Tuesday 19 January 2016

House Atrax and the Forge World of Cyclothrathe

Howdy Guys and Girls!

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Born not of ancient history, but rather some of the darkest and most horrifying conflicts of the Great Crusade and long withdrawn into secret ways and the study of the arcane, they were recognised by their strange arachnid symbol and their robes not of Martian crimson, but of deepest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 ...

Archmagos Draykavac

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.

House Atrax

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 :)

Lady Atia


  1. Wow, Draykavac looks cool. I hadn't really wanted him till now.

    Poor House Atrax, to me one of the most tragic of the players in the Heresy so far, I really can't justify another force of Knights, they have cool fluff though (as do pretty much all the knight FW have covered so far).

    1. Awww thanks - glad you like him =)

      And yeah, Knights are the same as Legions - so many cool schemes and fluff, i would like to do all :P

      Settled for Vyronii, Makabius and Atrax - and maybe Divine ... :p

    2. Your not short of ambition are you! How many per household are you planning? And what types? I've seen your first Makabius Knight on B&C, it's worth a post here in the future. I'm currently building House Makabius, then Legio Tempestus Knights and finally House Vyronii...

      Oh and finish my House Terryn Knights :$

    3. Haha yeah also not short of ideas, and a slave of this hobby xD

      I would like to do:
      - 1 Knight for House Makabius (already done as you said, glad you like her, will feature her later when my ZM is finished and i'm able to do cooool pictures)
      - 2-3 Knights for House Atrax in order to support my Legio Fureans and Draykavac
      - Lets not speak about House Vyronii ... i have big planes for them haha ^^ first three will be Megaera, Errant and Atrapos ^.^

  2. Few questions: 1 was forge world Lucius in the heresy and if so which side were they on?
    2 house taranis? I think had the blue scheme right? They have the horse head for there crest what side were they on if they were around for the Horus heresy?
    Trying to get my 40k forces some use in the 30Th melenium.

    1. Hi Simon :)

      1.) Lucius
      Yep, (afaik) Lucius and Legio Astorum were active and kicking on the loyalist side. But, and here is the problem with Lucius - their colour scheme was different than during 40k. They adopted red and markings of Mars after the Inculcata Schism.

      2.) House Taranis
      Taranais were the Knights of Mars. I think "Mechanicum" had them as blue, but that may be retconned since GW did them red. Hardcore Loyalists forever.

      3.) House Terryn
      House Terryn uses the horse head and is blue, they are loyalists but we have lore inconsistencies here - some say they have fight during the GC/Scouring, other say they were founded after - I think we can ask Alan next month about that.

    2. Would you be able to ask him? I have two knights in that colour scheme and would like to kinda justify using em in 30k.
      Also what was the colour scheme of Lucius then during 30k?

    3. I won't be there but I bet one of my fellow bunnies could try to ask ^.^

      For Lucius - cream and dark metal were the planet's original heraldry :)

    4. House Taranis was definitely described as blue in Mechanicum, and is mostly retconned for reasons of them being on Mars and the designers wanted to create a standardized template of colors for the Martian forces. They were definitely loyal, which caused them to lose quite a few Knights when the Martial civil war occurred.


  3. Did you use Anja Wettergren's Urien Rakarth tutorial for the robes? In the 'Eavy Metal Masterclass book GW released many moons ago, there was a really cool tutorial for that Dark Eldar character's robes that look very similar to the ones you painted for yours. That dark, rich, hemic-coloring on the edges looks sinister

    1. Glad you like him :)

      And nope, the last painting guide from Anja I got was the Legion of the Damned one back then - but she's awesome and I quite enjoyed her guides (and all the other 'eavy metal masterclass articles :<)

    2. Nice. Thank you for the reply. Love the color schemes you've chosen. I recently acquired a sheet of the Legio Atarus (Firebrands) transfer decals for my Warlord Titan. I wish Tempest displayed a Warlord with Firebrand heraldry for reference.

      Regarding the EM tutorial, I've spoken with Dan Harden at length via email regarding the status of the EM tutorials they used to have in a previous incarnation of White Dwarf magazine. Given my background in niche market journalism, I can understand the reason he gave, stating that only a small (I believe single digit percentage) of readership will ever reach a level of skill that would require a tutorial more advanced that Paint Splatter. Furthermore, anyone who could paint at that level probably doesn't need a tutorial from a magazine and will have more indepth sources of instruction. Apparently I fall into an even smaller demographic of hobbyists who have used the EM tutorials to get to a level higher than the Paint Splatter painters but I don't think I'm anywhere near EM level.

      However, that EM Masterclass book is my painting bible. I've gone through 3 copies already from overuse and my current one is pretty dog-eared. I hope they do more like they did the Librarian one on iTunes...but I digress. Thank you for your time and I appreciate the reply.