Mont'au Devil

Post long term projects you have devised for your Tau or other hobby projects.
User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Mont'au Devil

Post#1 » Jan 21 2017 09:01

I've really been falling in love with GW's latest line of models. I was never a 'model collector', preferring just to collect my army, but man, are they hitting it out of the park.

Enter: The Ogroid Thaumaturge (but GW copyright names are getting ridiculous)

Image

I've always speculated that the early Tau age of Mont'ka was much like a cross between European and Japanese feudal periods of warfare. Religious fanaticism, fragmented nations and overall the origins of the Caste system at odds with one another paint a picture of total and constant war.

But what about before that?

We know that in 789.M35 the Mechanicus vessel "Land's Vision" explored the world of T'au for potential human colonization.

Image

For me, this picture illustrates a violent confrontation that saw both Tau killed or captured by Techpriests and servitors and, like events early in human history, might have had an impact on Tau cultural development.

We know that from Firewarrior, the novel, that Mont'au Devils/demons exist in what is most likely a superstitious way but must be analogous to human interpretations of demons (which have lead to Chaos daemons looking the way they do as a result of the human/warp latent connection).

So: For fun I'm going to convert the Thaumaturge to become the manifestation of this initial trauma the Tau psyche experienced when the Mechanicus visited T'au.

The Mont'au Demon will be painted red with a lot of metallics while the staff will be replaced with a crude version of the Mechanicum Ax in one hand but I'm not sure what to do with the other.

I'm thinking that I'll add more tentacles (to look like organic mechadendrites) coming out from his elbows and his back.

The face will be puttied to not have a nose, and I'm thinking I'll have a giant third horn coming out of his forehead instead of a nasal slit (perverting the Tau form as demons do in human myths).

At the end of all this, I'll make zombies who's bodies have been mixed with insects (a primitive's perspective on servitors) which will surround the Mont'au demon in a diorama that shows the "Four Heroes".

The Four Heroes

Since so little is known about the origins of the Tau culture I'm taking a free hand at creating the myth of the Four Heroes:

Long ago, when the world was young, devils infested the forests, the plains, the oceans and the mountains. They poured forth from the Ki'mon, the Blackgate, lead by the Great Devil O'nye and his minions.

O'nye killed those who stood against him and enslaved the rest, taking the greatest warriors and children of the Tau Clans to live with him in his black fortress, treating them like playthings, killing them when he grew bored.

Only the White City stood against him, separated from the mainland by a great channel that churned with a constant tempest. The White Cities protectors were four peerless warriors; Ta'Unar, Soo'na'ka, Va'Savon, and their leader Por'tash who stood guard at the four gates of the city. They were known together as the Four Exemplar and represented the four primordial elements.

O'nye's armies could not storm the White City and so he used guile. He fooled A'saana, the concubine of Ta'Unar, as she collected shells upon the beach and kidnapped her. Ta'Unar, enraged by this crime, vowed that he would sail into the maelstrom to return his beloved.

Por'tash cautioned against this, suspecting a trap, and Ta'Unar cursed her, declaring her a coward. Soo'na'ka, always a loyal friend to Ta'Unar, joined him in his search while Va'savon remained silent and preferred to remain in his stone gardens.

Divided as they were it was then that O'nye chose to strike, his army assaulting the White City.

Meanwhile, Ta'Unar and Soo'na'ka reached Ki'mon and challenged O'nye. O'nye left his fortress, A'saana in one of his claws, and executed her in front of Ta'Unar. In a rage, Ta'Unar attacked and a battle that would last three days raged at the mouth of the Blackgate. Soo'na'ka kept the thralls of O'nye at bay as Ta'Unar and O'nye battled until one of O'nye's lieutenants speared her through the heart.

The cry of Soo'na'ka's spirit leaving her body emboldened the Tau people across the land and they rose up against their enslavers. Por'tash and Va'Savon soon arrived at the Blackgate, having lifted the siege, and destroyed the Great Devil with Ta'Unar, sealing the Blackgate forever.

But Ta'Unar would never forgive Por'tash for not helping him save his beloved and letting his friend die. The warrior lead his people from the ravaged White City and into the wastes, forever hunting those devils still alive. Va'savon would return to the White City to rebuild it while Por'tash would leave for the rivers, ever seeking peace and swearing to never make war. The soul of Soo'na'ka would rest in the mountains, teaching his children and their descendents to fly but never spoke to his companions again.


Anyway, this is rough draft of the story I'm going to tell with the diorama. Looking forward to converting the mythical Four Exemplar and the Great Devil with his thralls. I'll be posting here when I get home to the states.
Last edited by Calmsword on Jan 22 2017 06:04, edited 1 time in total.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'ka Devil

Post#2 » Jan 21 2017 10:12

Jotting down some ideas, comments and critics welcome.

Por'tash The Great Ocean

Image
Por'tash, known as the Great Ocean, is the leader and eldest of the Exemplar. He is armed with a long, sleek blade, named The Way of Water. Legend has it that Por'tash split the sea itself, leading the survivors of the mainland to the White City. When the army of devils and thralls pursued them he held the army back until every last Tau was safe, letting the ocean come crashing down and drowning the enemy.

Said to be as great a poet as duelist, Por'tash believed his people deserved to be educated in the ways of peace as well as war. He would only pick up the Way of Water when all other avenues had been exhausted, teaching his disciples that violence was a failure of diplomacy.

Cultural notes:
1. Tau are noted as deferring to seniority and so Por'tash is the leader, and wisest.
2. Por'tash is the first ancestor of the River people who, in turn, will be the ancestors of the Water Caste. After the battle against the Great Devil, he swears off violence and thus creates the original tone for the Water Caste as diplomats and merchants rather than warriors.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'ka Devil

Post#3 » Jan 22 2017 02:55

Thralls

I'll be taking creative queues from the Husks of Mass Effect. I feel like using mostly human parts and then putty to show ribbed cables between limbs will have the desired effect of a 'demonic' zombie.

I'll keep the human facial features but will enlarge their eyes or add more to represent a prehistoric Tau's perspective of a being with an optical cluster.

Since I don't want to use guns of any kind, they will be adorned with metal spikes that, if I'm lucky and can get the technique down, will give the allusion that these beings can channel electricity.

Image

The lore behind them will be pretty straightforward:

As O'nye finished building his fortress above the Blackgate, he was visited by Ua'tha, the Godess of the Emerald Garden. She invited him to sit with her so that he might tell her of where he came from and what he might be looking for. O'nye ate from Ua'tha's trees, her fields and drank deeply of the Spring of Life until it was dry, yet was still hungry.

Ua'tha pleaded with him to stop, to let the plants regrow from his appetites but O'nye became angry, demanded she give him more. Ua'tha took the stones from the Spring of Life and ground them down into dust. She wept into the dust and kneeded it until it became clay. From this she formed the Hateful Cauldron which could provide an endless amount of food for O'nye.

Satisfied, he left for the Blackgate where he found that if he placed mortals into the Hateful Cauldron, they would be reborn anew as faithful Thralls who would not remember their former lives. This is from where O'nye creates his armies.


I'm thinking this is where the Tau begin to understand the concept of Greed. I also don't want the Tau 'gods and goddesses' to play an active role, instead, they are more passive aspects of the primitive world which will, in turn, lead to why the Tau might have never had a strong relationship with deistic worship like Christianity (or the Imperium's worship of the Emperor).
~Good Hunting

User avatar
TauMan
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 586
Contact:

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#4 » Jan 23 2017 11:37

Wow great stuff here Calmsword !

Awesome Idea
Diorama + story = mythological origin tale of the Tau. So looking forward to the completed diorama and reading your completed 'myth'.

The Four Exemplars
Your tale of the Four Exemplars feels like a post mont'au story as told by a 'water caste' poet or story teller. A story that explains the origins of the different Tau races; and points towards they're becoming the four castes. The poet has reworked the ancient tale for a 'contemporary' Tau audience, weaving a new interpretation into the story. Much like how the German "Rotkäppchen" becomes "Little Red Riding Hood". A story of a berserker who kills his own mother (not grandmother) and then kills his sister - Rotkäppchen. Which becomes in the 16th century a cautionary tale for young aristocratic ladies on the seducing ways of men. Note I could not find online the oldest version of the Rotkäppchen story, only the Brothers Grimm one. If you can find it, read it, because it'll make your skin crawl! The original is far more grimdark than the Brothers Grimm story. Think werewolf + cannibalism + no escape or no rescue. Rotkäppchen

Myths and Folktales
I've always hated the scifi mono-cultures where alien races have only one religion, philosophy, race, fashion, or colour palette. With the original four tau “races” a.k.a. the castes, there could be at least four major mythologies, with an untold number of sub-mythos. Each sub-mythos having hundreds of pantheons of gods, demi-gods and devils. Really the sky is the limit when comes to creating ancient Tau myths and folktales.

The Thralls of O'nye
These 'demons' are exactly what I had in mind when I created both of this spirits.
Yaksha(ii): 1. 'Devil', a generic term for any malevolent spirit; 2. 'Ghoul' (Oldest name)
M'denta'la: The Undead lit. 'Un-breathing creature', i.e. a zombie or ghoul. (Newer name for same demon.)

So here's a question: Why don't the Tau have anthropomorphic drones, i.e. androids? They obviously could make drones like C3PO or even Commander Data, but they don't. Why?

Anthropomorphic A.I. Design
My idea is that there is something disturbing about an anthropomorphic A.I. design, which invokes a primal and fearful response in the Tau. Something that looks “tau” but isn't "tau"; and looks "alive", but somehow isn't "alive"? A similar thing happens with CGI and humans - Uncanny valley Humanoid drones are far too disturbing, so they're all designed to look “mechanical”.

Next question: What would be the origins of this primal fear?
Maybe the Thralls in your story are the origins of this fear, xhmm? I conceived that M'denta'la or Yaksha to be un-dead or zombie like. I envisioned them being half flesh and half skeletal creatures that were 'alive', but moved in an unnatural way. And that they are what tau would think of as a 'demon'. Or in other words, it would be the first thing in their mind when asked: “What does a demon look like?”

Calmsword wrote:I'm thinking this is where the Tau begin to understand the concept of Greed.

Allegorical or Personifications of Vice
I had similar idea with the Ynege'kir, that they are a personification of, or compilation of, the vices: avarice, gluttony, drunkenness and lust. The Ynege'kir are skinny grotesque “ogres” with canine like heads (kind of like the Ogre from Pan's Labyrinth) who always hungry, thirsty, greedy and lust filled. This kind of metaphor seems to fit the Tau.

And Idea for Your Diorama
In folklore a spirit or devil maybe look like a human, but then have something wrong with it. Faeries will often have bird's feet for example. In Japan a Fox Spirit transformed into a human will still have its tail or tails. Thinking about O'nye will he have hooves? That would look pretty “normal” to a Tau. European demons often have hooves coming as they do from older spirits like Pan, Pookas, and Satyrs. I previously created the Tau “little people” or Aiki'yebii, whose name translates as 'Hand-foot'. They're little spirits that have no body except for a head, arms and hands; and having no feet, they walk on their hands. [Note the term aiki'yeb(ii) becomes an informal expression for humans in the F.E., since our feet look kind of like hands].

Just and idea, but maybe O'nye or some other of your 'demons' could have hands for feet? I think it might be very creepy for the Tau, and still be a cool addition to the models.

The TauMan Awaits further coolness! ;)
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#5 » Jan 24 2017 06:03

Thank Tauman,

Lots to talk about so let's jump right in:

I'm taking specific inspiration from Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Indian folklore in the generation of the Tau backstory. I believe this to be proper with the obvious asiatic influences that the Tau faction has. This will influence the demonic aspects which are, decidedly, un 'western'.

The Four Exemplars

The mythologies of the pre-Ethereal intervention would be in line with the inspirations of the Greek pantheon to the Renaissance, as in, the story-tellers and Ethereals of the post-Mont'au period would understand these stories as an important cultural treasure but entirely fictitious and, therefore, dismissed. From a fan-canonical perspective this would be why the Tau would dismiss the notion of Mechanicum interference even if it lines up with their mythology (see how we react to Ancient Alien theories):

Imagefree picture upload

On a more 40k'esque angle it would be why most sentient species fear deat; the Nightbringer.

I've said this in other stories, but I don't believe the Tau actually 'fear' death in the same way that humans or Eldar do (Eldar are TERRIFIED of death) and I want to reinforce that with these stories. The method in which a Tau die is much more important than the concept of 'the end', in my opinion.

This is why when Soo'na'ka dies it is more of a seperation between her and her comrades rather than oblivion.

Myths and Folktales

I've always hated the scifi mono-cultures where alien races have only one religion...


Agreed. I think GW does an all around good job of different factions within a factions, but the Tau do suffer from brush stroke syndrome despite the Septs and the Enclaves. Mythologies and pre-current history might help in the same way as the Primarchs embody nations and human psychology.

The Thralls of O'nye

Using your own vocabulary, I'd say they would be in line with M'denta'la but with the allusion that they come from a cursed artifact (the Hateful Cauldron). O'nye, at least for this mythology, is a First Adversary in the same way that Satan might be in Islamic mythology or Morgoth from Tolkien's mythology.

A Yaksha might be attributed to O'nye's lieutenants.

Anthropomorphic AI
This is an added benefit you've come up with that I agree with. It is strange that Tau wouldn't make more humanoid creations. The Eldar do it, humans do it, even Orks manifest their creations after their own gods (which seem to just be enormous Orks).

Whereis the primal fear of the older galactic powers might be the Nightbringer, yes, I do believe that O'nye would be the psychic wound left by the Mechanicum priest while his Servitors would serve the template for Tau 'lesser' demons. O'nye cannot be killed but he can be banished while, at least by that one picture from the old codex, one or two servitors could have been cudgelled to death.

The Diorama

I've thought about this and I; a: think it's an interesting idea that the demon be given hands to walk on but I don't know if my skill is there yet to be able to make a convincing cut. b: With out own 'satan' as a perversion of the human form, I think that the Tau would have a much stronger tie to the perversion of the nasal cavity. After all, the Ethereal's themselves have a diamond shaped bone ridge that seems to have had an instant pyschological impact (in the way we might view wings for angels).

So, I would propose that creating a massive frontal horn coming from this area would have the same effect that you're talking about. Thoughts?

I like the idea that a lesser daemon, maybe even a Ynege'kir, could have hands for feet.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
TauMan
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 586
Contact:

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#6 » Jan 25 2017 07:19

Calmsword wrote:I'm taking specific inspiration from Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Indian folklore in the generation of the Tau backstory. I believe this to be proper with the obvious asiatic influences that the Tau faction has. This will influence the demonic aspects which are, decidedly, un 'western'.


As you see I too am drawing from the same folk traditions, but for the the nomads (fire caste) I'm also pulling Mongolian, Kazakh and Tibetan material, as well the reindeer peoples of Siberia the Samoyed, Tuvans and Yakuts.

Calmsword wrote:I've said this in other stories, but I don't believe the Tau actually 'fear' death in the same way that humans or Eldar do (Eldar are TERRIFIED of death) and I want to reinforce that with these stories. The method in which a Tau die is much more important than the concept of 'the end', in my opinion.
This is why when Soo'na'ka dies it is more of a seperation between her and her comrades rather than oblivion.


Two points in reverse order: I think you're spot on with the idea that separation would be traumatic for the Tau. I've always thought that exile would have been the preferred method of execution. At least for the pre-montau "civilized" peoples like the Mountain peoples (earth caste) and the River people (water caste). The psychological trauma of being torn from one's family, clan, or tribe would in effect be a "bloodless execution". And an equal punishment to the family or clan, as the loss of beloved member would be felt with almost the same terrific pain.

Fear of Death. On just a biological level my sense the Tau have the same instinctual fear of injury and pain, as well as the basic idea of any sentient that, "Well I was planning on being around for another thirty tau'cyr, and besides I've never gone bungee jumping yet!" Overall how the Tau think about the end of life probably varies quite a bit; but whatever they think about it, the gue'la still won't be able to tell if they were afraid or not.

Calmsword wrote:A Yaksha might be attributed to O'nye's lieutenants.

Well, you're free to use the name I've come up with as you like, after all even among us gue'la, the words we use for spirits or devils varies immensely, just take the word "troll" for instance. The following are both "trolls":

Image Image

Calmsword wrote:With out own 'satan' as a perversion of the human form, I think that the Tau would have a much stronger tie to the perversion of the nasal cavity. After all, the Ethereal's themselves have a diamond shaped bone ridge that seems to have had an instant pyschological impact (in the way we might view wings for angels).
So, I would propose that creating a massive frontal horn coming from this area would have the same effect that you're talking about. Thoughts?
I like the idea that a lesser daemon, maybe even a Ynege'kir, could have hands for feet.

Either way I think you're on the right track, any perversion of the Tau form will work, after all these aren't human or eldar concepts of demons. The way I look at it is, the Tau wouldn't even think of Warp Deamons as being demons, for just that reason. A Greater Demon of Khorne would be scary because it's a large and nasty alien life form, and not because it was a "demon". So I'll interested in seeing what you finally come up with.

The TauMan Awaits the Final Product

PS. Inspiration while you're modeling: Can't Stop The Feeling! TM
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#7 » Jan 26 2017 05:18

Fear of Death:

This is something inherently 40k, though. The reason why the Orks are so cavalier and driven is specifically because they never fought the Nightbringer. Just like the relationship between dreams and the warp (which the Tau don't have as well, see Commander Eclipse back during the Medusa V campaign).

Fear of Death. On just a biological level my sense the Tau have the same instinctual fear of injury and pain, as well as the basic idea of any sentient that, "Well I was planning on being around for another thirty tau'cyr, and besides I've never gone bungee jumping yet!" Overall how the Tau think about the end of life probably varies quite a bit; but whatever they think about it, the gue'la still won't be able to tell if they were afraid or not.


Pain, fear of injury, that makes sense in the same way that a deer doesn't want to get hurt as it effects the ability to 'continue'. In a Tau society, injury and meaningless death in light of the greater collective would be the thing that is 'feared' not death itself (because I also don't think they would have an afterlife).

Your first note on Separation is the fear analogue humans have for Death.

Thinking about this; The Tau'va would be analogous for the 'forgiveness' factor that Christianity added to its Judaic roots. In the Tau'va, a Tau is never alone.

The way I look at it is, the Tau wouldn't even think of Warp Deamons as being demons, for just that reason. A Greater Demon of Khorne would be scary because it's a large and nasty alien life form, and not because it was a "demon". So I'll interested in seeing what you finally come up with.


Agreed, in previous fluff a warp-daemon is an 'anomaly' or 'transdimensional alien'. I do think I'll be rewriting some of O'nye's fluff so that he is a being of solitude without any fellow demons to better embody what a herd-mentality community might be frightened of.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#8 » Feb 15 2017 04:10

Image

So here's my first couple steps with O'nye. I've added a tyranid claw as a central horn and inverted the Thamaturge's regular ones. I'm taking a few ques from Dagoth from Conan the Barbarian and will probably end up writing something up about how the central horn provides O'nye with a power.

The ax has been replaced with a daemon prince's, I'll be removing all chaos symbols including the Tzeench symbol on his back.

The tentacles on the base are a new addition, representing the mechadendrites of a magos. While I'm thinking there will still be a handful of demonic servants fighting Tau'unar, I'm starting to think that O'nye actually works alone. The Tau are community based so the antithesis of their psychology would be those that do not rely on any but themselves in the same way that the Judeo-Christian devil is a being that thinks he knows best vs. a civilization that adheres to a higher power knows best.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#9 » Feb 15 2017 05:51

Questions: What does everyone think of the tentacles coming out of his shoulders and then going into the ground? The tentacles will by 'reaching' out to Tau'unar after O'nye has killed a Tau (either Tau'unar's lover or the proto-Air Caste hero.

I also think I'll be changing the myth up and, instead of doing a full on battle between all four 'Exemplars' it will focus on Tau'unar and O'nye. That way Tau'unar becomes a much more epic character in this depiction.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 924

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#10 » Feb 15 2017 09:41

I reckon the tentacles going from the back to the ground could work. Depending on how flexible you are with the posing you could have him (it?) being lifted up into the air by some in addition to the ones reaching out for the Tau.

Another idea you might want to consider is having tentacles outstretched in such a way that they resemble skeletal wings (possibly in mockery of the proto-Kor that's just died).

Also is it wrong that I now sort of want to see an exaggerated, flamboyant O'nye in a Disney-style Tau animated musical? :P
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1511

Re: Mont'au Devil

Post#11 » Feb 16 2017 03:28

... I now can't stop seeing "the beast" from Beauty and the Beast... Well... Guess I'll be sculpting to the soundtrack for the rest of the night.
~Good Hunting

Return to “Project Logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests