Music © Iron Sleet 2020
“What strong allurement draws, what spirit guides,William Wordsworth, Terran Poet, To the Planet Venus, upon its approximation to Terra, 838.M2
Thee, Vesper! brightening still, as if the nearer
Thou com’st to man’s abode the spot grew dearer
Night after night? True is it Nature hides
Her treasures less and less. Man now presides
In power, where once he trembled in his weakness;
Science advances with gigantic strides;
But are we aught enriched in love and meekness?
Aught dost thou see, bright Star! of pure and wise
More than in humbler times graced human story;
That makes our hearts more apt to sympathise
With heaven, our souls more fit for future glory,
When earth shall vanish from our closing eyes,
Ere we lie down in our last dormitory?”
+ Venus +
Along with Mars, Venus is Terra’s neighboring planet in the Sol System. It is a terrestrial planet sometimes called Terra’s ‘sister planet’ because of its similar size, mass and proximity to the sun. Most other similarities ends there: The planet itself is a hostile place with an atmospheric pressure like that of long lost oceans on Terra.
Imperial lore describe how Venus used to be visible to the naked eye, as one of the brightest objects in the evening and morning skies of Terra. Today thick smog and smoke from vast incense factories usually encapsulates burdened Terra hiding Venus from plain sight in the Terran evening- and morning sky.
But to this day Venus is still known among Imperial chroniclers and astrologists, at one and the same time, as the Evening-Star and the Morning-Star heralding both the Terran dusk and the dawn of a new day.
Since the early days of stellar and planetary observations sky gazers and astronomers have chased Venus on its journey across the night sky. Transits of Venus passing the sun are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. When they occur Venus is seen as a small, black sphere moving before the surface of Sol. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. For Millennia this 243-year transit has been celebrated with an 8-year long festival on Venus celebrating the planetary tribute to the Holy Emperor of Mankind and his divine seat on Terra.
The Sol System
On most maps of the Sol System, charted by Imperial scholars and cartographers of the Ordo Geographia – descriptio orbis terrarum – Terra appears as the divine seat of the Emperor of Mankind – the Golden Throne outshining even the light of Sol.
Venus on the other hand, as one of the four celestial bodies closest to Sol, with Holy Terra, Mercury and Mars being the others, is often represented as a counter-image of Terra:
A black sphere in close orbit to the sun.
In many representations the planet is shown encircled by six celestial bodies connected to each other and the planet by a 6-pointed star. This representation is described by Imperial scholars as a cartographic representation of the six most influential Venutian families, their immense family palaces and the planet wide network of cloud canals interconnecting the palaces into one vast hive city floating in the planet’s dense atmosphere.
The Horned Ones
In M41 Venus plays host to a wide variety of luxury resort orbitals and floating gardens, all intended to help the elite on Terra find respite and relaxation. Within some academic circles it is common knowledge that this elite is made up of six very old and elusive orders of wealthy Venutians called The Conclave of the Horned Ones, or the more commonly used Conclave Venutiae.
The conclave has direct political and commercial ties to the aristocracy of Terra itself. Even with high ranking members of the Senatorum Imperialis and the governing body of the Imperium.
It has been suggested, by some scholars now deemed hereticvs, that it is possible to draw a direct lineage between some family patriarchy of the Conclave Venutiae to the war witches that inhabited Venus in the early years of the Great Crusade during the Mehr Yasht Campaign. These suggestions have, of course, led to a series of witch burnings and prosecutions of said academics.
Because of its harsh surface conditions most of the countless luxury resort orbitals and recreational gardens are floating in the dense and sulphureous atmosphere of the planet. Most imposing among these immense human structures are the Palagio di Venutiae, Venutian Palaces belonging to the families of the Conclave Venutiae. These vast palaces are the size of hive cities themselves, separated and interconnected from each other by other Venutian palaces, villas and resorts, floating cloud canals and countless Venutian sky bridges making it appear as if the entire dense atmosphere is one large built structure.
The Venutian Palaces of Venutiae Medvicii and Venutiae di Vitrovii are some of the most impressive structures in the entire Imperium vertically covering hundreds of miles in the planets dense atmosphere.
The families of the Conclave Venutiae are some of the wealthiest, most influential – and in some cases decadent – families in the Imperium. The family heads of the Conclave Venutiae are elusive, almost mythical, figures. Like the High Lords of Terra they are the center of immense networks reaching into the far corners of the Imperium. Because of their wealth and influence various organisations have grown amidst them; Today the vast Venutian Palagios house family Rogue Traders, Inquisitors, Arbites, Shipping Magnates, Priesthoods, to name but a few of the organisations that make up the Venutian world of intrigue and decadence where…
Everything you have been told is a lie…
Triptycons by John Blanche © Games Workshop
Celebrating 20 years of Inquisitor
On Iron Sleet we strive to explore uncharted territory in the 40k universe!
Our new goal is to inject novel narratives, characters and depth into a planetary system that has been largely unexplored in the official lore of 40K. A planetary system, which mirrors Terra itself:
We will build this world together and dive in to the multitude of humanity within the incredible Venutian sphere of influence: Inquisitors unraveling plots, corrupt Arbites enforcers, shipping magnates, religious sects spreading the Imperial creed, and of course the fabled Conclave of the Horned Ones.
In the coming months each of us will build and paint a group (or more!) of Venutians from the Conclave Venutiae dividing the six families between us. Our setting is an Iron Sleet version of the Venutian planetary system, as fleshed out by FPOA in the above introduction. We have already delved into exploring the different families of the Conclave Venutiae and we cannot wait to introduce them here and unfold them even more as we explore Venus full on. Most importantly, as is always the case on Iron Sleet:
Models and images come first, Story is king!
We have recently initiated this exiting new Venutian adventure on our Patreon, which is slowly becoming our Iron Sleet machine room for developing new ideas and techniques, and a lot of engaged fellow hobbyists are already exploring the novel world of Venus together with us on a Discord set up for the purpose. Some of this have already hit the Ether Ways on Instagram where Ynqvisitor is slowly gaining life.
As always we will be sharing WIP of our work here on this blog as well as on our instagram account(s) by using the #ynqvisitor and #sleetinvitational hashtags. Our Patreons are already doing this in style on Instagram…
…and then, once the dust has settled, we really start getting into this world!