|Aseneth Levedescu, Cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum, in all of her somber magesty!|
When first devising the Church of the Red Athenæum, a fanatical splinter of the Imperial Cult fixated on the Emperor’s physical sacrifices, I imagined a hierarchy that was visible based on their self-inflicted wounds. Initiates might only be missing a hand, while the older members of the congregation would have accrued more wounds as a sign of their increased devotion. I envisioned that the head of the Church, the Cardinal, would be so mutilated that they could not even walk, limbs missing, spine severed, riding atop an ambulatory throne. A crude mimic of the Emperor on His Golden Throne. Not sure of how to realize this vision, I set the character aside, and worked on the rest of the Church. With 9 other models built for the Church, I finally set out to build the last model for the immediate future. I present to you: Aseneth Levedescu, Cardinal of the Church of the Red Athenæum (3rd).
Little can be dredged from Imperial records of Aseneth Levedescu before she joined the Church. Her name and skill with a scalpel calls to mind a prominent Household of rejuvent chirurgeons, House Levedescu. Any connection, however, appears to be expunged from official records. A bureaucratic oversight, Inquisitional interference, or political maneuvering? Who is to say? What can be stated with certainty is that her induction into the Church of the Red Athenæum marked its adoption of medical precision as an equal to solemn devotion. Before her involvement with the Church, a ritually anointed axe and the Litany of Renouncement was sufficient to offer up a hand or limb. After her arrival, there was a dramatic shift to procedure and technology, characterized by autoclaves and antiseptics. The work was just as grim, for the suffering and the loss had to be real, but they would not longer lose their faithful to infection and sickness. This embrace of technology did not weaken the Church’s spiritual fiber, however. This was evident in Aseneth herself, as she would offer up more of herself with each passing year. But, as the Church teaches, a broken physical body does not mean a broken mind or spirit. Afterall, although the Emperor was physically ravaged, He was not defeated; His vision for humanity was not dulled. So the Church flourished, surpassing even those gains made possible by Ormond’s Order of the Crimson Hour. When Ormond’s tenure as the Church’s cardinal ended during the Red Hour (899.M41), Levedescu was quickly elected to the role. And thus began a new era for the Church of the Red Athenæum, one eschewing fatalism and demanding an active role in realizing an Imperium in the Emperor’s Vision.
|You would not know it now, but her face was based on a Dark Elf Witch Elf; gone is the smooth skin!|
I based the Cardinal herself on the Forge World Imperial Knight pilot, replacing the pilot’s head with that of a plastic witch elf. The head of the elf was heavily modified with greenstuff, reshaping the lower jaw and back of the head. I carefully trimmed out one of her eyes and added crease lines throughout the face to show Aseneth’s age. An iron halo helps support her head. I removed one of her arms and severed both of her legs. Finally I replaced her left arm with that of an Elysian Drop troop.
|I tried my best to distance the model as much as I could from the base Kataphron Destroyer model.|
For her motorized throne I modified the chassis of a Kataphron destroyer, fitting on the command throne from a Warhound titan (a piece I never thought I would use, ha ha). Her throne was further modified with the addition of purity seals and votive candles. I added some fine bionic arms from the Death Korp Quartermaster’s retinue, giving her some added dexterity, something she is sorely lacking being bereft of so many of her limbs. I also mounted a speaker system and spotlight to the sides of Aseneth’s throne.
|To fit with the theme of the Church, I knew I needed to add some of her bones to the mobile throne!|
Any comments or suggestions for the model would be appreciated. Soon I am going to have to attempt to paint her, so thoughts on color schemes would be pertinent!