemos

Chemos was once the homeworld of the Emperor's Children Traitor Legion before their corruption by the Chaos God Slaanesh and betrayal of the Emperor of Mankind during the Horus Heresy. Chemos was also the planet where the Emperor's Children's Primarch Fulgrim was discovered by the Emperor during the Great Crusade.


In ancient days it was classified as a Mining World. By the time of the Great Crusade it was classified as a Civilised World, but following its scouring after the Horus Heresy by the Loyalist forces of the Imperium, it is now a Dead World, wiped clean of all life.

At first glance, one might assume that the name Chemos is derived from the word "Chemical" as a nod to its past barren and hostile environment. 


However there is another potential meaning to the name.  Milton's Paradise Lost Book I mentions a deity named Chemos as being synonymous with Baal Peor and Priapus as the deity of turpitude. 


"Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroar to Nebo and the wild
Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's real, beyond
The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
And Eleale to th' Asphaltic Pool:
Peor his other name, when he enticed
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged
Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate,
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell."
The name Chemos refers to the biblical Chemosh.  In the Hebrew Bible, Chemosh was the god of the Moabites (Num. 21:29; Jer. 48:7, 13, 46).  Moab was a land in Jordan very close to Phoenicia, a nation with many symbolic ties with the Emperor's Children, including the royal purple and the mythology of the fiery self immolating bird.


Chemosh was the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant "destroyer," "subduer," or "fish god." While he is most readily associated with the Moabites, according to Judges 11:24 he seems to have been the national deity of the Ammonites as well, where he may have been the same or different from Moloch.  According to the biblical account, Moab and Ammon were born to Lot and Lot's elder and younger daughters, respectively, in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible in Genesis 19:37-38 refers to both the Moabites and Ammonites as Lot's sons, born of incest with his daughters.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the worship of this god, "the abomination of Moab," was introduced at Jerusalem by Solomon (1 Kings 11:7), but was abolished by Josiah (2 Kings 23:13).  On the Moabite stone, Mesha (2 Kings 3:5) ascribed his victories over the king of Israel to this god, "And Chemosh drove him before my sight."

The Wikipedia also states that there is speculation that Chemosh is related to the name of the Babylonian deity Shamash. Shamash was a sun deity, and a patron god to the demigod and king Gilgamesh.


Sun deities and sea gods can sometimes be associated with fertility.  So perhaps it is not coincidence at all that the name Shamash is very similar to another deity we all know very well  from 40K lore: Slaanesh.


Similarly Chemosh also has a female counterpart in Paradise Lost named Astarte, which is another name for Ishtar.
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns;
To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon Sidonian Virgins paid thir Vows and Songs,
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built
By that uxorious Kingwhose heart though large,
Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell To Idols foul.
While this may perhaps be coincidence, it is certainly a striking one to notice that the name of this female deity happens to match that of the galaxy conquering Adeptus Astartes.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Emperor's Children Art by Kaiser

The amazing Kaiser did some artwork for me of a pre-heresy Emperor's Children.

I'm truly blown away with her work.  She's probably best known online for her work on the 40K imperial guard cartoon Eagle Ordinary.


She's also well known for many other amazing works of art from around the web.

Thanks Kaiser!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Slaanesh and the Dark Mechanicum

Warhammer - Brookline will be doing a kill team campaign starting at their opening on October 15, 2016.  I was going to use my Emperor's Children to make up a 40K space marines kill team, but now I'm thinking that I might do something a little different and opt for a Skitarii kill team instead.

As we know, the adeptus mechanicus is just as susceptible to the lure of chaos as any normal human.  Often in novels this is portrayed as an attack by chaos contaminated digital scrap code, in a manner akin to a computer virus.   



Still this raises the question, what appeal could the creed of a cosmic entity such as Slaanesh have to a computer cyborg?  Presumably, the appeal of the flesh have very little draw to a mechanized entity.  But then again, Space Marines are essentially immune to sexual attraction as well but they readily fell too.

Slaanesh isn't only about earthly sensual desires though.  His path is ultimately about the quest to achieve unlimited possibilities, complexity, pleasure and perfection in a physical material world.  While the adeptus mechanicus does not pursue sexuality, it does often pursue unlimited knowledge, without remorse or limitation.



In common, the creed of Slaanesh appears to dictate the following tenants to its adherents, whether Emperor's Children or Dark Mechanicum:

1. There is no inherent spirituality except as manifested through the material world.

2.  The material world has in it a teleological drive to improve and expand, akin to evolution.

3.  This drive is experiential and can be expressed through increased knowledge, complexity, experience, or pleasure as a path to greater awareness, development and awakeness.

4.  There should be no limitations placed on this drive, as progressing down its path is an unmitigated improvement.

5.  The goal of this drive is to achieve infinite possibilities and perfection.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kill Team


KILL TEAM RULES

GW has announced revised Kill Team rules for Warhammer 40K.  What is Kill Team?  It is a skirmish level version of Warhammer 40K, using small squads of individually moved models to create a more "cinematic" feel to the action.  It's perfect for beginners to the game or people starting a new army!

Kill Team is characterized by the following restrictions:

1.  Maximum of 200 points per side.

2. Side can only consist of 0-2 Troops units, 0-1 Elites unit, and/or 0-1 Fast Attack Unit.

3. No models with 3+ wounds or hull points, no vehicles with more than 33 combined hull points, no flyers, no models with 2+ armor save.

4. At least four non vehicle models.  One of these will be your leader.  The other three will be your specialists, each with special rules to give them flavor.

5. Each model acts as its own unit.

I decided to give it a try.



KILL TEAM: MAGENTA

The name of my kill team is Kill Team: Magenta.  For sake of versatility, I used the WH 40K 7th edition Space Marine codex with Ultramarines rules, although the theme will be Emperor's Children and using 30K forge world models.  Here are the members of the team:



 “Sergeant Narsus”

Description: Sergeant with Power Sword
Equipment: Power Sword, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades




 “Corporal Berowne”

Description:  Second in Command with Combi-plasma
Specialist Rule:  Preferred enemy all
Equipment:  Combi-plasma, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades


“Longaville”

Description:  Missile Launcher Specialist
Specialist Rule: Rending
Equipment:  Missile Launcher, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades


“Dumaine”

Description:  Lascannon Specialist
Specialist Ability: Master-crafted
Equipment:  Lascannon, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades


“D’Arcy”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has no helmet and long hair.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades


“Kendall”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has no helmet and short hair.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades



“Clarendon”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has no helmet and beard.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades


“Cabot”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has helmet with eye piece.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades

“Alcibiades”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has helmet with vertical vents.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades



“Charmides”

Description: Space Marine.  Model has helmet with horizontal vents.
Equipment: Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol, Frag / Krak Grenades



FORCE ORG FOR KILL TEAM: MAGENTA

Tactical Squad
Sergeant with power sword
Four space marines 
One with missile launcher

Tactical squad
Sergeant with combi-plasma
Four space marines
One with Lascannon

TOTAL POINTS: 200

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tarot



Episode 66 of The Eye of Horus podcast recently compared the primarchs of the Horus Heresy with major arcana cards of the tarot.  The card compared with Fulgrim was the Empress

It does seem a good match for Fulgrim, all things considered.  While it's highly doubtful to me that the similarities are intentional, it certainly might be plausible that the primarchs represent certain indelible archetypes, which the tarot is also likely to tap into.

The Empress is described as sitting on a throne wearing a starry crown, holding a scepter in one hand.  She has the emblem of Venus, a starry crown, a throne in the middle of a field of grain, and a waterfall.

The Empress is a symbol of fertility, growth from the natural world, and what one knows from the heart.  She represents the concepts of:

mothering


  • giving birth
  • nourishing life
  • nurturing and caring for others
  • cherishing the world
  • expressing tenderness
  • working with children

welcoming abundance
  • enjoying extravagance
  • receiving lavish reward
  • luxuriating in plenty
  • having more than enough
  • feeling rich

experiencing the senses
  • giving and receiving pleasure
  • focusing on the body
  • appreciating beauty
  • feeling vibrantly healthy
  • being earthy
  • doing physical activity

responding to Nature
  • relating to plants and animals
  • embracing the natural
  • feeling connected to the Earth
  • going outdoors
  • harmonizing with natural rhythms

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

28th Expedition

In the 203rd year of the Great Crusade, War Council logs indicated that there were:
  • 4,287 expedition fleets engaged in active exploration
  • 372 expedition fleets engaged in refit and repair
  • 60,000 (approx.) detached compliance groups involved in occupation and colonization
The 28th Expedition Fleet was commanded by Fulgrim. 


The name of the imperial army regiment accompanying the Emperor's Children were the Archite Palatines.  Their uniform consisted of red tunics and silver breastplate.


The Commander of the Archite Palatines was Thaddeus Fayle.  He was a stern man with a horribly scarred face, augmented with a steel plate that obscured the side of his head.  He was a skilled general, a blunt speaker and a ruthless, unforgiving soldier.


Presumably during the heresy the Palatines remained aligned with the Emperor's Children, eventually morphing with their remembrancers into their supporting masses of unaugmented human worshippers of Slaanesh.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wolf and Sister


Wolf and Sister motion comic!  40K Space Wolves and Sisters of Battle vs. Emperor's Children.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Inadequacies of Being a Space Marine

The Emperor bio-engineered the Space Marines to be the perfect soldiers.  They are immune to fear, untroubled with weaker emotions, and unflinching the face of destruction.  Taken as children at ages ten to fourteen, each Space Marine underwent a grueling trial and process to become the living man weapon that he is today.




What if anything was lost in the process?  Space Marines are no longer strictly speaking human.  They were granted powers and abilities far beyond that of mere mortals.  They do not seem to die by natural processes, are spared the indignity and feebleness of old age, and are immune to normal disease.



Along with the undeniable gifts, the process also expunges many irreplaceable, essential human qualities.  A Space Marine loyal to the Imperium cannot love and cannot feel romantic desire.  He is effectively castrated, and cannot have children.  He is destined to be a killer and a destroyer.  He is not allowed to remain peacefully on his own planet, but is required to raze and conquer other worlds, whose sole sin may be to wish to be left alone and govern themselves.  He must further commit genocide in Terra's name, because his master deems Xenos too different and imperfect to co-exist with in the galaxy.  

He is effectively rendered into a human lab rat, so Apothecaries can mutate his body to sprout additional organs and glands in accordance with a barely understood or controlled science.  In the case of Space Marines with tainted gene seed, they may also be subject to the dark spectre of genetic defects such as the curse of the wulfen or the red thirst.  These choices were effectively taken away from a Space Marine before he was of the age to properly appreciate or consent to the change.  Every Space Marine is essentially a child soldier, preordained through genetic manipulation to be a murderer.  



The Emperor's Children are unusual post heresy insofar as they have chosen to no longer follow the blueprint laid upon them by the false Emperor.  They choose their own desires and plot out their own destinies.  No longer confined to the restraining orbit of the Emperor's pre-programmed pathways for his own benefit, the Emperor's Children are free to seek their own evolution and improvement as they may independently see fit . . . . whether that is in the form of ultimate experiential hedonism, artistic complexity, martial perfection or otherwise.    

Monday, July 11, 2016

La Fenice



Teatro La Fenice (meaning "the Phoenix") was originally an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", and in the history of opera as a whole. Especially in the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several of the four major bel canto era composers—Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi were performed.

Its name reflects its role in permitting an opera company to "rise from the ashes" despite losing the use of three theatres to fire, the first in 1774 after the city's leading house was destroyed and rebuilt but not opened until 1792; the second fire came in 1836, but rebuilding was completed within a year. However, the third fire was the result of arson. It destroyed the house in 1996 leaving only the exterior walls, but it was rebuilt and re-opened in November 2004.

The La Fenice in Fulgrim's flagship, Pride of the Emperor, is of course a direct reference to the La Fenice in Venice.

http://www.teatrolafenice.it/site/index.php