This is my first posting under this new direction of mine. I’ve spent a lot of time organizing my thoughts on this endeavor. The site is shaping up and will expand on content regularly.
I post regular updates on my Instagram account quite regularly, but this blog will get more use as these stories and miniatures develop. Particularly as I get closer to publishing each “book.” More on that later, though.
Without further ado… welcome to my corner of the Warhammer 40000 galaxy!
Basileus Godwin Soterios
House Soterios, Sovereign Rogue Trader, Master of the Soterios Dynasty, Reclaimer of the Empire, The Living Reliquary
This character was inspired over a year ago on a visit to the King’s Island amusement park in Ohio. There is an indoor roller coaster called the Flight of Fear and features an alien/ Area 51 style motif. When you arrive at the coaster loading area, you are greeted by some menacing aliens and mutated humans in stasis tubes.
This one in particular inspired me to do something.
By this point I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do outside of sticking something in a tube for the sake of Warhammer. About two months ago, after settling down from a cross country move, I began assembling bits for the project, most notably the wonderful Dunecrawler legs. I still wasn’t sure how the tube was going to come together. My original plan was to use a leftover container from a McFarlane Halo/ Xbox Avatar figures that were put out almost ten years ago.
The project was essentially just a tube on some crab legs at this point. The visual I saw in my head was a neat, but didn’t have any life. I started brainstorming about what this… thing’s story was going to be and how I was going to represent that in a miniature.
I had been writing a couple of stories for this site and decided to merge a rogue trader character I had developed with this tube concept. No longer would the story simply be a son jealous of his father’s rule, now the story would be an heir jealous of the man who had robbed himself, his father, and generations of his forefathers of their rightful rule over a small empire.
I decided to create a man that, because of his massively heroic deeds, had been preserved as a living monument in stasis for hundreds, if not thousands of years. His rule was so beneficial to this Rogue Trader empire that they wanted to keep him around for as long as possible. Because of the near mythological status of this man, he would transformed into some sort of holy relic in the Warhammer 40000 universe. That seemed appropriately grim dark to me.
I started studying Catholic reliquary. A theme emerged quickly. Some of the more ornate monuments had this tube surrounded by statuary, cherebs, crosses, etc. There are a few chereb miniatures in Warhammer, but not enough to accumulate for this project (which, BTW, is a massive injustice in the Warhammer miniature line). This man wouldn’t just be a relic, but for all intents and purposes this is his final resting place. He will be this way until the whole apparatus simply gives out.
After the release of the sector imperialis objectives set and the stasis tube contained inside i knew that i had to go for this project. There was finally a bit that was perfect for my idea. In pursuit of further grim dark I went about integrating a Mausoleum from the Garden of Morr scenery set. In a rough build the stasis tube fit almost perfectly into one of the sides of the building I selected for the project.
I had my essential building blocks now.
The most difficult part of the project was deciding how to integrate all the pieces together, particularly how to attach the crawler legs to the mausoleum. Disappointingly to myself, it was, more or less, just cutting a piece of plasticard stock to cover the entire bottom and gluing it to the Dunecrawler cab bottom. From there, I just started adding bits and strips of styrene.
To create the shrines for the mausoleum I cut out the gates and walls from the sides of the building. This gave me a wider space for containing the statue miniatures. I had to build the interior parts of the shrine by hand, which is all plasticard, each tipped with a headlight from the dunecrawler set.
I tried to give him ways to interact with the world around him. To let the viewer of the piece know that he isn’t dead or a zombie, but he’s just a decrepit old man being artificially kept alive. He mas a manipulator arm for grabbing and utilizing things like consoles or door controls. He has a heavy stubber for self defense, although is rarely alone without his personal Imperial Guard detail, but this gives a viability for utilization on a tabletop. If I ever wrote rules for him, he would also have a stomp or stab attack with his legs being so large. Lastly, he has the large speaking horn that adds a bit of whimsy to the model. This enables him to speak. Rules wise he would buff up his army as an inspirational icon.
Each shrine contains a bronze sculpture of Basileus. The one above depicts him as a young officer in the family’s imperial guard unit, serving in the family military as all his forefathers had. This would be his formative years, his youth, where he learned the way of the universe, fostered his unique creativity for problem solving, and developed his marshal acumen. People who wish to pay honor to these aspects of Basileus are encouraged to light candles and place prayer parchments on this shrine.
On the other side is a bronze statue of Basileus’s older self, when he became ruler of the Soterios Dynasty and began his campaign of reclaiming what was lost before his time. This shrine represents leadership, strategy, victory, and business acumen.
The skulls that adorn the shrines are the heroes of his campaign to reclaim the empires former glories. The shields across the model explains who they are and what honor they are being immortalized for. Occasionally, a new hero’s skull will be laid upon one of the shrines as an honor to the soldier’s bravery.
In the story, Basileus assisted a Mechanicum forge ship that was part of a crusade fleet during the height of his physical reign. The intervention by House Soterios prevented the destruction of a ship carrying a Titan Legion. The Mechanicum was so indebted to the Rogue Trader that they left behind a small contingent to aid in any way possible, and to examine all the technologies the family had found after nearly 10,000 years of unhindered plunder.
Upon Basileus’s failing health, The Mechnicum unit that had stayed with the House called for a stasis suite from their Titan legions, a similar type used to keep a Warlord Titan Princeps sane and alive when the power of their Titan begins to overwhelm them. To keep him mobile and active they built him the carrier to allow him to continue on with his duties.
As time went on, his own people built up the shrines and mausoleum as a symbol of honor, creating a myth possibly larger than the Rogue Trader’s actual accomplishments.
The rear of the machine is a plasticard door I built to give the mausoleum a “sci-fi” feel. Inside lay the mysterious machinery that keeps Basileus alive and drives the walker onward. The two exhaust pipes hint at what might be going on inside. These parts are delicately maintained and blessed by Mechanicum tech-priests. Only they can enter.
When the Guards allow civilians to approach him and place their honors, the crowds can become very large. Children that cannot reach the front often will go upwards to catwalks or scaffolding to drop their honors upon the steeple of the Mausoleum, hoping to have their needs fulfilled.
Basileus himself is built from numerous zombie parts. I believe the body is from the death cart kit. The arms and legs are all removed from various denizens of the corpse piles. I wanted him to look like his limbs were beginning to shut down, but weren’t dead yet. I also didn’t want a bunch of bones showing through. I imagine he can shuffle around in there, possibly turning his head to stare someone down with his glassy, black eyes, while his broken, robotic voice echos from the speaking horn.
Thank you so much for sticking with me through all this. I have a lot more coming. Tons of characters, rich worlds, and exciting stories. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
I’m currently writing the “in-unverse” profiles for all the character associated with the Soterios Dynasty. You can read more about these characters here:
All the profiles for the characters across the entire endeavor are coming soon and will be featured under the “Dramatis Personae” tab of the site.
House Soterios is just one facet of the entire drama.
See you soon.