Sunday, 25 March 2012

Flufftastic - Techno-Achaeologist Avro Vulcan

Techno-Achaeologist Avro Vulcan has been a prominent feature of Confessions of a 40k addict in no small part because of the many STC's he's uncovered on Ferron Proxima, but he is a figure not without controversy and despite the quality of his discoveries there are those that believe him a heretic, have sought to discredit him or even steal his discoveries. His very success may well be his very undoing which could explain his recent disappearance from 'public life'. His discoveries continue but quite often they are presented through his band of devout supporters via undisclosed secure 'dead drops'. His secretiveness is borne not just from the personal and professional attacks on his character but the very real possibility that his life may be at risk from Fundamental Adeptus Mechanicus hardliners or unscrupulous techno-barons intent on using his work for their own benefit.

But to understand the man we must first understand the child. Avro Vulcan was brought up in the Galactic Shipworks of Planetia Frome. His father 'Ro Vulcan was one of the foremost manufacturers of stellar craft in the system. Avro was surrounded by technology and his father's pioneering ways were to inform Avro's future in more ways than one. In a cruel foreshadowing of his own destiny Avro's father also made enemies. Envious of his success and the advanced technologies that outclassed his competitors they set about finding some way to bring him low. Industrial espionage was the first step, then seditious remarks to the Adeptus Mechanicus, finally it was the disappearance of Avro's mother that finally broke the man. Up until this point she had been the rock that 'Ro Vulcan had relied upon through the investigations.

Meneth Vulcan was never found or returned, in fact no demands were ever made, just an implicit warning that if 'Ro Vulcan was to continue to build ships the rest of the family would suffer. So Avro sold up and devoted all his efforts to his son. Instilling him with the thirst for knowledge that he could no longer persue. Avro adapted well to this tutellage, his mind quick and decisive.

It was only after his father's passing many years later that Avro decided to travel in search of lost technology and in time this brought him to Ferron Proxima. His research showed the potential finds on Ferron Proxima could be highly significant. The composition of the planets surface, the mysterious geological and geographical layouts present and the many 'folk tales' and legends that could be drawn from the aboriginal population, particularly some of the more fantastical stories from the Bear Claw Tribe about "silver, winged giants and their cloud chariots". Extensive interviews with the clan led him to the remote glacial mountain ranges of Vyzagapatnam in Ferron Proxima's Northern Hemisphere.

It is here that he found even more evidence that would lead him to spend his professional career exploring and excavating on Ferron Proxima. The exact evidence to justify this decision has never been revealed but in later years it would form the 'turning point' that Vulcan's enemies would pinpoint to suggest his motives were heretical. Just what did he find in those frozen caves and mountains that would justify a life-long exploration on one planet? The fact remains that shortly after returning from the mountains Vulcan immediately set about selling large amounts of stock and capital invested by his late father to help fund an excavation of massive proportions in the Ferron Proxima heartlands. Uniquely he also bought large swathes of the land from the Administratum. With the belief there was nothing of value in the area it is whispered that thanks to his fortune and low value of the land, Vulcan may well be the largest individual land owner on Ferron Proxima outside of the Administratum. Something some believe they now regret, as beneath the surface 'rust' of one of the largest hills in the region a perfectly preserved ziggurat was discovered...

Vulcan and his team spent five years painstakingly removing the outer layer of oxidised iron rich ore to reveal the ziggurat beneath. When he finally made public his discovery he would name the monument the Ziggurat of J'on Kahta. Up to this point Vulcan had been meticulous about his excavation, like a man possessed in the knowledge this was only the tip of the iceberg and his belief was justified in that eventually he found a means of access into the Ziggurat of J'on Kahta.

Once within the carved stone steps he found numerous bored tunnels evident of ancient technology and skills lost for millenia. These finds were significant in themselves and allowed Vulcan hope that his drive and passion were not misplaced, but it was perhaps the most insignifcant of his finds that had the most profound effect on his future exploits.

It is told that within one of the cavernous rooms within the bowels of the Ziggurat of J'on Kahta, Vulcan came across numerous small multi-limbed metal spiders. Given his childhood expertise in mechanics he was able to reverse engineer the 'mechanids' and instill upon them a tiny machine spirit to aid him in his research. By employing hundreds of these tiny mites he was then able to increase his surveys of the area many-fold and in places no human hand could reach. But it was the very nature of these mechanids coupled with his sudden massive increase in success following their use that allowed his enemies a chance to attack.

Questions arose as to the nature of these mechanids. Were they in fact robotic and therefore heretical? Or, were they indeed of Xenos nature, berhaps a construct of a long dead race. So far very little concrete evidence has been found to support these claims, very few mechanids have been discovered beyond the boundaries of Vulcan's influence. One of the the wildest claims is that they were not found in the Ziggurat of J'on Kahta at all and in fact were discovered in the mountains of Vyzagapatnam and it is the mechanids that are controlling Avro Vulcan and not the other way round. By these flights of fancy his enemies seek to show his plethora of discoveries are not for the benefit of the Imperium but are in fact alien minds at work, seeking, searching for who knows what?

The result has been Vulcan's disappearance from public life. His enemies are persistent and his concerns even led him to theorise they may not just be his enemy but potentially the same enemies of his father. The coincidences in their rise in fortunes followed by the attacks and conspiracies brought against them have been too blatant to dismiss. Thus he continues to explore within the boundaries of his lands, only to share his revelations as and when he sees fit. Unfortunately this very attempt to secure his own safety is yet more fuel for his competition because for all his secrecy what secrets is he not sharing?
Last known picture of Techno-Achaeologist Avro Vulcan and mechanid