The Pilgrym

“Beautiful on the surface, but rotten underneath. Don’t ever, even for a second, doubt that this is the most dangerous world in the galaxy…. Danger does not always come in the shape of Orks with bolters, Ragnar. This world is where the elite of the Imperium have gathered. We are talking now of the most ruthless, ambitious, unscrupulous collection of rogues ever culled from a million planets. This is the place they have come to realise their ambitions, and on Terra they can, and will not let anything stand in their way. Not me, not you, not their own kin if need be.”

Torin the Wayfarer, Wolfblade to House Belisarius

Terra Dominatus!

The beginning, the home world, a temple the size of a planet. 

Billions of Pilgrims live in endless queues, waiting to worship, billions more toil endlessly to keep the grinding Administratum functioning. Nothing is left of Terra’s former natural glory, the seas boiled away many millennia ago and the soil is utterly barren. Some in the Terran Mechanicus think of wood as a Xenos life form. Every square meter of the planets surface is Incredibly layered through endless growth of it’s population and built habitat. Ancient cultures and civilizations live in its labyrinth catacombs, locked in levels miles beneath sun light and in history. The noble houses soar to the skies atop the massive hive spires. These giant towers cover all of Terra apart from the Himalayans and the chamber of Astronomican carved in to it. 

Terra is the heart of the imperium, the beacon of light for all of mankind. Its epicenter the Imperial Palace is an endless, black hive of forbidden technology and subterranean passages delving deep within the bowels of the planet. Deep inside resides the god Emperor, a carcass of untold power. He sits on the Golden Throne, an ancient miracle without which the Imperium of man would collapse. But time is running out. 

As the light of the Astronomican grows dimmer, Techpriests discover irreparable failures in the Golden Throne,. Desperate, the Tech-Priests and Radical Inquisitors journey into the Webway and strike a dark bargain. A secret war for the fate of all humanity rages. Forces of evil and good alike hunt for a mysterious pilgrim. The Pilgrym.



Happy new year!

Welcome to an adventure for the sagas,

PDH, Master converter and Genius GM from Preston, Thistle, (he needs no introductions, does he…) and Migs of Iron Sleet have launched on a collaborative project to study Terra unlike ever before. And we have our multi-talented friends to join us. All working towards the summer for an insane +I+munda game set in the birth place of man, Terra. The plan is to push beyond the obvious, to let each person explore the deepest boundaries of their imagination and have a ton of fun. We hope to inspire the inter webs the way the original Jade Vessel did, but at a much much more evolved scale and quality.

… And yes, there are insane models and stories in the works from Kari’s nobel breast feeders to Stefan’s Mechanicus engineered killer fauna. We seriously intend to create a gaming board that captures Terra’s scale too 🙂 Ever wonder what a forgotten, dystopian greenroom looks like? Or the massive stairs to one of Terra’s most ancient chapel?

Enough of my ramblings for now. The better way to introduce things is definitely brand new art from John Blanche. Created for the Pilgrym Project. It will be used as key inspiration for the Table to be created.


Attached is also some random gems of Pinterest, to set the mood and your expectations. I’ve tried to find art that fits somewhat with how I imagine Terra and tweaked the colors and vignetting a little to tie them together. If you happen to know the artists, please let me know so I can credit these talented chaps correctly. I have collected a wealth of visual inspiration material at Pilgrim Pinterest that you may also find interesting.



33 thoughts on “The Pilgrym

  1. Wow. I was expecting something big, but not that you would cut that deep into the heart of the entire Inquisiverse and head for Terra. This will be fascinating to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are childishly excited too. I’ve built nearly a dozen models and painted two already. Soooo exciting to have this freedom but focus and a group “flow” for model making and story telling. We each inspire each other to go more dystopian.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Very soon. I think this will be almost a daily fire works soon and as the whole group gets properly engaged we definitely plan on producing and sharing every week up to the finale.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what an exciting way to ring in the new year! This sounds like quite an epic collaborative project, exploring one of the most interesting, yet little examined elements of 40k. I cannot wait to hear and see more develop with the project. Is it set at the end of the 41st/beginning of the 42 millennium, such that it will edge forward the 40k timeline?

    I love the idea of exploring the Golden Throne’s growing flaws, and the different perspectives of how to address/not address the problem. That was the subject of our Invitational entry last year in fact, he he.

    To that end, will there be ways for other members of the community to take part in this momentous event? Like creating models, terrain, or narrative elements? It seems an excellent springboard to energize and advance the community and hobby as a whole!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We should figure out away to make it possible to send NPCs or play adjacent games. The failing throne has been lifted from “official” fluff and Codex Mechanicus references.


      1. That would be fun! It does seem like if any Navigator houses were to get word of plans to tinker with the golden throne and risk altering the Astronomicon they would send agents to investigate …

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m two done, another 6 all airbrushed i.e. Half way to fully finished and 4 more very nearly finished for primer. Btw. The table is going to be mostly golden like your illustration.


  3. Awesome concept, really looking forward to seeing how this project develops. You guys have been so inspiring since I rediscovered the hobby last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. By the way, noticed you’re on Pinterest, I’ve been playing a bit with it too. You might want to check it out, also added some stuff there which might be ‘inspiring’ for The Pilgrym project. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the only Pilgrym piece I havent’ put my thoughts on into writing and as two were well received I’ll try a third.

      The scale and splendour of Terra is incredible, stretching up for miles in great arches, the bridges themselves are pocked with windows and seem to have get more countless millions of pilgrimmes passing along, or buildings covering them, vast aquilae loom out of the incense-smoke and the dim shapes of a vast basilica afar off are only the very tip of the iceberg, the scale is staggering. There are arches, filigree, elaborate detail, the repeated skull of the Emperor in death, the long shafts of light no doubt passing through miles of glass before reaching this vast hall, the streams of white birds released from some far distant chapel, which will die before they see light or taste fresh air, but in their death imitate the God to whom they were dedicated. the pale gold and brown gives it all an air of decay and thick dust, splendour no longer cleaned because it dare not be.

      These quotes originally applied to Thistle’s new warband but they actually work here too:

      I was wondering today if griminess in the Imperium has become quasi-deliberate — initially there would simply not be enough repair servitors and 40K Brasso or the like to go round, then, as the millennia pass no-one dares touch what they only dimly understand, accepting from God with trust, so the very grime is revered, much like a decayed masterpiece that could be ruined by rough restoration.

      I may just be rambling, but I hang up broken Christmas baubles each year because they were my grandparents’ and are made of lovely East German or Czech glass, gilt inside, and I wonder if a similar reverence, not daring to repair or clean things too ancient to understant, whose smell and look and feel and dirt has become sacred by long years, so Terra sinks into dust, pale gilt where once was bright gold, exists in the Imperium. Put very badly I’m sure.

      The gas masks worn by the Hospitaliers give them almost a Doktor Schnabel, plague-doctor look, but I think the overall effect of the beaks, the long shabby robes, the servo-arms and the suspicious bundles on their backs is — vultures. These men, for all their appearance as robed priests of the Adeptus Terra, lordly enough to hoodewinke a pilgrymme but with those squalid yellowy sacks pointing at days of sordid plundering. The pair of them together make me think of two scrawny old carrion birds on a cactus, the sort of thing you’d see in an old Western when the Lone Ranger or whoever is flagging in the desert. That’s twice (here and in the Botanicarum) that the carrion bird theme is present.

      The third red-clad Hospitalier, as I imagine them, legless and bristling with augmetics, again wearing a squalid backpack, reaches out towards the pilgrymmes with a horrible covetousness, as if savouring with horrible glee the profits he can make. We do not, I think, want to know why the servo-skulls have bladed arms…

      One of the vast queues of pilgrymmes seems to be coming into a great hall, the entrance, perhaps, to Terra proper, having navigated many dangers, more fortunate, perhaps, than their brethren lost on the Lost Road or fallen and picked clean by the Botanicarum or lost in its incense-mists… perhaps… their priests or leaders holding up scrolls and banners barely visible — it’s a great procession passing into the distance. I imagine the scribe with his quill in the lower left corner working feverishly to register the arrival of the Sodalitie of the Goldene Throne from the far worlde of Canterburie LXI in solempne processionne and the man behind him with the tall hat or mitre as a cleric.

      A very sinister figure is hanging out of a building high up and beckoning or pointing to the procession down below. Is it someone ringing the bell to welcome the pilgrymmes, calling out blessinge and greeting? It doesn’t look bell-like to me, more like a pickaxe (why a pickaxe? I suspect to chip away any relics, gemstones, miniature paintings, statues set in forgotten chapels that can be plundered and borne off). I fear it is another Hospitalier in red, higher up and with a better view, seeing the pilgrymme-procession afar off and signalling to his mates — look, brethrene! freshe meate! The two in front have caught the signal, a muster of the vultures, come down to see the pilgrymmes come in, ostensibly to hold out a claw of welcome…

      And the pilgrymmes themselves, tired, frightened, rapt with awe at the golden splendour around them, do not see the vultures look up at the signal and rub their hands with glee as the trap shuts and yet more victims come to them…..


  5. I love this concept, but I’m a little unclear as to the nature of the fighting. I understand the throne is damaged and people will panic but what exactly are good and evil looking/fighting for in the bowls of these temples?

    Could you shed some light on this for me because I think I’m being a bit thick and missed this somehow.


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