Category Archives: Faith

200th Post & Some WIP 40k Painting & Modeling

This is my 200th post on RA, so of course it has to be a self referential reflection.

Here’s the stats for RA so far:

I started in August of 2009, went through several site reorgs, spiked in July 2010 when I was blogging from Cambridge in England, then climbed back up to those levels after I accumulated enough hobby posts to interest random people from the internet and now I’m sitting at 600+, which was where my Cambridge journals spiked in 2010.

My post about what’s inside the Battletech 25th Anniversary box is a popular search. Less so but still a regular search is my unboxing of the 4th Edition D&D Essentials “Red Box”. And for whatever odd reason a lot of people search for “home made camper” and wind up reading about when I went to the 10th Annual Greaserama Car Show. My 40k modeling and painting posts drive most of my non-subscribed traffic, and following on that are people looking for posts about Asatru/Heathen holidays. Today somebody came here after searching for “fat sensei”, and I’m still puzzling that one out. My kendo and iaido posts, as sadly as infrequent as they’ve become (due to my busted knee and busy school schedule) pull in regular traffic too, but much less so than my hobby posts.

This isn’t a terribly busy website, as far as blogs go. There are folks who get 600 hits in an hour, probably, but I don’t care. It’s not about that for me, but it does indicate a healthy amount of activity and at least some levels of usefulness. This is a vanity page for the most part, an online journal and blog of my own activities, but here and there people do find it worth looking at, so that’s good. It also gives me something to do, and a soapbox, however small, for certain varied opinions of mine.

Enough of that mess, here’s some Warhammer 40k models I’m currently working on:

So last night was Halloween, and anybody following this shouldn’t be surprised when I say that the Iron Hounds are a Halloween inspired warband. It’s my favorite holiday and I really dig orange/black, so why not? I thought it appropriate to kill some time today to work on my Chaos Sorcerer before the son came over to help me carve pumpkins and hand out candy. His paint scheme is more in line with what my very first scheme for these guys was, which is orange all over with black trim instead of the quartered scheme. I decided to make him different since he’s a unique and important part of the warband.

Astute observers may also have noticed that my character names have all been directly taken from or inspired by by-names for Odin from the sagas. This fellow’s name is Forn Grimnir, which means “Old Masked One”. I named him so because 1. he is the original corrupter of the Iron Hounds mentioned in my IA; 2. he sometimes recruits by traveling through Imperial space masquerading as a Loyalist Librarian; 3. he’s a generally mean, sneaky, treacherous old man.

Here he is with a base coat and initial wash:

The Bolt Pistol is magnetized and was painted for a different model, so it’s just there as a prop right now. I really like the horn he wears on his hip, which comes from a Space Wolves sprue like his head (which I’ve trimmed the braids off his beard):

His Force Scythe is from a WHFB Vampire Counts Zombie Regiment box. It was originally going to be a spear, but I saw the scythe and thought that was just too cool not to use. I use the heck out of WHFB bits in conversions:

The trim is going to be black on the chest piece, the skull on his right knee will also be black as well as the trim around the jump pack intakes and the decorative Iron Halo he’s got. Why a jump pack instead of wings, you ask? Because I thought it would fit in with the Iron Hounds better that way, and the “Storm Crows” Raptor squad was conceived of as a retinue for him so I didn’t reckon he would need to be able to fit into a transport.

I’m probably going to field him along with his protege (Brynhild the Jealous, my Fallen Sister of Battle Aspiring Sorceress from earlier in this thread) against my friend’s Grey Knights. I’d like to give him a taste of his own medicine with his ridiculous psyker attacks every round. He’s got a psyker enclave that can generate a high strength AP1 psychic attack every round. Very nasty. Let’s see how he likes one of them turning into a Spawn and eating his mates.

Now I gotta fiddle me up a Spawn…

And speaking of Halloween, here is a photo of me and my son posing with out Jack-O-Lanterns from last night:

As an Asatruar/Heathen I celebrate Halloween as a part of, or at least hand in hand with, Heathen Winternights. I’ll be attending an actual Winternights celebration next week (postponed from this past weekend) with some “free holding” Heathens. I was to attend another Winternights with my friends in Tyr’s Helm Tribe two weeks ago, but an acute case of gastroenteritis kept me home all weekend. Nasty stuff, but I’m over it now. Except for the paying for it part. Life is hard when you’ve no insurance sometimes. But anyway, my personal Halloween tradition is to carve my three Jack-O-Lanterns the day of Halloween as the sun is going down. They sit on my porch all night guarding the homestead from baneful wights, and in the morning (or when I wake up) they get a shot of liquor and a journey to the spirit realms via hatchet execution. One of my Jack-O-Lanterns is always the traditional “triangle eyes” type, and another more religiously motivated (that’s supposed to be Odin with the one eye there), and the third carved by whatever whim moves the family member assisting me. Often Ma carves with me, but the children have come over in the past, as my son did this year.

Moving right along…

Sitting around fiddling with some parts the other day I went ahead and started modeling my Noise Marine cult squad. I figure that their Aspiring Champion is a good start for tonight, because I’m tired and don’t feel like doing a bunch of drilling and whatnot for their sonic weaponry options.

So anyway, here is Anton Valentine, leader of an as-yet-unnamed squad of Noise Marines employed as auxiliaries by the Iron Hounds:

A pretty straight forward conversion, he’s mostly CSM with a WHFB Beastman head and, just for giggles, a SM chest plate with an Aquila on it as an allusion to the Emperor’s Children:

I gave him the option of mounting a Doom Siren, but fixed him with a Power Sword. The magnet on the base there is for a Melta Bomb if I decide to give him one while making a list:

And that’s that.

The Iron Hounds are almost completely modeled so far as my squads go. I want to make a couple of Apocalypse formations from Space Marine datasheets to represent their well funded flexibility, but the core warband is pretty much able to be fielded as is (minus paint). And it’s only been over a year and a half since I started on them. And a new codex is rumored on the horizon.

Ah well.

Reviresco!

This is a work of “fan fiction”, and is not authorized or endorsed by Games Workshop Ltd. For a fuller explanation of copyright see this website’s legal disclaimer concerning third party intellectual property.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Hobby, Modeling & Painting, Personal Reflection, Right Living, The Heathen Gods, Works In Progress

Going Home

I wrote this in 2009 for Midsummer to pay shyld to Odin for a Winternight’s oath gone wrong. Let’s hope that the Old Man liked it.

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Wandering along the way
I stopped to think.
I had come this way before,
Though no nearer my father’s hearth,

When familiar symmetry I saw.
Considering the crisscrossed path
And standing back, recognized
That I overlooked before:

I had trod upon the path
From one to another short side,
Neither looking left nor right,
Unheeding the familiar.

Written in the sweat and blood,
Carved in the heart of experience,
My old man taught me to read
By throwing me in the deep end,

And I followed the signs home.

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Filed under Faith, Right Living, Stories & Poems, The Heathen Gods

The Sky Wyrm

This is a short story/poem/thing that I wrote for the Kansas City Heathen pubmoot last May. When I started writing it I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be, but I had a theme and a format in mind and just went with it, inspired directly by the same tornado weather in Leavenworth that hit Joplin, MO so hard. I read it aloud to a Heathen audience in the form of its first draft, still unsure what the final thing was going to be, so that’s how I present it here. It suffers some punctuation issues, but at the time it was the least of my worries. I had promised to bring original material to read, so I went with it. Conceptually it touches on a couple of Heathen ethics: garth, kith/kinship, personal responsibility that sort of thing. I later hit upon the idea of making an Asatru children’s book, probably a PDF type thing to download from this website and distributed among friends. We’ll see where that goes, but in the meantime here is the original form:

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Mother! There was a stranger on the road,
Who cast a wary glance behind
And clasped his hands to pray for deliverance
For a Sky Wyrm he witnessed
Destroying his home and he fled
Warning all of its approach
weeping for his loss.

A stranger you say? Upon the road
leaving behind him everything
bidding you pray to the gods for deliverance
from a disastrous thurse, and weeping.
Did you see the dark tail whirling?
Did you feel the wind blowing?
Did you hear the gusty howling?

Mother I saw with my own eyes,
following his wary, fearful look
while he prayed to the gods and ran
Saw the dark tail whirling,
felt the wind begin to blow,
heard its gusty howling.
Shall we pray to the gods for deliverance?

Your father you know, is out in the fields
his weary eye turned to work
laboring to feed and clothe us
Bring him word of the Sky Wyrm
As we travel homeward to shelter.
Your hands grasp his and his work
and bid him take shelter.

Mother I brought him word
lifted his weary eyes to the danger
laid my hands beside his and ready
prepared him for the Sky Wyrm.
He is heading home and safe
as you have bid me see to.
Shall we pray to the gods for deliverance?

Our tenant, you know, is out in the wood
her weary eye turned to work
my true friend she is and constant
Bring her word of the Sky Wyrm
As we travel homeward to shelter
Your hands grasp hers and her work
and bid her take shelter.

Mother I brought her word
lifted her weary eyes to the danger
laid my hands beside hers and ready
prepared her for the Sky Wyrm.
She is heading home and safe
as you have bid me see to.
Shall we pray to the gods for deliverance?

Our neighbors, you know, are at the market
their weary eyes turned to work
buying and trading and crafting
the goods of the whole community.
Bring them word of the Sky Wyrm
As we travel homeward to shelter
Your hands grasp theirs and their work.

Mother I brought them word
lifted their weary eyes to the danger
laid my hands beside theirs and ready
prepared them for the Sky Wyrm.
They are heading home and safe
as you have bid me see to.
Shall we pray to the gods for deliverance?

Our kin are heading for shelter,
Our kith are readied for trouble,
Our community is prepared for danger,
Let us see to ourselves, then,
now we are home and sheltered
grasp our work to make ready
and endure the wrath of the Sky Wyrm.

Mother the Wyrm has passed
the sky is clear and calm
though our alarm was great
the dark tail whipped the field
the wind ravaged the wood
the gusty howl scolded the market.
Shall we pray to the gods for our deliverance?

Your father has gone to the fields
to slaughter a beast for the fire,
And our tenant to fetch a casket of mead.
Our neighbors have gone to the market
to bring fruits and vegetables.
With your hands prepare our hall to receive them
to celebrate with the gods among us.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Folk, Right Living, Stories & Poems, The Heathen Gods

Heathen Gods

My friend Mark Stinson has written and published a PDF collection of essays about Heathenry. Mark is the chieftain of Jotuns Bane Kindred (JBK) out of Kansas City, Missouri, a Heathen tribe. Mark and JBK weren’t the first Heathens I met, but they were the first I had long, in depth discussions about what Heathenry was all about with. At the time I had left the Catholic Church and was beginning my ongoing flirtation with Buddhism, but what I found in the discussions with the members of JBK was something life affirming and positive that I had been seeking for a long time. After many discussions, a few heated arguments and not a few friendly pints at pubmoots, I decided that Heathenry was a piece of the puzzle I needed to sort myself out, and I haven’t looked back.

Mark wrote many of these essays on the forum of heathen gods, and they sparked many interesting discussions and some of my own essays as replies in which I worked out my own beliefs. Mark and I don’t agree on everything, but not only do we agree on enough, I’ve seen what good his actions based on his beliefs can do. At the risk of sounding overly flattering, Jotun’s Bane Kindred truly are the right people at the right time, a well balanced group that is an energetic and dynamic fountain of good ideas and good works. If I had found anything less when I was looking into Heathenry, I might not be calling myself Asatruar today.

I highly recommend anyone to read Mark’s writings, and this 216 page PDF can be downloaded either from my own library here at “Romantic Antihero”, or directly from Mark’s “Temple of our Heathen Gods” here. If you’re confused about what it is that Heathens believe, or if you’re hearing the call of the Folk and looking to find your way home, Mark’s down to earth style of writing and very personal narrative voice makes Heathenry accessible.

Mark is a man of many talents, and while I’m pushing his Heathenry book I may as well mention his other projects: Void Pulp Press, his comic and art label, and Ghost Vigil Investigations, a paranormal investigators group.

Reviresco!

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Filed under Faith, Folk, The Heathen Gods

Reaching Out… Or Not…

The other day I was on the Park&Ride line going up on campus. A Heathen friend of mine sat next to me and we chatted about school for a bit. He got off on the first Boulevard stop, and I stayed to ride to the second. So I’m sitting there zoning out, exhausted from my first week back to a big university, and there goes a girl walking past me wearing not one, but two Mjolnir pendants around her neck. I stared dumbly at her while she went past and walked off the bus, going right next to me on her way out the rear door.

I’ve chased people down the sidewalk before to find out who they were when it looked like they shared my small community of specialized interests. I’ve ridden at break neck speeds trying to find vintage scooterists I passed going the other direction. I’ve left notes on bulletin boards, business cards on seats and posted fliers all over town. Being involved in fringe interests and hobbies, I’ve always felt compelled to reach out and connect with the few and far between people who are into them as well, even risking like a lunatic to get someone’s attention.

Here goes someone who might be a lonely Heathen on campus, someone who might not know about the Heathen community around here. I felt like I had failed a duty of reaching out to say hello and find out, to network and connect. That maybe I had done something wrong in not saying hello.

After thinking about it, I’m not so sure anymore. The last time I asked someone about their Mjolnir pendant it ended up being about their D&D Dwarf character and nothing else. You can’t make assumptions based on the pendant alone. But where does this feeling of obligation come from in me? Am I even the right person to try to be reaching out? And since any Heathen who cared to could do an internet search for local Heathens just as easily as I did, does it make sense to stop someone who is hurrying on their way to their next class? I view my school as if it were my job, and I definitely don’t want to be bothered by random strangers wishing to talk religion when I’m at work.

I’m trying to learn lessons from my past. One of those lessons may be to mind my own business as much as possible. All of my organizing and promoting in the other hobbies I’ve been a part of seems to have done nothing but exhaust me emotionally. Not like religion is a hobby, but Heathenry is a (very) small community in the wider world of religion, and it’s even rarer to see a Heathen that I don’t know just out and about than it was for me to see a scooter enthusiast I didn’t know. In the old days, before everyone in the world had an internet connection, there was this feeling of isolation. We who had divergent culture and interest, who were social and religious minorities, we were strangers in a strange land. Imagine walking through Mumbai, and suddenly, through the crowd of Indian folk filling the streets, you not only see another American, but they’re wearing a T-shirt with your high school’s logo on it. Of COURSE you would want to say hello and find out who they were, and if they knew anyone you did. You’d probably end up doing something together based on nothing more than relishing the familiar and comfortable in a strange and sometimes distressing place.

That sort of explains why I sometimes feel as I do when it comes to needing to say hello to certain people. But there is also the mental exhaustion, and sometimes exasperation, that comes from it. I’ve heard people using Japanese words that I’ve talked to, and found out they were batty otaku. I’ve met people who for all the world looked like they should be on a 2-Tone dance floor, who just stared in confusion when I approached them. I’ve approached people about kendo who turned out to be Narutards and ninjers. And more than once I’ve approached people about vintage scootering because they were wearing Vespa T-shirts, only to be told that they only owned the T-shirt, never been anywhere near a scooter, Vespa, vintage or otherwise. It starts to get on your nerves after a while.

I guess for the most part my objective should be to do the things I love, and if someone is serious about it they’ll either ask me, be introduced to me, or we’ll meet when our converging interests bring us to the same place. It’s not like I feel antisocial about it, but I think that the above compulsion hasn’t done much good for the community, and has probably been bad for me personally. I know that in the case of my scooter club, my emotional attachment to the club and how I expressed it eventually ended up being unhealthy enough that I was driven to not only quit the club, but the vintage scooter scene entirely.

I sort of go back and forth on jewelry items, and my Mjolnir has been hanging up for a while in favor of my military ID tags. So I switched out to wearing Mjolnir openly recently, so that if there are any Heathens out there who wanted to say hello to another it would be an opening to. I don’t expect them to go out of their way, and I’m not going to do it either, but if the situation is conducive to it, there can be the eye contact and the opening facilitated by Mjolnir, and we’ll get to meet each other. Otherwise I’m focusing on my work, and letting other people, better people for the job, do the chasing for a while.

Reviresco!

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Filed under Faith, The Heathen Gods