The Bio-Pilgrymme, Interlude: From Throne to Thorne…

By living Streams among the Trees of Life,

Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard,
Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept
Fannd with coole Winds, save those who in thir course
Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne

(Ancient Terran poet, Paradise Lost, Book V, 667.M2)

FPOA of Danish Forest Engineering is back with another sublime piece of evocative WIPs and writing.

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Crataegus Fragmentum. 994.M41

Above him the thorny spire disappeared into a carpet of thick fog that covered the immense forest cathedral around him. Faint rays of light shone through from the branched arches of the bioluminescent canopy high above occasionally illuminating the exhaust vapour that danced slowly around him towards the moist cathedral floor reminding him of water flies when they in great swarms migrated from the foggy treetops of Tor Huath to the water filled streams far below during Dusktide. He could feel a cool breeze coming in from the procession hall where the Elder Ones had met a fortnight ago. It was caressing his barked skin like a dear friend bidding him a final farewell as if the moon itself was mourning his coming departure. 

Standing there bathed in the fading bioluminescence of the world around him his memories drifted into the fog high above. He had walked the sacred holloways of the thorn moons for what felt like aeons. He had first arrived as a young Apexist to Crataegus Fragmentum on board one of the last Genetor Explorator Fleets that made it safely to the thorn moons before an insurgence of warp storms had cut off contact with the Great Priesthoode many years ago. Upon his arrival the thorn moons had already been gene-crafted into living machine shrines of moon-spanning electrochemical transistors and bio-conduits celebrating the ancient trees of Crataegus Fragmentum. Since then he had risen to priesthood himself and his life had been a repeating cycle of aging and rejuvenation tapping into the biomechanical cycles of the thorn moons themselves. 

Together with the Elder Ones he had overseen the gene-crafting of the biomechanical thorn trees that now made up the main structure in the network of forest cathedrals and shrines on the thorn moon surrounding him. From the first protoxylem so many years ago to the bio-enhanced metaxylem and phloems that made large-scale bioengineering possible. But now the time for a much larger transformation was fast approaching. The human and his team had arrived to Crataegus Fragmentum from beyond the warp storms a few decades ago. Apparently, they had charted a safe passage through the dangerous storms bringing with them a priceless cargo: The fabled Daerwynne Palimpseste. Written and rewritten for millennia it proved the biological link between the original life forms of Crataegus Fragmentum and the life forms of the Sol System. It charted the evolution of life as it had occurred on an interstellar scale and heralded that the time of great transformation was fast approaching. His studies of the palimpsest had made him realise that what the first Genetor Explorator Fleets set in motion on the thorn moons of Crataegus Fragmentum so many millennia ago was about to stand the greatest of trials: The inevitable transformation of the broken Golden Throne into the Green Seat of the Emperor Reborn… 

From Throne to Thorne…

Apart from the faintly hissing choir of transistors and bio-conduits the thorny world around Sverre Arrheniusse was quiet. But nutrients, sugars and gene-extracts were roaring through the xylem of his limbs like a raging river of reinvigorated life. He could feel it reverberate through the valley of ancient Haw trees and took a final deep breath, let the carbon dioxide fill his lungs like a gust of fresh wind and, as he slowly exhaled, felt the leftover oxygen leave his lungs. He savoured the feeling one last time as he walked on board the Anaxaegoras.

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Migs

22 thoughts on “The Bio-Pilgrymme, Interlude: From Throne to Thorne…

  1. I enjoy the loving, patient, curatorial, considerate and evocative approach of yours immensely. Something I would do myself if free from the managerial/organizational duties and abundance of creating that comes with that for Pilgrym. In the corners of the piece of Terra and the Narrators of XX I’ve found this same solace though 🙂

    These are incredibly beautiful!

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    1. Thank you mate!

      I really like how Pilgrym has gathered together people with different approaches and ways of working. Thats very inspirational. My challenge is that I do not own the same flow of creativity like people like you. I love working with narrative, that has become half of it, and have found that to make it work for me I have to delve deep into it and help it grow in a pace where I can follow suit.

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  2. I find these so exciting and original – to have a group of miniatures that reflect your life both personally and professionally is such a seductive idea – or do we perhaps produce some aspect of our personality’s consciously and subconsciously anyway – I’m glad I did not see these last year as I was painstakingly illustrating voodoo forest – this year is the pilgrym – however strange reports of the poisoned betseba arrive in Rottenchaple and bring reports of mysterious events – the green emperor cometh ………

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    1. A rotting corpse bearing strange shootes… deathe and lyfe, lyfe and deathe… terra the rotting obsequy for a deatheless and dying godde…

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    2. I am glad to hear. Thank you!

      I really enjoy bridging interests here. A lot of things seem to meet in 999. M41. But the greatest pleasure has been to get inspired by this collective endeavour. Jakobs floating trees and tree-knight. Tammys talk of the green man. Your incredible Voodoo-forests, which will get some attention in a later post, the Botanicarum… And the comments from all the readers. Remnantes suggestion to lengthen his cane combined with your Celestial Stair drawing. And Wudugast suggested to leave the original shoulder shield. The whole process itself is very organic. And now things are sprouting even in Rottenchaple.

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  3. I’ve been looking forward to seeing more of this model since last time it appeared and it does not disappoint. In a project as exciting and creative as the Pilgrymage it’s easy to find oneself sounding almost repetitively over-excited. This, however, may be my favourite thing to emerge from this project so far (a hard call to make I must confess!). Any chance we can get a look at more angles on him – plus the rest of the band (especially interested in that cairn-wraith based creature floating in amongst the Thorneguard)?

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  4. Where to beginne… I bought ”Holloway” and your beautiful work adds inexpressibly to the already fascinating idea of living intergrowing cathedrales of machine-trees, tracerie of branche and tube, highe vaultes stalked by pillars of boughe and bole, a worlde opening out into halle after halle, above and belowe, spyres of fused woode and machine filled with a pale fume of exhauste-miste-incense…

    A few notes on the narrative: Tor Huath is hawthornne-hille, tor being a celtic derived word for hill, huath is the eighth letter of the ogham alphabet, glossed in a mediaeval irish grammar (the Auraicept) as white-thorne or hawthornne. The mystical significance of hawthornne (in the name Crataegus and here) seems to be that the month of the hawthornne in the Oghamme calendar preceded that of the oake, the royalle, blossoming, fertile, spreading oake of the greene manne… in the same way the Crataegus Hoste are the preceders and precursorres who prepare the way for the transformation of the Emperor into the Greene Manne, as the Magos Genetorre has gleaned from his studies of daerwynne… the verbal transformation from throne to thorne…

    The cycle of aging and rejuvenation of course echoes that of nature, aging, mystically seeming to die and then reborn in splendour… quite different from that of the orthodox Mechanicvmme, where metalle maketh man deathelesse… it is meant that the hoste setts off now, for the Emperor must seem to die in the winter of the fortie-first millenniumme before he can be reborn…

    Xylemme = water-carrying tissues around plants, proto- and meta-xylemme may not mean progress in two cut-and-dried attempts but rather the quasi-evolutionary growth of one into the other, partes of the systems being exchanged by tending priestes, as proto-xylem is the newly formed tissue, meta-xylem its complete form, phloem = sugar-carrying tissues.

    Arrheniusse and the other priestes (Elder Ones??) are no longer humanne… notice they refer to Haggwers as ‘the humanne’… his veins are xylem not only in metaphorre his metabolisme has been modified to worke as plantes do by fusion of their fleshe to woode and metalle… inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen…

    Arrheniusse himself is a beautiful miniature, a living fusionne of fleshe, woode and machine… taller far than man, like a tree he has never ceased to grow.

    His shoulders and back sprout living rituallie carved boughs, into which are fused machinerie and vials or implants, his bare cheste is studded with sockets bearing vials, his mouth pierced by a metalle tube… below his robe his bodie is a mass of wires, tube and adventitious rootes, his visible feete one a wooden roote, I think the other is a augmetic… within the masse of tubes and rootes are manie skulles, all entwined and held in with plante growthe. Perhaps some as in thistle’s paintings, I feel, regulate the flowe of oile and sappe, but the greene manne and his servants are as much a symbol of decaye and death in winter as rebirth in summer, the cycle of the seasonnes, so the living tree-prieste is inextricable from rotte and deathe…

    His staffe, too, is a living branche, topped and ferruled with metalle skulles, deathe and life, the thornes echoing the crataegus hoste, hawthorne, the harbinger of the greene manne.

    His soldiers, the thornne guarde, show as much groping roote and grasping vine as metalle, armes of woode, sprouting shoote-haire on bodies of fleshe and metalle, vine or tube growing into the mouth… as too the lesser priest, his back fused to a masse of thornes, roots or wires piercing his robes, hung with lose technologie…

    Beautiful. The quote from milton is perfect, the dreme of the crataegus hoste when the cycle of winterre is over and the springe comes and the godde-manne, the greene-manne sittes on his throne in tabernacles of machine-fleshe-woode praised by the hiss of incense-miste and the rattle of branches, the whistling of winde through the tree-halles and the cycle beginnes again…

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    1. Patrick, would it be ok for us to start incorporating some of your writing into out “official” Pilgrym lore? It’s a funny area of ownership, the fact that you write about our miniatures and ideas in the first place, but I still feel we need your consent to use the material. Perhaps in the book we make, perhaps increasingly in some of the blog texts. You’ve become a very original historian of this whole affair

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      1. Of course — a genuine honour. I have drafted a couple of introductory pieces at thistle’s request for his gange and anything you wish to take is yours to use… to be a pilgrymme…

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      2. To be a pilgrym indeed – John bunyans original seventeen century lyrics are much more warhammer than the cleaned up Victorian version ….

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    2. Once again a great interpretation Gray. Thank you for taking the time. Great to hear that you have bought Robert MacFarlanes Holloway. A wonderful small book. I recommend some of his other writings too. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot is a beauty and to some extend very relevant in relation to The Pilgrym. Also, if you like folkloreand the lay of the land. He excels in unfolding the kinship between lore and landscape.

      Tor Huath can indeed be translated to Hawthorn Hill. As for calendar and progression, also in narrative, the timeline play an important part. And it appears that many of the events have been predicted (to some extend, depending on how you read it) in the Daerwynne Palimpseste.

      The Genetors of Crataegus have themselves become elements in the natural cycles of the thorn moons. For instance, and this is an important part of their growth, they alternate between states of deep hybernation and sprouting and envigorated growth. Following the seasons of the thorn moons.

      I love the idea of the intertwined skulls being servitor skulls regulating the flow of sap and olies.

      More writings on Sverres journey, their passage through The Great Ribbon Pyre as it is charted by Haggwers and their arrival on the other side of the warp storms in The Rift on its way soon.

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      1. Thanke you… the idea of the genetorres as part of the natural cycle, blossoming, fading, ‘dying’ mystically and blossoming again… Greene Manne is a symbol of that…

        An honour to comment… the pilgrymme has been adept at pulling all my interests together… in this case I enjoy both botany and folklore…

        I will note down the book.

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  5. All of this stuff is just beyond wonderful! I love how you are incorporating all of the plant physiology into the narrative, it really sells the notion that they are as much plant as they are human and machine. It has been a while since I thought about xylem and phloem, it makes me think of the concept of alternation of generations, switching from haploid to diploid (gametophyte and sporophyhte). Possibly it is something you could explore?

    I really liked your Night Bringer conversion before, but seeing it from multiple angles just makes it that much better. It tall, spindly stature is so alien looking, with works wonderfully. I am amazed at how well the tech priest dominous’ arms are scaled, they work perfectly! I think my favorite aspect is its long thorned cane. I love how you extended it to the base, it really emphasizes the being’s height. The thorns also remind me of the seminal Planescape Torment… What can change the Nature of a man…

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  6. Such an interesting story is developing. Such fearsome characters, and a curious means to immortality..
    The green man cometh.. I say let him arrive by all means. We will see how much gravitas the rumoured palimpseste carries on the home world.

    I love it! Will take influences again.. Enjoying the new wave of cairn wraiths too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OK it’s official this is the single cools concept that I’ve seen you guys ever create. Black library has occasionally mentioned that entire branches of the adeptus mechanicus are devoted to the use of biology and advanced genetics science to create biological machines but this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone take this concept and really run with it. Incredibly cool stuff.

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  8. I can honestly say that this is the most original and wonderful concept that I have ever seen in the hobby… ever.
    Sverre (?) is utterly jaw-dropping… I can’t stop looking! The silhouette is so sublime and disturbing – I can almost hear the creaking as he makes his way across the tangled landscape, upper body barely moving as the lower limbs (branches? roots? vines?) propel him along with the solid thump of his walking staff keeping the beat… I have no more words – I need to look some more.

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