Hephestus, Mordekei and Lod await the arrival of their bretheren.
For the second of today's updates, I thought I'd show some more of the gangs in a little more detail. First is my gang: known by a number of names throughout the Arkke, this trio are a coven of witches who reside in the long-dessicated Astropath-Anchorite hovels within the Amphitheatre of Silence, a sacred area just outside the pilgrimage route to the Yggdrassillium. I referred to them as my 'devolved Navigators' as they may (or may not) have once been, or descendant from, the Navigator clans who steered the tragic craft that forms the great bulk of the Arkke through the Empyrean. I've always deliberately left this ambiguous as I want the characters to retain some mystery, and to be more than a little sinister: they certainly believe themselves to be special - as displayed not just through their use of the warp manifest, but their arrogant disposition and favoured position within the Arkke as confidants of the Pandoricalle. To reflect their status, the trio bedeck themselves in the fragments of the ragged red carpets that line the pilgrim route to the Ygdrassilliumme tree and have fashioned golden Sun-King masks, heat-sealed to their own faces as a mark of respect to the Coven. Their ability to peer into the warp and read the eddies of time makes them valued advisors to the Pandoricalle, but (as with all navigators) ravages their bodies into horrendously mutated forms. Their golden visages alight in the gloom serve to mask and distract too much unwanted attention from their broken forms (or so they believe)...
Photographing these things was a real bugger. I'd decided that rather than painting their masks, I had wanted to gild them as this will make them really shine on the table, distracting from their horrendous and broken forms. So, their masks, and Hephestus's breast-plate, were gilded in 24 carat gold and then re-shaded slightly to redefine their features so they would shine like tiny nuggets on the filthy and dark Arkke board. Whilst this works well to the naked eye (they really glow), cameras don't pick up this lustre too well as too much light is reflected from them and is poorly translated by the camera mechanism. I don't mind this too much as the effect that I had in mind was achieved, although I wish I could share this effect a little better here. Nevertheless, you'll have to take my word for it, on the table they looked like terrifying nuggets of impassive gold.
From the top: Hephestus, Mordekei warming his broken body in front of the Pandoricalle lodge, and Lod.
Secondly, I had wanted to show Neil's gang in a little more detail; I was knocked sideways by these miniatures - so many lovely conversions and ideas really well executed in a unifying paint-scheme. The miniatures sank into the gloom of the board perfectly, and I think they might be my favourite work of Neil's to date. Stunning things. He mentioned briefly that they were remnants of the Adeptus Administratum aboard the disparate craft, making pilgrimage toward the Pandoricalle - hopefully he'll put a bit more information in the comments later.