Today I want to give you a little overview about the sinister Forge World of Cyclothrathe and the Slave House of Atrax.
I already painted Archmagos Draykavac for my Dark Mechanicus force, and may add some Knights of Atrax in the future! :)
Cyclothrathe - the Scourge of the Coronid Deeps
Type: Forgeworld (Tertius II grade)
Planetary Governor: Synod of Archmagos (Tribunal)
System: Cyclothrathine Holdfast
Sector: Coronid Deeps
Segmentum: Segmentum Obscurus
Status: Traitoris Perdita
Used forces: Taghmata Cyclothrathe, bounded Knight Houses (see Knights of House Atrax), Cyclothrathine Skitarii (probably)
The Cyclothrathine Mechanicum has always been an insular and aloof brand of the Mechanicum, even when it was still counted amongst those loyal to the Imperium, few were those who readily trusted them. Born not of ancient history, but rather some of the darkest and most horrifying conflicts of the Great Crusade and long withdrawn into secret ways and the study of the arcane, they were recognised by their strange arachnid symbol and their robes not of Martian crimson, but of deepest hearts-blood and sable, and by the fathomless storm-cloud hues which adorned their servants and engines of war. For years they had garnered a reputation for ruthlessness and aggression, both in defence of their domains from any xenos that crossed the frontier, and in pressing any claims they made to resource rights and territory. Imperial law and the intercession of Mars had been called upon on more than once occasion to keep Cyclothrathe's expansion in check. Bellicose and arrogant, the black-clad Magi of Cyclothrathe kept their distance even from others of their own kind, and where they walked, they walked alone.
During the Horus Heresy, Warmaster Horus played on the jealousy and ambition of the Cyclothrathine Mechanicum to whom Mars was at best an unwanted and distant authority. The future would decide for this world an infamy seldom matched in the ranks of Forge Worlds. During these years, its name would become a byword for infamy and atrocity amongst the entire Imperium, as was its position within the Dark Mechanicumand the reputation of its dire Warlord, Archmagos Draykavac, were cemented in the blood of countless planets ...
Warlord of Cyclothrathe, Sovereign-Prelate of House Atrax, Bringer of Perfection, Heretek of the Dark Mechanicum
Though he would become one of the most reviled of the Dark Mechanicum, Draykavac was an all but unknown figure before the civil war of the Warmaster's betrayal sundered the Imperium of Mankind. This bestially masked and black-robed Magos served as the chief military emissary of the Forge World of Cyclothrathe and the formost field commander of its Taghmata, answerable only to the sinister and hidden tribunal which rules his lightning-wracked world. As part of Draykavac's command, he also held the rank of sovereign-prelate of the Knight House of Atrax, which was fully oath-bound to Cyclothrathe which, while nominally it still had its own seneschals and master, was in reality little more than puppets of the utterly callous and inhuman Archmagos Draykavac.
With the outbreak of war within the Coronid Deeps, Draykavac was at the forefront of the campaign of invasion and conquest. Cyclothrathe carried out in the name of the Traitors, swiftly amassing a tally of atrocities and massacres to his name that set him apart as one of the most hated of his kind ...
Painting this guy was pretty fun - he is an awesome model - I love the animals head, a great drawback to early Dark Mechanicus artworks! I will use his scheme for all my future Dark Mechanicus Techpriests and Magii. The fading effect was achieved rather simple - using thinned down Nuln Oil to blend red and black together.
Title: The Knight House of Atrax
Patent: Sidon Protocols
Warden Domain: Arrian
Sovereign-Prelate: Archmagos Draykavac
Allied Forgeworlds: Cyclothrathe
Allegiance: Traitoris Perdita
Bound in servitude to the grim Forge World of Cyclothrahte, the once-proud warriors of the House of Atrax suffered much since Archmagos Draykavac blasted their home world into submission. The Household of Atrax survived all the horrors of Old Night through stubborn force of arms, but over two decades under the direct control of Draykavac had left them hollow and distorted reflection of their former glory.
Systematic and bloody purges of those scions who displayed any hint of rebellion had left the scions of Atrax a grim and brooding people in whom their Mechancium overlords had fostered a disturbing hatred of those who had escaped the fate that had befallen them. The poisoned husk of House Atrax's home world, Arrian, now served the Magos of Cyclothrathe as a source of raw materials for their wars of conquest and expansion, with legions of imported slaves tearing the ore from the blackened rocks.
The remaining scions of Atrax were confined to the armoured vaults that lay beneath Arrian's scorched surface, released from this virtual captivity only when Draykavac summoned them to war. The Knight armours of the House were kept separate from the scions, ministered to by Cyclothrathe-trained Sacristans as hostages for the scions' loyalty, for in the case of any armed revolt, the Archmagos of Cyclothrathe could destroy all of the House's Thrones Mechanicum with but a word.
With Cyclothrathe pledged in tactic supports of Horus' treacherous campaigns in the northern reaches of the sundered Imperium, Draykavac unleahsed the warriors of Atrax on the worlds of the Coronid Reach. There, the twisted scions took a measure of revenge by slaughtering those who had not suffered over the years as they had, exulting in the freedom to stalk the surface in their armour before Cyclothrathe caged them once again ...
Paint Scheme - I'll probably go with a metallic scheme, similliar to Forgeworlds Vyronii one - using clear black and clear red over a metallic basecoat.
Playing an army of House Atrax gives you some interesting options - first, you can use Archmagos Draykavac as your HQ choice, which is perfect if you just want to paint one Knight. Another cool perk about this guy is that he can repair your Knights in battle since he has the Battlesmith special rule, and he also grants you access to Castellax as non-compulsory troops and Vorax as fast attack - perfect if you want an army featuring Knights and robots!
My recommended loadout for a force of House Atrax would be a good mix of Megaera, Styrix and Atrapos Knights, marking them as slaves of Cyclothrathe - I imagine Draykavac would give his Knights some nasty things!
Thanks for reading :)