Hello Inquisitors! For this weeks review I have some cool new art, projects and updates to share with you all! Without further delay, lets get into it!
The Zulupian White Lion
I contacted the artist Liam Hammond, who has done a large portion of the available Void Lion Artwork, to share with him an idea I had of pictorially representing the Zulupian White Lion. The White Lion was a very important creature to the Leonicine peoples on Zulup IX, as it was what they named themselves after and shaped their traditions and identity around. The creature would later become the inspiration for the Void Lion Chapters heraldry. After discussing with Liam the ideas I had for the appearance of the creature, he produced this image and I immediately fell in love with it!
The idea that I had for the Zulupian White Lion was that I wanted it to look vaguely like a lion, but not at all like one on Earth or Terra. In its design, I wanted it to actually be more like a hyena in its posture and gait, with the hind legs being shorter than the front legs, it having a thick neck and a crest of hair along the back of its neck and spine rather than the stereotypical mane of hair that lions are known to have.
The artwork depicts an Alpha male White Lion, which is emphasized by its long sabre teeth and black haired crest along its back. In regards to social organization, the White Lions were more like wolves: there was an alpha male and alpha female who are born as such, and the social hierarchy consisted of Alpha, Beta and Omega Lions primarily, with lions who were genetically neutral. Alphas had black crests of hair, and were the leaders of their Pride. Betas had white crests with solid black strands of hair, and served as the enforcers of the alpha and protectors of the pride. The Omega Lions had a full mane of white hair that looked very similar to what modern lions have, and served as the counselors of the Pride, minimizing conflicts between the other lions through posture, vocalizations and suffering the brunt of the others aggression. Those Lions born genetically neutral had short white crests of hair.
There was also sexual dimorphism between the males and females of the species. The males where stockier and muscled while the females were thinner, sleeker, had longer limbs and faces as well as long claws. Males had longer canines and wider faces, and the Alpha had the longest of Canine teeth. The Beta males were often the largest of the Lions. The build and social hierarchy of the white lions influenced their hunting style: The males would hunt on the ground, and the females would climb the trees and run from branch to branch (In this jungle Deathworld environment, trees were immense like the creatures, but branches started low on the trees which made this possible). The males would basically rush prey, separating it from its herd and forcing it to run to a designated spot. When there, the females would fall from the trees onto the prey, shredding its skin with their razor sharp claws in a flurry of motion, before the Beta males would rush in and add their damage to they prey, bringing it down.
This sounds like a complex procedure just to take down prey, but Zulup IX was a high-gravity Jungle Death World and all of its fauna were megafauna. While the White Lion was an Apex Predator on the world which stood at over 6 feet in height and traveled in prides of up to 40 Lions, the prey they often hunted- such as the Hipoti, which was a bus-sized, many horned, visual mix of a hippopotamus, rhino and elephant) were much larger than them and in equally large groups. With these kinds of immense predators and prey, imagine being a human on this world that only stood at 5’5 and only used spears and shields? Zulup IX was a wild place, but the Leonicines were able to survive primarily off of imitating the White Lions hunting style and incorporated this symbolically into their ceremonies and rituals. This did not mean they were spared from the Lions jaws though, and every time the Leonicines went hunting they kept low and made sure to scan the trees, always aware that their totem animal might be hunting them.
The White Lion would be the inspiration for the Chapters heraldry when they became the Void Lions under the Chapter Master Marsaak Isaayah. However, if you notice, the heraldry has a Lion with a full mane of white hair that an Omega would have, instead of the black crest of an Alpha. The Omega White Lion was specifically chosen as the Heraldry of the Void Lions because of its role as a couselor in a White Lion Pride-which ultimately kept the pride together as a cohesive group. The Omega Lion was chosen because it was a symbol of unity in a White lion pride, and the means of being committed to that unity. There is a fair degree of violence amongst the Void Lions toward eachother, and their heraldry was as much a representation of the chapter as it was a reminder to Astartes of the Chapter that regardless of the violent traditions they uphold, that they were all one tribe and to remain committed to that.
Unfortunately for those who were hoping to see some White Lions on the tabletop as miniatures, the Zulupian White Lion was hunted into extinction on Zulup IX in early M34, and like Zulup IX itself, they no longer exist. For a moment, I thought it would be cool for them to still exist somehow, maybe someone from the Adeptus Mechanicus using DNA from one of the fur pelts of the chapter in order to recreate one, or even the chapter keeping some of them to ride into battle upon like the space wolves. However, I decided against it. First, out of respect to the Space Wolves and not wanting to copy them (Also that idea would not have worked anyway as Zulupian White Lions are smaller than Fenrisian Wolves and would not be able to support the weight of a space marine on its back) and secondly because it would mess up the overall theme of the chapter. The Void Lions are characterized by their trauma surrounding the loss of their homeworld and home system and everything from that. To have the creature that inspired their identity still around would not be as grimdark as them having the totem of an animal that is part of their cultural identity that no longer exists as their heraldry.
The White Lion still influences the traditions of the Chapter, from each of the tribes having specific Crest color on their helms which align with alpha, beta and omega crests- to the role each tribe has to play in the overall chapter. It influences the Zulupian Predators as well, whose fighting style imitates the White Lions hunting style. In all ways but literal, the Leonicines are now the Zulupian White Lions, and the spirit of the creature lives through them in the modern 40k universe.
Void Lion Decals!
Speaking of Heraldry, another update is that I was able to get custom Void Lion Decals from Skumb4g Kustoms and I am super happy with them! the quality is wonderful, the communication between the business and I was clear, consistent, and professional and I definitely recommend anyone looking to get custom decals for their chapter or force to contact them. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram!
Heraldry was really important to me for the chapter, and I did not want to continue using the “Celestial Lions” decals. There is only a subtle difference between the two designs: The Void Lions heraldry has a lion with its ears pulled back aggressively/ defensively while the Celestial Lions have what might be a part of its mane or its ear facing forward. To me, that slight difference does volumes to illustrate the light and dark contrast between the chapters. Ive even playfully named the Void Lions the “First Lions of Dorn” and the Celestial Lions the “True Lions of Dorn” due to the history of both chapters.
The original design for the heraldry was created by Lord Algrim Whitefang, one of the admin of the Homebrew Wiki page.
The Skyfleets of Barak-Mhornar
I am a hardcore fan of Warhammer 40k, but I began getting interested in Age of Sigmar as well sometime last year. I started with Ogors but then fell out of interest with them. Eventually I made the decision to start with the Kharadron Overlords and stuck with it.
One of the strongest symbols of high fantasy for me is the imagery of flying boats. Flying boats make me think of Faeries, the Fantastical and of those magical escapes of my childhood into books on the subject, so whenever I see flying platforms I brings me back to those days and those emotions. There where multiple examples of this for me growing up from the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell ( amazing series and amazing artwork!) The Flying Windmill Island featured in the “Feel Good inc” music video from the Gorillaz Band (https://youtu.be/HyHNuVaZJ-k ) and a really old Clorox commercial (https://youtu.be/2h9jPousvLQ) .
So when I saw the Kharadron Overlords and their flying boats, I felt those same emotions and simply could not resist the desire to collect them. I bought an Kharadron Frigate, built and assembled it but did not paint it. It stayed on the sidelines for quite some time until I became a bit overwhelmed with working on my Void Lions Miniatures while at the same time working on the Codex Supplement for the Void Lions. So I decided to focus on my Kharadron Overlords, buying a broken realms boxed set to work on as well, as I wrote the supplement.
In the beginning, I was intimidated by the Kharadrons small size and detail, but as I began working on them it actually became fun to work on those details. I really enjoyed working on them and I still have a bit of work to do, but I plan on expanding the Sky Fleet.
The Sky Port I chose was Barak-Mhornar because when I read of their backstory, I immediately thought of Pirates, and in my head the more pirate-like they were, the more gritty I could make their paint scheme. I also really liked the blue color of their armor (my favorite color was blue) and it reminds me of another “flying platform” artwork, Moebius’ concept art for Hayao Miyazaki’s unrealised animated version of ‘Little Nemo in Slumberland’ (1980s):
I will keep you all updated on the growth and narrative of the Fleet!
About two years ago I wrote a short story around a model that I had created. The story was about a Deathwatch kill team landing on a Jungle Deathworld in the Segmentum Tempestus, shortly after receiving a distress signal which originated on the world. It was not long before the Marines realized that they were themselves being followed.
This story ( which I might uncover one of these days) led to the birth of a Void Lion Character, who was called Marmadar. Marmadar was part of the Void Lions chapter, of the Long Spears tribe. He and his team of Claws were on a mission in the Segmentum Tempestus when their ship was attacked, forcing the squad to abandon ship via drop pod onto a jungle Death World below. Most of Marmadars team was killed immediately, but Marmadar took up the challenge of hunting the Broodlord on the planet, using whatever resources he could to do so. Marmadar became known as the “Eternal Hunter” and became a hero in the eyes of his tribe, which eventually adopted the same name. The world on which he did this was known as Marmadars world by his tribesmen.
Marmadar never returned to the chapter and is said to still be on the world named after him, hunting eternally. The Long Spears tribe of the Void Lions uses the world as a training ground for their marines.
I recently became inspired to make my own tabletop battlefield/ Environment and thought that attempting to create the jungle Death World of Marmadars world would be a worthy challenge. I am super excited for this and have so many ideas for this battlefield, which I will use for solo play games and for when my friends come over to my place to wargame. Here is the battlemat which will serve as its ground!:
Horus Heresy Battle overview: Storming the Beach
In my most recent game of 30k, the Imperial Fists and Dark Angels stormed the beach of a world held by the Iron Warriors, whose tanks and infantry made an impenetrable wall of hate against the attacking forces.
It was literally an uphill battle, as marines of the 1st and 7th legions struggled to advance up the beach under the firepower of the Iron Warriors to secure objectives. The Dark Angels took the brunt of the beach assault, as the Imperial Fists attempted to teleport in behind enemy lines in hopes to cause damage. However, they did not come on as reinforcements until turn three, and when they did arrive, they were blasted away by overwhelming firepower.
The highlight of the game was when I tried to teleport a squad of tactical marines with a warmonger ( warlord) behind enemy lines and rolled a mishap, which allowed my opponent to choose where the squad actually teleports on the table. My opponent chose to place them in the middle of a ring of Iron Warrior tanks and infantry before proceeding to decimate my marines, only sparing the warmonger so that his warlord could stab him to death in close combat. It was a super fun game and one we plan to continue narratively! Thank you to Nathan at Studio Dakai for being an amazing host!
That’s all for this Inquisitors review! I hope that you enjoyed and I will see you on the next review!
Remember, the Emperor Protects and the Future is Successor!