Saturday, May 25, 2013

Why I am a Cyrissian

I am quite taken by the Art Deco lines and voltaic glow of the new Convergence of Cyriss faction for Warmachine. Privateer has done a great job in the design of the vectors and warcasters for the cult of the Clockwork Goddess, and I eagerly await getting my grubby mitts on the starter group later this summer.

But I am enamored of most of the factions in Warmachine and have sizable (unpainted) collections of minis for the game. (I also collect patches and have many for the various factions across Caen. Thanks, Privateer, for making them!)

The first faction that captures my heart was the Protectorate of Menoth. I used to be part of an evangelistic, fundamentalist faith and, truth be told, there is comfort in the assuredness that all the answers come from total obedience to dogma and can be found simply by looking in the back of the book. And like the Menites, when I think of how I was and what I believed back then, the ironbound prejudices and hatreds that are integral to that kind of belief structure, I wish, if I were to see myself back then, that I could seal my identity away behind an impenetrable brass mask. The garish ambition of Severius, the mute sacrifice of the Testament of Menoth, even the crusading passion of Feora are things I understand and can relate to.

Then I came to love Khador. I am a native of the American South, where ties of land and blood define so much of who we are. I understand the Khadorans' link to their Motherland. I understand the strength of her iron bones and the sway that her faith and folklore have on her populace, from the lowest laborer to the most prestigious prince. I understand it in MY bones, because I feel its echo in how and where I was raised.

And I have always been under the dark sway of Cryx as well. Even if the fluff and fiction written by the crew at Privateer were not of such excellent quality, the necromechanical excellence that is the Cryx would have pulled me in anyway. Blood and bone and brass, burning braziers of eldritch embers lit by nightfires, spewing alchemical energy into reanimated dead flesh and bound souls ... it's enough to elicit cold shivers on the warmest day. I love the dark poetry of Cryx, burning desire and cold bodies, bound in service to an ancient Dragon. I doesn't get more elegant and sinister than that.

And once the Mercenary pirates entered the scene, I had to expand my holdings. Pirates are the reason my supervisor at work learned never again to use that old adage, "Don't dress for the job you have; dress for the job you want." Well, I want to be a freebooter from the Golden Age of Piracy. (I really don't think the trip to Human Resources for a "conversation" was really necessary. After all, it was Casual Friday!) I have alway loved the depiction of pirates in popular culture, and Privateer's take on them suits me just fine. Love, love, love them.

I'm leaving out Cygnar and Retribution of Scyrah because they just have not fired my imagination the way they others have. I have miniatures of several heroes and units for both, but that's all.

And now comes the Convergence of Cyriss. I liked the hints and glimpses we got about the worship of the Maiden of Gears back in the Witchfire Trilogy and I have longed to know more. I love robots, cyborgs and AI's in all their forms, whether Maria from "Metropolis," Star Wars' Droids, Ladytron from the Wildstorm universe, or Solace from Spider Robinson's works or the post-Singularity Eschaton of Charles Stross. I resonate with them, since I have been a cyborg myself since 2007. Longtime readers will recall that I have congestive heart failure and carry in my chest a cardioverter/defibrillator. There's a computer on board, although of course I don't have conscious access to it. Maybe one day. I go in next year to have my battery changed. It is an odd thing to have them magnetically couple my device to a computer and download information about the performance of my heart. So my heart (both the fleshly organ and its battery-powered backup and booster) sings at the lovely lines and electric elegance of the Convergence. It is no small stretch for me to feel akin to the pieces I will put on the field for this faction. It takes no small stretch of the imagination to place myself among her worshippers or, better yet, a priest, donning my Optifex armor, waiting and hoping to one day be placed into a clockwork vessel to better serve my goddess, to devote myself to the Great Work, free of the weaknesses and limitations of the pitiful flesh.

So there you have it: my many heartfelt affairs with the factions of Warmachine, and why I am, at heart -- pun purely intended -- a Cyrissian. A minority cult on the broad face of Caen, to be sure, but that is just our public face. One day the Great Machine will cover the land and the goddess will be made manifest in <koff, koff>

OK, I'm back. The newest issue of No Quarter is chockablock full of information on the Convergence, with entries for both Warmachine and the Iron Kingdoms RPG, a battle report, the spywork of Gavin Kyle about forces in the faction we've not seen yet (the Iron Mother Directrix!) and more. If you're at all interested, or think you might be, go ahead and pick this up so you can get a taste before the Forcebook and models come out later this summer.

Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table!


  1. As an Irish person I can relate to being inextricably bound to the land.

    This was a well written testament by a dedicated gamer.


    1. Thank you, Anne, for those kind words. I appreciate what you're saying, lass, about how your roots are sunk in the land. The Irish, like us Southerners ... I think we all feel that pull, that strength, and that sense of obligation the land we think of as "home" creates.

  2. OK, it has been pointed out that the Warmachine books use "Cyrissist" for a follower of the goddess. I will explain why I use "Cyrissian" to describe myself, quoting from the response I gave on the Privateer Press forums:

    "It is Cyrissists, for true members of the church. Alas, they are made up of mekaniks, engineers and scientists. I will ever be a lover of the goddess, but one who is not adept at calculatory practices, instead being gifted in the world of words. Therefore, I can but be a Cyrissian, an admirer of the church and her efforts but ever an outsider, not a Cyrissist, a member of her flock. It's like being a 'nescient savage,' but slightly different."