Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Amazonian Regiments of Ever Glorious Renown

Presenting a Tékumel / Warhammer crossover- mashup, wherein in I refactor some of the forces of the Empire of the Petal Throne into Warhammer-speak. Many of the Tékumel character designs seem to fit a Lustrian setting not least because of the influence of mesomerican design.

The Aridáni Legion of Lady Mríssa

The Lady Mrissa is a young Noblewoman from the City of Geniana, The Aridáni Legion form her personal honour guard as well as fulfilling various stately duties throughout the city. Called to arms by Lady Mrissa for special missions, famed for their heroic and profitable raids on the corrupt Sea Elf temple of Wohn-gar, and as a welcoming committee for the Norse raiding party led by Sonny Ericssonson.

The armour of the Aridáni Legion of Lady Mríssa is made of especially cured and treated Cold One skin, decorated with gold.

Aridáni Karéng of Lady Merissa | John Winter | Tekumel Project

Name M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl Wp Weapon 1 Weapon 2 Armour PV
Lady Mrissa (Kérdu) 4 6 6 4 4 3 6 3 9 9 9 9 Sword None Chestplate & Shield 52.5
Karéng 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8 8 8 8 Sword None Chestplate & Shield 36.5
Semétl 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 7 7 7 7 Sword None Chestplate & Shield 10.5
Káing (standard) 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 8 7 7 7 Sword None Chestplate & Shield 7
Musician 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7 7 Sword None Chestplate & Shield 6.5
Troop 4 4 3 4 3 1 4 1 7 7 7 7 Pike Sword Chestplate & Shield 9.25

Kérdu - Lady Merissa | John Winter | Tekumel Project
Legion Trooper  | John Winter | Tekumel Project

The Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle 

Priestess Dijáya |
Kérdu of the Sapphire Kirtle | John Winter | Tekumel Project

Lady Dijáya head Priestess of the Sacred Mysteries of Dilinála. The Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle a loose knit group of skirmishers. Keep predatory birds, jaguars, Slann, Lizardmen, Pygmies, Norse raiders, patriachal capitalists, and other nuisances away from the sacred forest shrines where the secret rituals of Amazonian progenation take place.

Name M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl Wp Weapon 1 Weapon 2 Armour PV
Lady Dijáya (Kérdu) 4 6 6 4 4 3 6 3 9 9 9 9 Axe None None 51
Karéng 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8 8 8 8 Axe None None 35
Semétl 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 7 7 7 7 Axe None None 9
Káing (standard) 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 8 7 7 7 Axe None None 5.5
Musician 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7 7 Axe None None 5
Javelin 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7 7 Javelin Axe None 5.75
Slinger 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 7 7 7 7 Sling Axe None 5.75

Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle | John Winter | Tekumel Project

The legion of the Sapphire Kirtle are fielded as Skirmishers, and hate men.

Note the Legion of the Saphire Kirtle is on pre-order sale

Princess Vrísa Vishétru

HA-1 Princess Vrísa Vishétru of Saá Allaqi | John Winter | Tekumel Project

Name M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl Wp Weapon 1 Weapon 2 Armour PV
Princess Vrísa Vishétru 4 6 6 4 4 3 6 3 9 9 9 9 2 Handed Sword None Full Plate 53.5

Princess from far Saá Allaqi - to the North of the Amazonian heartlands. A foreigner, with unusual ways, it is rumoured that she has taken a male Sea Elf as a lover, tolerated by the majority of Amazonian high society as something of a novelty.  Typically the Sisterhood suspects her of harbouring treacherous intentions against the ruling Koka-Kalim cult, and her as potentially blasphemous in some undefinable way.

The large flame-like sword is symbolic of her devotion to the god of fire and war Vimúlha - rumoured to be a more ancient aspect of the chaos entity Khörne, worshipped by the Legion of the Red Devestation.

Ru'ún:  Bronze Demoness

Queen Mechanika | John Winter | Hydra Miniatures
The Ru'ún were constructed by arcane methods in the ancient days of Slann and Amazon partnership to guard Warp Gates between Terraforming Ziggurat stations. When the Warp-gate system collapsed, these technological idols were left mute, standing guard over the ancient cyclopean ruins dotted all over the Known World. Whilst remaining dormant for millennia they may be awoken at any time by the presence foolhardy or greedy explorers seeking riches in these forbidden places. The Ru'ún are powered by pure warpstone hearts.

Name M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl Wp Weapon 1 Weapon 2 Armour PV
Ru'ún: Bronze Demonesses 4 8 8 5 4 3 9 4 12 12 12 12 Hand Blaster Powersceptre Bronze 72

During close combat the Ru'ún  makes 2 attacks with its Sceptre, and 2 energy blasts from it's warpstone powered hand-blaster.  Attacks from both weapons cause Instability.

Item Strength Initiative Damage Save Mod. Short Max To Hit Short To Hit Long Area
Hand Blaster 4 0 1 -1 8 16 +2 0 0

Item Strength Initiative Damage Save Mod.
Powersceptre 5 0 1 -1

While it will obey the posessor of an Incomparable Eye of Command or an Amulet of Ruling the Ru'ún will otherwise ignore all attempts to negotiate, and having not received other instructions proceed , note that the Ru'ún is completely immune to Change Allegiance or other "charm" type spells and all Illusions.

Some Notes on The Aridáni of the Empire of the Petal Throne

Tsolyanu aka "The Empire of the Petal Throne" is one of 5 human empires on the planet Tekumel. It is a deeply "Lawful" society, hugely conservative and deeply structured, it loves ritual, regulation and stability above all else. Most marriages are arranged, and the role of women is largely domestic, or priestly, wheras a mens role can be mercantile, military, or academic - but this is usually bound by Clan obligations. Personal freedom and social mobility are seemingly alien concepts, the Empire of the Petal Throne is a slave-owning culture and whilst the middle-classes may move up or down the ranks of their Clan, the Military or their Temple, due to social schmoosing and valour, nothing opens doors like noble birth.

Any Tsolyani middle-class woman may go before a magistrate and declare herself Aridáni - which is a social status which puts her on completely equal standing with men. In choosing to become Aridáni there is absolutely no loss of face, virtue or womanhood, it is a choice every middle-class Tsolayni female as and is up to the individual and their choice is widely accepted. Clan Elders might be a bit disappointed that some strategic marriage might not have transpired, but ah well...

Aridáni | Jeff Dee

Homosexuality and bisexuality are not uncommon, several of the Empresses and Emprors have been non-hetrosexual,  and is an entirely acceptable and normal part of human sexual nature, there is nothing transgressive about it at all. As long as it exists in a well defined category, then the Tsolyani are happy with it. Subsequently transgender, androgyny and hermaphroditism would seem to confuse and be frowned upon by the Tsolyani,  not that the text goes into much detail - but there are certain alien races on Tekumel which have more or less than 2 genders, which seems to be met with revusion by the Tsolyani. The Tsolyani are not a scientifically curious people, science would be progress, which would be change, which is undesirable. If they managed (or bothered) to codify the various sexual preferences of the non-human races, there's little doubt these things would just be accepted as facts of life.

Sapphire Kirtle

It's this love of categorisation and societal structure that creates social institutions such as the all-lesbian Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle. Similarly there are legions of homosexuals (of both genders) and similarly legions of devotes of the same deities of any gender. Notably one of the main enemies of the Petal Throne - the Yan Koryani is entirely Matriarchal and sees homosexuality as counter-productive to society.

Dejah Thoris & Calot (?) | Frank Frazetta
 Witch Elf on Cold One
Adriani on small Chlén beast

Nudity is common in private and among friends. Tekumel is a hot planet, and human are not native to it nor used to the heat. Clothing tends to be highly codified - items having more symbolic meaning than function. Many of the the EPT illustration I've seen do not shy away from portraying the 'shunned-bodies' of the old and portly, the exotic setting isn't purely an excuse to show Dejah Thoris style nubiles, although no doubt there is some of that to it too - there are certainly subject positions within Tekumel which conform to standards set by a patriarchal hegemony, but many many which don't and are treated as normal by the Tsolyani. Any proponents of Queer Theory (which should really grow up and call itself post-structuralist identity formation theory) looking at gaming artefacts out there should take a look.

Works cited:

Empire of the Petal Throne:

Deeds of the Ever Glorious  M. A. R. Barker
Empire of the Petal Throne   M. A. R. Barker
2nd Citadel Compendium  Richard Halliwell
Warhamer Fantasy Battle 2nd Edition.

Any mistakes in Tekumel scholarship are purely my own, and apologies in advance for any idiosyncratic reading of the material.


  1. If Queer Theory in gaming ever comes up at work, and it might do, then I will definitely be pointing people at Tekumel thanks to this article. Fascinating stuff.

    Thanks also for the link to Hydra miniatures, I'd not come across them before and now have several more Xenos types on my wish list :)

    1. Sounds like a great place to work!

      Many of the intelligent non-humans have non-binary reproductive systems. The Pé Chói are somewhat similar to sea-horses, for example. Its not like it sets out to deconstruct traditional gender-roles, but just kind of ignores them and then gets on with its own thing.

      The Retro Raygun range has some real corkers, all very Flash Gordon.