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This is a rough outline of an army background that I've had brewing inside of my mind for some time now. There is probably a lot of details that needs to be ironed out still but I feel that it is a good starting point nonetheless. I'll try to keep it as short and basic as possible to help you get through it easier.
Also, keep in mind that it is written in the usual codex-style, making the faction appear to be superior to all others in essence, heheh.
Finally, I apologize if the order of the text is a bit confusing, I was writing it up on the fly and might have made some placement errors..
The Hosts of Xanadu
There was once a minor Chaos God/other immensely powerful otherworldly being (name pending) who sought to overthrow his brother gods. To this end, he deviced a plan that involved creating a perfect daemon world, his own vision of a paradise. By strengthening this paradise with the captured souls of mortals, the minor god hoped that it would one day be powerful enough to manifest itself fully in the material world, from where it could stave off any and all daemonic invasions. However, to make sure that his paradise would reach absolute perfection, the minor god allowed his own body and essence to melt together to form this creation, which he called his Xanadu (Paradise).
Before the minor god allowed himself to transform into Xanadu, he created/appointed several mighty daemonic lords to oversee the entire process and to further his plans post-transformation. These were his Judges, his Yamaxanadus (Judges of Paradise). The Yamaxanadus were sent out across the galaxy, each one given a certain area to govern. They were tasked with collecting the souls of mortal creatures and, by using a set of criterias completely alien to any mortal mind, to judge them to see if the souls are worthy of entering Xanadu or not. If a soul is found to be worthy, it will be let into this paradise where it will exist forever in a dream-like state. If a soul is found to be unworthy, it could possibly be reborn into the material world where it will be given a new chance to earn the right to enter Xanadu. Alternatively, the Judge could sentence the soul to be purged in a Hell located below Xanadu, being allowed to enter the true paradise after an eternity of cleansing pain. Lastly, if a soul is found to be completely worthless and without hope, the Judge will exterminate it completely, erradicating it from both the materium and the immaterium forever.
Occasionally, a Yamaxanadu could detect a mortal soul of particular interest, a soul that would doubtlessly strengthen the creation of his lord if it was let into Xanadu. When this happened, a Judge would attempt to enter the material realm to directly contact this individual to try to steer him, her or it on to "the right path" so that he/she/it would be sure to meet the criterias when the mortal's time had come. Whenever a Yamaxanadu wandered the material realm, he would have a host of daemonic servants following him. These were the manifested souls of those who had been let into Xanadu, as well as of those who had been sentenced to Hell, the damned given another chance to prove themselves in the eyes of the Judge.
All mortals who are slain by either the Yamaxanadu himself or his minions and followers are brought before the Judge's Court, where they would stand trial to face their judgement. Standing in front of the Mirror of Cleansed Crystal Judgement, the soul would be wide open for the Yamaxanadu to read. By looking into the future, the past and all of the variables in between, the Judge will decide whether or not the soul is worthy.
As the number of worthy souls increases, so does the power of Xanadu as well. When the time is right and the material world is about to be overrun by the forces of the Dark Four, the Yamaxanadus will lead the Hosts of Xanadu into the world of mortals, dragging with them the very essence of their creators paradise. By using the same daemonic storms and winds that will carry the armies of Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh into the mortal world, the Judges of Paradise will make Xanadu manifest inside the material realm. Once that happens, the powers of Chaos will be powerless as the Yamaxanadus turn their condemning gaze upon them, bringing their judgements to bear and defeating them, once and for all.
So that's it, basically.
I've got a pretty strong visual theme in mind but in order to prevent this post from becoming too long, I'll tell you about that some other time.
Edit: Oh and of course, if you can name the inspirational source for this you'll get an imaginary internet cookie, as is standard.
Last edited by MasterSpark; March 21st, 2009 at 00:05.
A god that hates the mortal relm aswell as the other chaos gods themselfs? sounds similar to the old Malal to me !
i like the idea you have, however i belive that by defeating the other 4 gods he would destroy himself, as there would be nothing combating the emperors glorious astranomicon, as it is the 4 gods who battle against him, if the other 4 big guys were gone this single diety would not stand a chance,
however if he is powerful enough to defeat all 4 gods alone then he would in theory be stronger than the emperor, i cant see this happening as someone would notice and the 4 would crush this upstart from the begining!
im just hypothesiseing there, as you say he is "working" towards this so its perfectly resonable to roll with this background as he is gathering said powers so isnt that omnipotent yet, id love to see these judges, got any concept sketches at all?
PROUD TO BE IN THE BRITISH ARMY.
~~ Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death~~
Thanks for the input!
Yup, as you said, the god's ultimate goal will likely never be realized as the background will pretty much freeze itself in time like it does for all the other factions but his grand scheme involves waiting until AFTER his brothers have already invaded the material realm (whenever that happens, heheh). By manifesting his paradise inside the material world while the daemonic legions of the other Chaos gods are still there, he hopes to put a choke-hold on the Dark Four, leaving them defenceless for a short period of time, which he will use to destroy them.
One thing that I like with this background is that the army doesn't necessarily have to be as doomsday-evil like the daemonic legions of the Dark Four. The Judges wouldn't benefit from simply slaying millions upon millions of mortals outright, as the souls need to have that certain extra something before they're worth anything. Therefore they could be a little bit more benign (not friendly though, of course not..) to other factions, trying to steer them on to "the right path" (sometimes with a little bit of violence if the mortals persistently ignore the Judge's teachings) instead of just killing them like your typical daemon would do. I could even see the Judges sending their minions into the material realm to save a soul of particular interest from the other powers of Chaos and so on. I like to have a flexible background, heheh.
I'm afraid that I don't have any sketches at all so far. I do have one model planned already though, a simple headswap I did many years ago on the Nagash model, giving him the horned helmet of a defiler and trading his staff for another large sword. He looks pretty grim.
Edit: It just occured to me, did you mean that your guess is that Malal is the inspiration for this? He isn't unfortunately but I do see how some things are in common. The original source of inspiration is from outside of Warhammer, heheh.
Last edited by MasterSpark; March 21st, 2009 at 11:47.
Malal was my guess, something does sound familiar about your idea but i cant quite place it! WHAT IS IT MAN! I MUST KNOW!!
Plus any chance of seeing this Judge model you have knocked up?
PROUD TO BE IN THE BRITISH ARMY.
~~ Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death~~
That does sound interesting, god exterminating plans are a bold move. Most people don't go that far, though I have though of my Hive fleet cooking up a C'tan zapper. I agree that these judges sound interesting and some concepts of them would be cool. How they behave could give them more texture. For example if you had a conversation with a Great unclean one it will be friendly and warm despite it wanting you to enjoy Nurgle's plagues. But a Keeper of secrets would be very different. They are the ultimate sadists and would do horrible, perverted things to you.
This is the difference between two of the daemon types in the personality. You should think, what would one of my Judges be like in a conversation? Would it be stern/humourless or wrathful, logical/ruthless, deceptive, honest or manic giggling lunatic? Also you could think of colours and a symbol for this god as well as a number. Khorne is 8, Slaanesh is 6, Nurgle is 7, Tzeentch is 9. Also what does the god look like. The Chaos powers vary loads in appearance to different followers. However they often have a strong theme going through each different form.
Thanks for the read, it was fun. Reppy for you.
Last edited by Leech; March 22nd, 2009 at 22:52.
Thanks for your input Leech, you've given me something to think about. I'd also like to point out that while the currently unknown Chaos God is the foundation for the fluff, he more or less vanished when he transformed himself into Xanadu. He left his Judges behind to finish his work and they'll be the center for the fluff instead of the god himself.
Azriel, have you heard of the Touhou series of shoot-em-up games? In one of the installments there's a final boss named Sikieiki Yamaxanadu who is a judge of the dead. I've pretty much ripped it straight from there but to make it appear a little bit more daemonic and chaotic (in order to keep with the general theme of 40k, heheh) the Yamaxanadu will send it's daemonic minions into the world to harvest the souls of mortals, bringing them before the judge's court.
Also, I'm gonna go over the plans I have for the army's visual appearance here. I'm sorry but I can't help myself!
I'm looking into using the models that I already have and bring them into theme with the colour scheme, as well as filing off all symbols and so on.
Bloodletters will be the Judge's personal underlings and painted in a dark blue colour, as said underlings appear in the source of inspiration. Their swords will be modified and painted to appear roughly as the tag that the Yamaxanadu is holding in THIS PICTURE. Those tags are said to carry out judgements of death and how could it be more fitting than for the bloodletters to be running around with those?
Horrors will represent those souls that have been let into paradise but have again been called out into the material world to do the Judge's bidding. Plaguebearers could represent those that have been sent to hell, they sure look the part. For their colours I've been taking inspiration from THIS PICTURE. The separation between red and blue is a theme that runs through a few of the character's stages in-game and I think that it could be interpreted to represent the division between Heaven (blue) and Hell (red). Therefore, the horrors will be a bright blue while the plaguebearers will be red!
I've also been thinking about using that purple beam flanked by streaks of red and blue as the official symbol, since it is called "The Last Judgement" in-game. Quite fitting for the theme if I may say so myself. It might need a bit of modification to work better, but I'll figure something out..
Finally, I'll get a picture of the model uploaded later today. I need to find him and dust him off a bit first, haha.
Edit: All right then, here's some pictures of the Judge of WH40k himself, the Yamaxanadu!
He really needs a clean up, he's been stowed away in a box for years. Yes, there's a small piece missing from the chin of his helmet but I'm not really sure what to do about that. I don't think it'll be anything to worry about anyway..
Last edited by MasterSpark; March 23rd, 2009 at 21:59. Reason: Uploading images.
He looks interesting. I like the use of the Defiler head on him, it suits him well. The idea of o you are going to use colour in these things is good. I think it will help to give them a certain logic which will help them to work. You can clear up the chipped chin with a small spike from and boxed set that includes something spiky.